DNA Tests For Diseases in Terriers and Greyhounds

New DNA tests detect for genes relating to Primary Lens Luxation and Greyhound Polyneuropathy.

The tests, introduced by Vetnostic Laboratories of Hamilton, N.J., can identify dogs that are either clear, or possess one or two copies of specific disease-causing genes.

The Primary Lens Luxation test can detect the potentially-blinding disease, which occurs in many Terrier breeds. Primary Lens Luxation occurs when the ligaments holding the lens of the eye break down, causing it to dislocate. The dislocation can lead to pain, tears and red eyes that may look hazy or cloudy. If left untreated, PLL can lead to uveitis, a swelling or irritation of the eye, glaucoma or both.

Breeds potentially at risk for PLL include: American Eskimo Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Chinese Crested, Chinese Foo Dog, Jack Russell Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Russell Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier and Welsh Terrier.

The Greyhound Polyneuropathy test can detect the fatal neurological disease specific to the Greyhound show dog population. Symptoms of Greyhound Polyneuropathy include one or more of decreased or absent reflexes, muscle weakness, muscle pain and cramps, and a bunny-hopping gait. The disease usually appears within the first nine months of life and progresses rapidly, requiring most affected dogs be euthanized.

Breeders can use the tests to identify potential carriers of these genes and help ensure healthy litters.

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