We are delighted to report that a mutation causing Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA4) in the Lhasa Apso has been identified by the the Animal Health Trust and that a DNA test for this mutation has been launched. This form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy is called PRA4 to distinguish it from other genetic forms of PRA that occur in other breeds, and has so far been found to be unique to the Lhasa Apso.
The control group consisted of 17 affected dogs, and 27 dogs which had been clinically eye tested unaffected at the age of 8 and/or over 8 years old. We were informed that two of the 17 clinically affected dogs tested negative for PRA4. This could suggest there is another form of PRA but one which is much more rare.
Therefor it is highly advisable for all breeding dogs to still have their eyes clinically examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist prior to breeding and throughout their lives, with at least one examination occurring when the dog is at least 8 years of age, so that any cases of PRA caused by additional mutations and other conditions such as cataract, lens luxation, glaucoma etc. can be detected.
The PRA4-DNA test can be ordered here: https://www.ahtdnatesting.co.uk/test-step-2/?type=canine&breed=163
There is a discount code available for a launch price on this test. This code will allow you to purchase the test at £35, reduced from the standard price of £48. The code is 3234XUPB32 and it is valid until 30/9/2017. Please note that the option to enter the discount code is located at the last page with payment.
ILAC would like to express its gratitude to every single party that participated in this accomplishment. Combined efforts by scientists, breeders, breed clubs, individual owners and the persons who raised funding for the research is what lead to this PRA4-DNA test. Thank you all so much!!