Monday, February 28, 2011
Taking Blood For a Good Cause
This is Indy, Ch Blazingstar Brown Ruff CD WC. Today I met Indy and his owners at our vet clinic to have blood drawn for Optigen. Indy was diagnosed with an "optic nerve coloboma" in his left eye four years ago at his CERF eye exam. It basically means he has a small notch out of his optic nerve. It is not big enough to effect his vision and it is no big deal for him. But we were advised that he probably shouldn't be used for breeding incase he produces it to a worse degree in his offspring. We were surprised, as this is an extremely rare condition in flat-coated retrievers and we are not aware of this problem in his background. His parents and grandparents all passed their eye exams, as did his littermates that have had eye testing.
We have been open about Indy's coloboma and included it in his information on a couple of the flat-coat databases. Because of this, we were recently contacted by another flat-coat breeder with information about a research project, looking at coloboma's in several breeds, including flat-coated retrievers. The work is being done by Optigen, a veterinary genetic testing company. They hope to be able to find genetic markers and possibly even understand the mode of inheritance of colobomas.
So today we shipped off Indy's blood and a big stack of paperwork (pedigrees, eye exam results for him and for his parents, etc,) to Optigen in the hopes that he can add to the understanding of the disorder.