Mottling in eye(s)
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  • M

    When we agreed to take Q into our family we were aware he was diagnosed with Retinopathy/PRA while he was in Finland.

    Fortunately for Q we had a second opinion performed by Dr. Aguirre of the University of Pennsylvania this past Sunday and his determination was it is simply mottling/discoloration that is apparently not uncommon with this breed as they age. They do not know what causes it but stated it is not a inherited condition.

    He does have some small cataracts in his left eye but they should not adversely affect his vision.

    Has anyone else had any experience with this mottling?

    On a side note he stated they are getting very close to determining the gene that causes PRA in Basenji's and developing a test for it, hopefully sooner than later we can be rid of it in the breed.

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  • D

    I have never heard of it and I tried to do a search on it but could not find anything. How old is your boy? My rescue girl who is 9 has a cataract in one eye and she gets seen by an opthalmologist every one or two years to make sure the cataract has not changed. So far, they have been able to see around it so she does not need surgery. She is the one that catches birds!

    I have had older Basenjis with retinal changes but have never had one with PRA and this includes just about all of the rescues I have had since the mid 90s. What age does PRA usually develop in Basenjis? Is PRA common in Basenjis?

    Jennifer

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  • M

    Q will be 8 years old in November.

    The BCOA has this information to offer on PRA and it states anywhere from 3 to 13 years on average:
    https://www.basenji.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=155&Itemid=292#PRA

    I think it's hard to say how common it is as I have no idea what % of the dogs out there are getting the CERF exams.
    I believe I read it is most prevalent in male Huskies, but Basenji's are also said to be prone to it. I wish I knew more but that is why I am here asking those that know more than I :)

    I was just curious if anyone else out there had a false positive like we did. I am just so happy I won't have to deal with our new son having to go down that road (really it's me being selfish, the dog would handle it fine, I'd be a wreck).

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  • It is a genetic concern in Basenjis and has been, breeders have been aware of PRA for years. Where did you hear that they were close to finding the gene? No one in the US has heard this? Who is it that is claiming this? EDIT…. I just read your post that you got your boy from Chris. She posted on another list about "close to a gene for PRA" and many on that list posted asking for more information since none of us has heard this....

    And yes, false positive is not uncommon in our breed. It is also been called "bronzing". Since many do not report their CERF exams to OFA, there is no real way to know the % of Basenjis that may have PRA. There are certain bloodlines that we know carry the gene and have either had it themselves or produced it in offspring.

    As breeders we think that it is (and hoping) it is recessive, but nothing has been proven yet.... and IMO, not enough people have their old dogs CERF'ed so we do not have good information

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  • M

    This is who mentioned it, it is the doctor that did the examination and is involved in the research AFAIK:

    http://www.vet.upenn.edu/FacultyandDepartments/Faculty/tabid/362/Default.aspx?faculty_id=20894

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  • D

    Charlie and I had a couple of older rescues, ages 5-8, that were misdiagnosed. They were later found to have age related retinal changes. I had them rechecked by an opthalmologist at the Indy National who was familiar with Basenjis because I thought it was odd that these dogs had the same diagnosis-PRA. None of them were related. My Arnie who is 11 also has age related retinal changes.

    I believe Dr. Aguirre is speaking at the Basenji National in Gettysburg this year. I am hoping to attend.

    Jennifer

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  • Well, congratulations is in order, a misdiagnosis in your case turned out to be a great thing! And good for you for accepting Q despite knowing ( at the time) he had PRA, I doubt it's an easy thing to face head on. So glad for Q!

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  • Thanks for that.. interesting that no one else in the Basenji Fancy is aware of this… ... sorry, but unless this is linked to the breed, I would wonder as the U of Mo that did all the Fanconi tested to get to the direct gene is the one that have been getting DNA samples from PRA dogs and/or offspring/families

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  • I

    @tanza:

    Since many do not report their CERF exams to OFA, there is no real way to know the % of Basenjis that may have PRA. There are certain bloodlines that we know carry the gene and have either had it themselves or produced it in offspring.

    As breeders we think that it is (and hoping) it is recessive, but nothing has been proven yet…. and IMO, not enough people have their old dogs CERF'ed so we do not have good information

    Couple of quick comments - for determining percentage of dogs affected, it doesn't matter if people report their CERF exams to OFA or CERF or not. There are other good reasons to do that, but statistics are not one of them. CERF statistical reports, which are what you would use to try to show the incidence, show the entire set of all dogs that received CERF exams, whether their owners sent in the forms to CERF or to OFA or not.

    A wide range of bloodlines have either had PRA or produced it in their offspring - the focus on certain bloodlines is generally misleading. Unless breeders are routinely testing at an advanced age - and very few are - you really don't know what you do or do not have.

    The biggest problem, when you look at the statistical reports - which again, are complete for all dogs receiving CERF exams - is that so few older dogs are getting CERF exams. The issue isn't incomplete reports, since CERF tallies every single CERF exam from the practitioner forms, not the forms the owner sends in. The issue is an extremely small sample set that may or may not be representative.

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  • I

    @tanza:

    Thanks for that.. interesting that no one else in the Basenji Fancy is aware of this… ... sorry, but unless this is linked to the breed, I would wonder as the U of Mo that did all the Fanconi tested to get to the direct gene is the one that have been getting DNA samples from PRA dogs and/or offspring/families

    Drs Acland and Aguirre have been collecting DNA samples from PRA dogs and their families since the 1980's. Everett and Karen Pashley did test breedings for them in the 1980's and 1990's, and Everett wrote many articles on it.

    In the 1990's and 2000's, I worked with breeders with a variety of bloodlines to help put together related clusters. This effort included having the Drs A speak, arranging clinics for eye exams and and blood collection, and driving dogs up to Kennett Square, where Dr Acland also works. Dr Acland spoke at the 1996 National, and had a large and well attended eye clinic there where they took blood samples. We have had organized attendance at their other eye clinics, not just at Nationals, and they've taken DNA samples there. I wrote several articles for it and for a while we had a special PRA committee dedicated to raising funds and collecting samples. If you remember the Basenji PRA pins that Damara Bolte created, that was part of that effort.

    In the late 90's or early 2000's, Betty White, Toni Ackerman, I think Carolyn Rollins, and I drove a large number of dogs - not our own dogs, but dogs related to specific dogs the researchers were interested in - up to PA. That trip was sort of a Basenji PRA express, with dogs collected from pet owners and breeders across a fairly wide area, picked up, driven to Kennett Square, examined and sampled, and then dropped back off.

    Several breeders have been working with them steadily for many years. The Drs A have collected samples of any dog of interest.

    I would guess they have the largest collection of Basenji PRA DNA samples in the world. Things have been quiet for a long while, but they certainly have the sample set to do impressive research.

    Parenthetically, the doctor speaking at Nationals is Acland, not Aguirre.

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  • I don't know that saying it is close is correct– perhaps the Dr said that to the OP personally but nothing in the article says the PRA genes are close to being identified. That said, just because "no one else in the Baenji Fancy is aware of" anything doesn't mean it isn't true. Obviously they are making general headway. Once that is done, usually they then have to focus breed by breed to narrow many inheritable factors down. Often they START with one or a few high-incidence breeds, then expand outward but if they feel the same genes play a role in most/all, their approach makes sense.

    Only when breed clubs set up truly stellar genetic testing protocols, require that all tests be posted to even be LISTED on club sites, and a big to-do and applause done for those obtaining the highest markers for testing (including OLDER DOGS in their lines.. hell I checked thyroid on my rotties til they were geriatric because late onset thyroid issues are common), will we see much change. I am looking for a stud for one of my friend's rotties and I cannot tell you how sick I am of hearing "we did them, just forgot to submit to OFA." BS, do it, because as far as I am concerned, one of 2 things is true-- either the dog didn't do it or failed. And it did pass and you really didn't submit, then you are a breeder who hides results and cannot be trusted in general. Done.) will breeders be pushed to step up.

    I don't want to have breed wardens who must approve breedings, but I do wish that clubs would set a minimum (with a high standard) and that no dog litters from breedings not meeting those could be registered. AKC will never do that, I know. :( LOL maybe they could have a breed standard breeding TEST CHECK LIST so that at least people could see all those empty boxes.

    Sorry y'all, every could of years I help one or the other of my line's owners do THE SEARCH and it drives me insane. I am getting old-- ask me about rotties from 15 to 50 yrs back, we're good. I need the damned tests on the new ones, lol.

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  • M

    That's what he said, but as you stated "close" to a researcher could mean quite some time for us consumers.

    He wants us to send blood samples to his associate from the 3 dogs he tested as well.

    I was not attempting to spread misinformation, just passing along heresay from a (I am assuming) reputable source.

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  • Seems your source may have take the statement/conversation out of context…....

    Dr Aguirre is considered an expert in the field, however he has been contacted personally to clarify and his response is (and I quote: "Sad about internet how information is posted in the web without thought and then people like me have to spend time correcting this information."

    He goes on to say the the converations as meant to help breeders find the gene and that DNA from affilicted dogs would be important for the work being done by Orly Goldstein at Cornell.

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  • M

    Please forgive me if I misunderstood what he said. It sounded much more hopeful than that reply.

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  • I don't think that you misunderstood…. were you just not repeating what the breeder told you? I think it was that breeder that misunderstood...

    And even if it was you, no worries.... as with everything, good to verify sources and comments.

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  • M

    No. We were both there.

    So we both misunderstood. Not surprising I guess as we are not doctors.

    We were both so happy with his diagnosis (to be honest I was expecting bad news that day) after examining Q that perhaps we just absorbed the positive words.

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  • Yes, bronzing is quite common in Basenjis and often it is mistaken for possible beginning of PRA. I had a bitch like that and so was her son. You need a good eye specialist that understands and knows the breed.

    So, yes, that is good news for your boy….. especially seeing there is PRA in his pedigree (and my bitch & her son carried some of the same dogs in their pedigree so I am quite familar with the bloodlines)

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