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Renal Nephropathy in Bull Terriers
I have been in contact with the Animal Health Trust for some time now with a view to setting up DNA tests for hereditary health problems in the bull terrier breed. I am leaving a legacy which will be used to set up three tests and have given some thought to which tests to request and one of these was the DNA test for renal nephropathy. However I am hearing through the grapevine that there has been a significant rise in the incidence of kidney problems in the breed. The current test is only relevant at the time the dog is tested and that same dog can go on to develop renal nephropathy despite testing clear. This is not a test I wish to wait until I pop my clogs to fund and have decided to appeal to bull terrier clubs, breeders, owners and those with a love of this super breed to pull together to raise the funding to set the project in motion. Now is the time to get a more positive test organised which can tell if the dog is affected, a carrier or clear and this can only be done reliably by DNA testing. I am informed that a project like this could take approximately two years to develop. As soon as funding becomes available I am told the Animal Health Trust are willing to do the required work needed to set up the DNA test for renal nephropathy in bull terriers. It will be wonderful to have this test available so that all breeding stock and litters of pups can be tested and so end the heartbreaking trauma of having a bull terrier you have grown to love as one of your family, die so young from this dreadful kidney problem.
The three tests I intend the legacy funding is deafness, heart problems and aggression/fear affected bull terriers. I need every owner of a bull terrier to help gather material for all the tests. The Animal Health Trust needs DNA samples from clinically diagnosed dogs with these conditions - deafness,- kidney problems,- heart problems and any bull terrier that has to be put to sleep for aggression. With the best will in the world the geneticists at the animal Health Trust cannot start work on setting up the DNA test without these samples which carry the markers for the clinically diagnosed disease. The Animal Health Trust already have a substantial amount of DNA material which was collected when Glasgow Vet School was doing research on bull terriers in the early nineties. The samples were taken at bull terrier shows and were from presumably healthy animals and will be used as clear samples compared to the samples from clinically diagnosed dogs carrying the markers for renal nephropathy, deafness, heart problems and aggression/fear affected bull terriers. All samples supplied will be treated in the strictest confidence. Sample kits can be obtained from me or by applying direct to Bryan McLaughlin at the Animal Health Trust.
Again I stress that all help with samples will be treated in the strictest confidence but you will know who you are and can take great pride in doing your bit to help the breed we love so dearly.
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