NEW DNA SCHEMES TO COMBAT INHERITED DISEASE IN THE NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND
In a move designed to combat inherited disease in the Norwegian Elkhound, the Kennel Club has approved two new official DNA testing schemes for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and chondrodysplasia (CDSL) in the breed following consultation with the breed clubs.
POAG is an abnormal increase in pressure in the eye (glaucoma) resulting from the reduced rate of fluid draining from within the eye and leads to irreversible blindness. There is no means of clinically screening for POAG, and clinical signs tend to first appear in middle-aged dogs, often after breeding age.
The term ‘chondrodysplasia’ literally means the abnormal growth of cartilage and is manifest as a shortening of the limbs, or disproportionate dwarfism. The severity of the effect varies.
To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, please refer to the worldwide DNA testing list at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/worldwide-dna-tests. Please note that this listing is not necessarily comprehensive and other laboratories may also offer the tests.
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The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions.
The Kennel Club works alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and is happy to accommodate a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists. A formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.
Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website.
Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves. If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. DNA test certificates should be sent to Health and Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owners are reminded that it is mandatory that the dog’s microchip (or tattoo) number is recorded along with either the dog’s registered name or registered number on any DNA certificates. Any test results that do not carry these identifying features will not be added to the Kennel Club database.
Photo: Diane Pearce