Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 14°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.

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.

0 comments

Norwich Crown Court

A former instructor for the Army Cadet Force has been jailed for sexually assaulting a teenage cadet on a training camp.

The new Aldi in Donald Mackintosh Way, Ipswich.

Ipswich’s third Aldi supermarket is to open its doors tomorrow at Pinewood on the southern edge of the town.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Two young men terrified a teenage girl after donning balaclavas and arming themselves with a hammer and rounders bat when taking the law into their own hands.

The Very Revd Martin Thrower

A senior Suffolk clergyman has been suspended by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich after being arrested by police on suspicion of voyeurism.

A photograph of a recovered Samurai Sword after an incident in Ipswich on August 30, 2016. Pic: Ali Livingstone / Suffolk Constabulary.

A man has been arrested and a samurai sword has been recovered after an incident in Ipswich this morning.

Ricky Mutton

Police were able to clear up 13 burglaries after an Ipswich man wrote a letter from prison saying he wanted to “wipe the slate clean”, a court has heard.

The Flatford terrapin - now named John!

When Ipswich teenager Curtis Jay went on the hunt for Pokemon Go characters in Flatford he accidentally stumbled upon a very different creature.

Suffolk and Norfolk police assistant chief constable Sarah Hamlin.

The assistant chief constable for Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies has announced her retirement in a series of Twitter posts which appear to criticise the police forces.

Stowmarket chicken shed fire (Photo: Denise Bates)

A chicken shed blaze in Stowmarket has been tackled by firefighters.

A team from Hadleigh firm Wincer Kievenaar Architects has raised more than £8,500 for Action Medical Research after riding from London to Paris.

A team from Hadleigh firm Wincer Kievenaar Architects has raised more than £8,500 for Action Medical Research after cycling from London to Paris.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24