Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Suffolk scientists in dog blindness breakthrough

11:15 20 September 2010

Future generations of golden Retriever could be spared blindness thanks to the work of Newmarket

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.

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Ronald Chisnall

An 89-year-old widower who sexually assaulted two schoolgirls at his Ipswich home has been jailed for 34 months.

Fire crews at the scene of a fire behind the former Burton's factory in Ipswich Waterfront

Firefighters have been called to a fire at the former Burton’s factory on Ipswich Waterfront.

Jonathan Dotchin, Kezi Mellen UCS LGBT+ society with Valerie Jarvis of Theta Cafe with some of the items collected for Calais refugees.

Members of a university Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) society have launched a collection for refugees in Calais.

The police helicopter was deployed to help with the search.

The police helicopter was deployed to help find a young man after his family raised concern for his wellbeing.

Shotley wins Village of the Year.

Shotley has been announced the winner of the annual Suffolk Village of the Year competition.

It won't be the real thing, sadly, but there is an Abba tribute in Colchester this weekend

Brave the September weather this weekend and treat family and friends to a day out in East Anglia. Unsure where to go? Here are 10 events you shouldn’t miss:

Drink driver in court

An army driver’s career is hanging in the balance after he was caught driving while nearly three times the alcohol limit.

Dr Fayez Ayache is heartbroken by the escalating problems in his homeland

“Syria should be the most secure place in the middle east, but it’s the most destructive place on earth.”

The area of memory trees in Rushmere St Andrew which could be set for development. Bruce Goudy (member of Sorry) is pictured.

The family of an Ipswich soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2007 are joining a growing campaign against a development which could see a tree planted in his memory lost.

The A14

Emergency teams worked to release a man trapped in his car after it overturned on the A14.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages