Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Suffolk scientists in dog blindness breakthrough

PUBLISHED: 11:15 20 September 2010 | UPDATED: 12:35 20 September 2010

Future generations of golden Retriever could be spared blindness thanks to the work of Newmarket's Animal Health Trust.

Future generations of golden Retriever could be spared blindness thanks to the work of Newmarket's Animal Health Trust.

Archant

SCIENTISTS in Suffolk have made a breakthrough in the bid to beat canine blindness after they discovered a genetic mutation which causes sight loss in golden retrievers.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disease which leads to blindness and cannot be treated.

Canine health experts say the best way to combat the inherited condition is to identify dogs that carry the mutation and develop informed breeding strategies.

By identifying the mutation, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) team in Newmarket has been able to develop a DNA test which will identify golden retrievers which carry the mutation.

The mutation which causes a second form of PRA is still to be identified.

Cathryn Mellersh, head of canine genetics at the AHT, said: “Our research shows that this mutation is present in the UK golden retriever population, so it’s likely that several hundred new carriers are being born each year and that golden retrievers are invariably going blind as a result.

“Without the support of the Golden Retriever Breed Council and many owners who have provided DNA samples for us to analyse, we wouldn’t have been able to make this significant breakthrough.

“This new DNA test will enable breeders to learn whether their dogs are carriers of the mutation. This, in turn, will enable them to make better informed breeding decisions and therefore produce puppies which will not go blind as a result of this mutation.”

Mike Townsend, chairman of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which helps fund the work, said: “This is a real breakthrough and one which we hope will help to prevent blindness in many golden retrievers in the years to come.

“Every dog deserves to lead a healthy, happy life and it is important that we do all we can to ensure that future generations are given this opportunity.”

Information about the test will be available from the health trust’s website from November 15.

Police have arrested the driver of an articulated lorry on suspicion of drink driving after it overturned near to the onslip for the A14 westbound off Nacton Road in Ipswich.

Police in Ipswich have been called to Dogs Head Street after reports of a man being aggressive.

The Great East Run has “endless potential” and should feature world-class runners among a 10,000-strong field well within a decade, a Team GB Olympic runner has said.

It is some time since the Labour Party went into a conference season with swagger and confidence – this year they very much do.

Doctors anticipating a severe outbreak of flu this winter are desperately urging vulnerable people in Suffolk to get vaccinated against the virus.

A person who died on the rail line near Ingatestone in Essex on Thursday has been named as 15-year-old William Tweed.

Suffolk’s largest teaching union has launched a campaign over the “savage” levels of school funding under the new national funding formula (NFF).

The latest version of the iPhone, the 8 and 8 Plus went on sale for the first time this morning.

Go for regular eye tests – it could not only save your sight, but also your life. This is the message being pushed by campaigners across Suffolk and Essex during National Eye Health Week, from September 18-24.

Potential witnesses sought in connection with the disappearance of RAF airman Corrie McKeague in Suffolk have been identified following an anniversary appeal.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24