Announcement Regarding PRA-PRCD Findings in Rat Terrier Breed
October 4, 2016
Within the past few days, there was an announcement regarding the discovery of a 7-year-old Rat Terrier had recently been tested and found to be at risk for “Progressive retinal atrophy, Progressive rod-cone degeneration At-Risk” (PRA-PRCD). There are several forms but this is a disease that affects the sight in several breeds.
We have done some initial research with the testing lab involved. It was explained that this designation was assigned as “at risk” because at this time it is unknown how this dog will be affected by this finding. This Rat Terrier was found to have two copies of the gene known to cause PRA-PRCD in other breeds. It was further explained that different breeds can have different markers for disease which not only vary in how symptoms are expressed within the breed but also from individual to individual of the breed. This is the same in humans where one person may have very mild symptoms of a disease while another has debilitating symptoms with devastating results. There are many factors within the body that work with genes and at this time only observation and time will reveal the answers for what this means for the Rat Terrier breed.
It is important for us to know if any of our present day dogs have inherited this factor before the varieties were split into two breeds. Not all labs are set up to detect this particular gene and it was recommended by the Rat Terrier owner involved that breeders use either Paw Print Genetics or Optigen. (It was also noted that these are the only two labs that the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals accepts results from.)
As we discover more about this situation, we will inform you as quickly as possible regarding how this may affect Teddy Roosevelt Terriers.
In good health,