Submitting samples for OptiGen research study: PRA in the Norwegian Elkhound
OptiGen offers Free PRA testing for all pedigreed dogs that have been diagnosed with definitive PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Information on this program is available on the OptiGen webpage: http://www.optigen.com/opt9_research.html
There are at least two forms of PRA that occur in the Norwegian elkhound (and probably there is at least one more.) One form causes early retinal degeneration in pups less than 1 yr. of age (erd) and the other form (prcd-PRA) causes a late onset retinal degeneration (typically at 5-6 yrs. of age). If you know of any PRA-Affected Norwegian elkhounds, please encourage the owner to contact OptiGen if they would like to assist with this research. Here are the steps involved in submitting research samples:
- Dog is diagnosed by veterinary ophthalmologist with definitive PRA (i.e. not “suspicious for PRA”.)
- Owner sends an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to provide a few details of the case and to request a PRA Research Form.
- If the clinical diagnosis is compatible with our study (i.e. definitively PRA) I will email the PRA Research Form and start a file on the dog.
- Owner has blood sample (3-5 ml whole unclotted blood in EDTA) collected from dog. (Unfortunately, cheek swabs are not optimal for use in this research; a blood sample is required.)
- Owner completes Research Form (basic identification of dog, parents and clinical history) and ships that to OptiGen, along with the dog’s pedigree (5-6 generation) and copies of the eye exams showing definitive PRA diagnosis, and blood sample. For shipping instructions, see http://www.optigen.com/opt9_shipsubpg3pkg.html
- OptiGen tests the sample for PRA at no charge and reports these results back to the owner on a Research Report form (not the standard OptiGen Test Report form).
- If the test result indicates that the dog is not affected with one of the characterized forms of PRA, the sample will be included in the research study.
Some additional points:
- OptiGen adheres to a strict Confidentiality policy and will not release any information on samples submitted or their test results without written consent of the owner.
- If the sire, dam or offspring of the PRA-affected dog are also available and have current eye exams, these samples can also be useful in the research. This is something we consider on a case-by-case basis.
Thank you for any assistance in this research project.
Sincerely, Sue Pearce-Kelling
President, Manager OptiGen, LLC spk 4/23/10