Scientists from the Kennel Club have developed a DNA test for late onset ataxia after identifting a genetic mutation which causes the severe progressive disease.
A new DNA test to fight neurological disease in Parson Russell terriers (PRTs) has been launched by the Kennel Club.
Scientists from the KC genetics centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) have developed a DNA test for late onset ataxia (LOA) after identifying a genetic mutation which causes the severe progressive disease.
LOA affects coordination and balance, making everyday movement and tasks increasingly difficult.
The new DNA test can accurately predict the risk of developing the disease in 97-100% of PRTs and will effectively reduce the number of LOA cases in the breed.
Cathryn Mellersh is head of canine genetics at the AHT. She said: “This is great news for PRT breeders as we believe LOA is an emerging condition in the breed and through this test we should be able to cut the disorder ‘off at the pass’, before the mutation becomes any more widespread.
“Interestingly, our research also suggests that there may be other causes of ataxia in the breed. It is important for breeders to understand that a clear result using the LOA DNA test will not exclude the formal possibility that dogs could still develop a genetically different form of ataxia.”
The DNA test for LOA is available from the AHT at the price of £48. Full details are available at www.ahtdnatesting.co.uk.