Author Topic: Genetic & Clinical Health Test Info & Links  (Read 10328 times)

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Offline Jane S

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Genetic & Clinical Health Test Info & Links
« on: August 23, 2009, 12:10:30 PM »
The following links contain information on the various health tests available for Cocker Spaniels:

DNA testing for the prcd form of GPRA (aka prcd_PRA)
DNA testing for prcd_PRA in the UK is now available as part of the Kennel Club Combi Breed Health Package or from companies such as Laboklin or Pet Genetics Lab.

DNA testing for FN
DNA testing for FN in the UK is now available as part of the Kennel Club Combi Breed Health Package or from companies such as Laboklin or Pet Genetics Lab.

DNA Testing for AMS (Acral Mutilation Syndrome)
This autosomal recessive condition has so far only been seen in working lines. It affects puppies and results in lesions on distal extremities caused by self-mutilation, featuring loss of sensitivity to pain on distal limbs, tendency to lick or bite their own pads, resulting in auto-amputation of claws, digits and footpads in severe cases; however there is no limping. A DNA test which can identify whether a dog is a carrier, affected or clear of the condition is available in the UK as part of the Kennel Club Combi Breed Health Package or from companies such as Laboklin or Pet Genetics Lab.

DNA Testing for AON (Adult Onset Neuropathy)
AON is an Autosomal Recessive condition seen in some older Cockers (typically aged 7-9). It is a progressive weakness due to a neuropathy which results initially in a wobbly or uncoordinated gait affecting the hind limbs (the stance is wide and hocks will drop lower to the ground). As the condition advances, the front legs are also affected so that the dog is unable to walk and difficulties in swallowing are also seen (progression takes 3 to 4 years). A DNA test has been developed in the USA by the University of Missouri and is now available from the Orthopaedic Foundation of America:
NB This test is not available in the UK - DNA samples must be sent to the OFA in America

This condition was initially thought to affect only solid Cockers but carriers have now been detected in all colours in the USA and other countries. As with any other Autosomal Recessive condition, a copy of the AON gene must be inherited from both parents for the disease to occur. With recessive conditions like AON, there are 3 genetic categories, affected, normal and carriers. Breeders can use the available DNA test to ensure that Carriers/Affected dogs are only mated to Normal (Clear) dogs to avoid producing affected progeny.

Clinical Eye testing under the BVA/KC Scheme
Cockers should be tested for three conditions: GPRA, CPRA (now known as RPED or Retinal Pigment Epithelial Dystrophy) and Glaucoma. GPRA & CPRA should be tested for annually from 12 months old. Current advice is that gonioscopy (predisposition to Glaucoma) is performed at approximately 1, 4 and 7-8 years of age. When goniscopy tests are carried out, the results are classified into grades which allows for more informed breeding decisions. Under this scheme, dogs are either classified as Grade 0 (unaffected), Grade 1 (mildly affected), Grade 2 (moderately affected) or Grade 3 (severely affected). More information on the Kennel Club website HERE

Cockers are also "under investigation" for Multi-ocular Defects (MOD) and Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM). "Under investigation" means that data is being sought on the occurrence of these conditions but they are not yet proven to be hereditary.

NB: The clinical eye test can only ever give a "snap shot" of the dog's eye status at the time of being tested. A dog can be clinically tested clear one year but may not be clear when tested at a later date.

Hip Scoring under the BVA/KC Scheme

Health Test Results
All DNA test results, BVA/KC eye test results and hip scores are published in the quarterly KC Breed Record Supplements. There is also a list of DNA test results on the KC website as follows:


NB: Not all testing companies automatically submit test results to the Kennel Club. Results that do get automatically sent to the KC include those from KC Combi Breed, Laboklin and Pet Genetics Lab. If you use a company that does not submit results to the KC, you will have to submit them yourself by scanning and emailing them to (You will need at least two forms of identification on the result certificate. These must include the dog's microchip or tattoo number along with either the dog's registered name or registered number).

Updated March 2021