Lafora Disease screening success showcased on Crufts 2014 TV coverage

The health of pedigree dogs continues to be in the spotlight, so it’s great to see success stories highlighted and what better place to do it than the Crufts TV coverage.

Channel 4 on 8th March featured a discussion with KC Veterinary advisor Nick Blaney who talked about some of the work being done to ensure pedigree dogs are fit and healthy.  Lafora Disease in Mini Wire Dachshunds was used a s a case study to explain how simple recessive mutations could, in many cases, be tested for and how breeders can make use of these tests to eradicate the mutation through careful breeding.

Sue Holt (Waldmeister MWs and a member of our Health Sub-committee) was interviewed by Kate Beavan and very clearly and concisely explained the Lafora situation:

  • It is a form of late-onset epilepsy, that typically begins to show symptoms from 6 years onwards
  • It is caused by a recessive genetic mutation that appeared in the breed some years ago
  • There is a DNA test available to identify dogs that are Clear of the mutation, those which are Carriers and those Affected
  • Current test results show that around 10% of the population may be Affected and around 40% are Carriers
  • All potential breeding stock should be tested prior to breeding and the results used to select suitable mates whereby affected puppies will not be produced
  • Buyers of Mini Wires should only buy from breeders who are using the test and can guarantee their puppies will not be affected by Lafora

A new, updated Dach-Facts leaflet on Lafora Disease was produced for Crufts and is available to download here (pdf).  There is also a Lafora Support Group and website here.

 

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