questions about these or any of the other projects undertaken by
the Health Committee with the approval of the ISCA Board of
Directors, please contact the Chairman,
Health Committee Report
Dec. 2010 Health Committee Report
Feb. 2011 Health Committee Report
April 2011 Health Committee Report
Epilepsy Research Progress Report
Osteosarcoma Research Progress Report
Cancer Research Progress Report
Report on HOD Research Progress
Report on Osteosarcoma Research Progress
Report on HOD Research Progress
Report on Hemangiosarcoma Research
Progress (Aug. 2012)
Probiotic VSL# 3 Reduces
Enteritis in Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD Grant Update
Info on Canine Influenza Virus
Neutering affects golden retriever health
risks--UC Davis Vet Med News - Interesting news from
Another article on spay / neuter considerations;
ISCA is proud to be
a champion sponsor of the AKC CHF Bloat Initiative project. This
unique approach will focus on both education and research. To
help educate dog owners about bloat, AKC CHF will launch a free
webinar in mid-2013 describing possible causes of bloat,
susceptible breeds, symptoms, medical intervention, and
explanation of research needed.
It is also with great pride that we share the news that S. Gary
Brown DVM will assist in screening the initial Letters of Intent
that AKC CHF receives from applicants for the bloat grants. A
winner of ISCA's prestigious E. Irving Eldredge Award, Gary is a
successful board certified surgeon with his own practice
Veterinary Orthopedic & Surgery Service in Fremont Ca, as well
as a professor for Western University -College of Veterinary
For complete information about this exciting project go to:
new Irish Setter Health Study!
Click on this link to go to the study:
How to use this survey:
This Health Survey is the fourth in a series
conducted by the Health Committee of the Irish
Setter Club of America. The last survey we conducted
was in 2003. Much has changed in our breed since
then. Our population is smaller in numbers now, so
in order to serve our breed it is important that all
Irish Setter owners participate in this project.
The findings published in past studies have guided
the research funds which the Foundation and the
Health Committee commit to scientific studies. Only
by surveying the current state of health in our
breed are we able to determine which health issues
are of most significance today.
This survey will be analyzed and recorded for ISCA
by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). All
information submitted is confidential and numbers
are used only in aggregate.
Please use a separate survey form for each Irish
Setter you have owned, living or deceased. As you
complete a survey for each dog, simply restart a new
one for the next dog you are reporting.
In order to complete the survey you will need
information regarding your dog's health.
Your veterinarian will be able to supply you with a
list of issues your dog has had diagnosed , so that
you are able to use the diagnosis listed under each
category. Whenever possible, please use a veterinary
diagnosis. There is a box under every category where
you can add a diagnosis if it is not listed.
You will need to indicate which vaccines your dog
has had, and what flea/tick and heartworm
preventative you use.
You will be asked what health clearances your dogs
have, so have your certificates at hand for each
This is a very comprehensive survey. It may take you
20-30 minutes to complete, especially for the first
dog you submit. In many instances, when you answer
"yes" there are other questions that will populate.
Please share the link to this survey with every
Irish setter owner you know. ALL Irish setter owners
are invited to participate in order to make this
survey as valid, valuable and complete as possible.
Real time results
for the survey's
taken so far.
ISCA Foundation presents
Its Latest Educational DVD
Thyroid Disorders--The Latest
W. Jean Dodds DVM
ISCA National Health Symposium 2012
Cost: $30 includes shipping
To Order Contact: Sarah Shuman firstname.lastname@example.org
918 443 9184
hour DVD will help you understand:
o What is hypothyroidism
o What is autoimmune thyroiditis
o What blood tests should be run to screen for
o How low thyroid function can affect a dog
o Clinical Signs of Thyroid Dysfunction
o Top 10 Clarifications about Canine Hypothyroidism
o How and when should thyroid medicine be given
o When and how should a dog be retested to make sure
they are on correct dose of thyroid medicine
o To breed or not to breed a dog with thyroid issues
o Question and answer period from the 2012 Irish
Setter Foundation Health Symposium
Plus a two special bonus topics:
Treating Fading Puppy Syndrome or Orphan Puppies
Nutriscan: Food Sensitivity Saliva Test
Schultz Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Canine Antibody Testing: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the appropriate procedure for collecting and shipping blood for
Collect 1 to 3 mls of blood in a sterile tube (red stopper or
serum separator) and allow it to clot. The blood
tube can be shipped with the clot, but separated
serum (without the clot) is a much better sample.
Wrap sample tube in padding, such as paper towel,
and place in a plastic zip-lock bag in a sturdy
shipping container. It can be sent without cold
packs if necessary, but a cold pack wrapped with
some newspaper is ideal. Separated serum samples
may be frozen before shipment, but serum still on
the clot must not be allowed to freeze, as this
causes the sample to become strongly discolored.
The sample should be sent to arrive 2 days (no later
than 4 days) after collection. Please keep in mind
that our lab does not accept sample submissions on
What is the benefit of antibody testing? Why not just revaccinate?
Antibody or titer testing is much safer than revaccinating an already
immune animal. Although the potential for the
vaccine to cause an adverse reaction is low, if the
animal does not need the vaccine, this risk is
completely unnecessary and the dog should not be
vaccinated! The canine viruses which cause
distemper (CDV), parvoviral enteritis (CPV-2), and
infectious hepatitis (CAV-1), along with rabies
virus, have a high correlation between presence of
antibody and protective immunity. The two antibody
tests that are most often recommended in lieu of
revaccination are for CDV and CPV-2, as explained in
detail below. When the tests show the animal is
protected by antibody, there is no need for
revaccination. Whereas, when the tests show the
animal does not have antibody, the animal should be
vaccinated, as CDV and CPV-2 cause severe, life
threatening diseases that often result in expensive
treatment procedures and high morbidity even with
treatment. Some dogs that survive will have
lifelong neurologic problems (especially survivors
How often should I perform an antibody test for canine distemper (CDV) or
canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2)?
The most important time in the life of a dog to perform an
antibody test is 2 or more weeks after the last
puppy dose of CDV/CPV-2, which should be given at 14
to 16 weeks of age or older. The reason this is
important is to ensure your puppy is immune to these
two life threatening diseases. If the dog does not
have an antibody titer, it should be revaccinated
immediately and retested 2 or more weeks later to
ensure immunity has developed. These two viruses
are much more likely to cause severe disease and
death in the young animal, but they can cause
disease and death at any age if the animal is not
immunized (has not developed antibody to the
viruses). When demonstrating antibody after the
series of puppy vaccinations, you can test the dog
again in a year. If the dog is immune, you need not
repeat testing more often than every 3 or more
Which viruses are worth testing for, and which aren’t?
With regard to vaccinal immunity or protection from disease,
the serum (blood) tests that are most significant
are for CDV and CPV-2, CAV-1,-2, and rabies (because
they correlate with protective immunity). Antibody
titers for other canine diseases are not of value in
determining protection, but they can be important in
diagnosing diseases (e.g. leptospirosis). It
is important to understand rabies antibody tests,
which are only performed by certain laboratories,
cannot be used in any state in lieu of
revaccination. All states require that dogs remain
current on their vaccinations. Rabies vaccines
should not be given prior to 12 weeks of age; the
dog must be revaccinated in a year, and then
revaccination should be every 3 years!
Do I need to perform a titer for canine adenovirus 1, 2 (CAV-1, -2)?
CAV titers can be performed, but they don’t need
to be performed, because:
Most dogs will respond to the CAV-2 in the
combination vaccine that also contains CDV and
CAV-2 is a common respiratory virus of dogs and even
dogs that don’t get vaccinated will get naturally
infected via contact with other dogs.
Antibody against CAV-2 is protective against CAV-1.
However, if you want to know the immune status of your dog
for CAV-1, -2, an antibody test can be performed.
Those dogs living in or visiting states bordering
Mexico or Canada should be aware that CAV-1
(infectious canine hepatitis) remains a significant
disease of dogs in Mexico, and CAV-1 also remains a
disease of wild foxes in Canada. Therefore, we
continue to include CAV as a core vaccine! Every
dog should receive it.
What do my serology results mean?
Depending on the type of antibody test performed, the results may be
reported as yes or no, or they may be reported as a
dilution (e.g. 1:80, 1:256) or reported as a titer
(e.g. 80, 256). However, the important thing to
understand is that if the CDV or CPV-2 test result
is positive or the dilution is equal or greater than
1:8 or 8 for CDV or 1:20 or 20 for CPV-2 in a
vaccinated dog over 4 months old, the animal has
protective immunity. If the results are negative,
<1:8 for CDV or <1:20 for CPV-2, the dog should be
revaccinated and retested to ensure that it responds
to the vaccine. We have found that in the general
US dog population; there are an estimated 1 in 1,000
dogs that cannot develop antibody to CPV-2 and 1 in
5,000 dogs that cannot develop antibody to CDV due
to genetic factors. We haven’t found a nonresponder
to CAV-1, -2; therefore they are likely to be much
rarer, estimated at 1 in 100,000. We also know that
unresponsiveness occurs for other vaccines as well.
The genetic non-responder is more common in certain
breeds and much more common in certain families of
dogs. Genetic non-responders to CPV-2 were more
common in the Rottweiler and Doberman breeds when
CPV-2 first started infected dogs in 1978. Today,
because of natural elimination of those
non-responders, we don’t find those two breeds have
any greater number of non-responders.
What vaccine should I use to revaccinate after a negative test result?
Some owners prefer to revaccinate with a vaccine
containing CPV-2 or CDV only (monovalent) when their
animal doesn’t have immunity to that virus. It is
uncommon for a veterinary practice to stock
monovalent vaccines. If the owner prefers a single
viral component, we can send a dose of the
monovalent vaccine to the veterinarian for a $25
Additional information regarding vaccination
guidelines and a discussion of antibody testing can
be found at
Important Information Regarding Running Titres on Dogs
Vaccinated with RecombiTEK vaccine:
Dr. Ronald Schultz has provided us with important insight about
running titers on dogs vaccinated with RecombiTEK vaccine. It is
important that the lab to which you are sending your titers
performs the viral neutralization (VN) test (Primarily
University Labs, Cornell, CSU, Michigan State, Others). If this
test is not used and your puppies are low responders, they would
give a false negative result on the tests other then VN, whereas
they would be pos. on the VN test. A Pos. on the VN is a titer 4
(or 1:4) or above!
Dr. Schultz said if you wanted to send your serum to his lab he
would perform a CDV and a CPV-2 titer for $25.00. It will take
about 3 to 4 weeks for results. The address of his lab is: Dr.
Laurie Larson, 2015 Linden Dirve, School of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706
|Name of study
||who to contact
||what to do
||matched by Canine
||blood sample-2 EDTA tubes
download form & follow
|none if affected by HOD
CHIC DNA Bank
||be sure to include AKC
number for sire and dam
||indicate ISCA on form
Tissue or blood samples
Tissue or blood samples may be sent to Dr. Matthew Breen,
Dept. of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of
Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700
Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC 27606. Include dog's name and
pedigree. Phone in advance to 919-513-1467 and ask to speak
to Tessa Breen.
osteosarcoma, or lymphoma
Mitzi Lewellen email@example.com or 612-626-6890, press Option 1
|Tissue or blood samples
Info on getting sample kits
||Included in above
Gastric Cancer Study
Elizabeth McNiel, DVM, PhD
Diplomate ACVIM Oncology
Diplomate ACVR Radiation Oncology
Tufts Medical Center
800 Washington Street #5609 Boston, MA 02111
Based on a
search of the Veterinary Medicine Database, Irish Setters
have 5 times the risk of other dogs to develop stomach
cancer. In general, stomach cancer is quite rare in dogs, so
even with an increased risk, it may be that stomach cancer
is not very common in Irish setters. Stomach cancer is also
very difficult to diagnose since the signs can be very vague
and nonspecific and procedures like endoscopy and surgery
are expensive. Many cases go undiagnosed.
For more information on a study "Positional cloning of the
Gene(s) for gastric cancer in the Chow Chow" undertaken at
Michigan State University by Elizabeth McNiel, DVM, PhD,
Diplomate ACVIM Oncology, Diplomate ACVR Radiation Oncology.
Dr. McNiel has indicated that Irish setter samples would be
welcome and would be included in this study.
Blood sample submission form
Tissue Sample Submission form
||5-10 cc's from affected dog
||download forms and sample
instructions. AKC pedigree is needed, forms for litter
Cornell Diagnostic lab
||download forms and sample
||as per Cornell
||none at this time. Samples
stored by Dr. Marjory Brooks
|CHIC DNA Repository
CHIC DNA Bank
||blood sample-2 EDTA tubes
||download form & follow
||none, $20 fee waived if
The Irish Setter Club of America Health Committee is pleased to
report a new initiative in the search for a research study into
the causes of Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) in our breed.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has offered to take
and store blood samples from dogs who have been affected with
HOD until such time as these samples are needed for a new study.
OFA has also been in contact with the University of California
at Davis, which has retained the samples previously sent to
them. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory there has indicated
that they will release those samples and related paperwork to
the OFA/CHIC Sample Repository data bank.
We encourage all those who have been anxious to get started on a
new HOD research venture to participate in this first step.
It is simple to do. All information on how to send blood samples
and information can be found on the following website:
http://www.caninehealthinfo.org This will put you on
the CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) web page. There you
will find a link to the CHIC DNA Repository. That will give you
details about this DNA storage bank and an application which you
may download, fill out and send to the address listed. You will
receive a survey form and a kit to take to your veterinarian.
The director of OFA encourages us to use blood samples rather
than cheek swabs. This is particularly important for ISCA
members because blood is stored at the University of Missouri
and cheek swabs are sent to the laboratory at UC Davis. Since
this laboratory appears to be no longer interested in our
project, it makes no sense to send anything there.
There is no fee for blood samples sent to OFA/CHIC Repository
from dogs who have been affected with HOD. You do not have to
send pedigrees as long as the sire and dam with their registered
numbers are provided. OFA/CHIC can access the rest of the
information through AKC when the time comes.
We are excited to have this opportunity and hope it leads to a
research project soon. Please help us by informing everyone who
has had experience with HOD and can provide the blood samples
and information to participate.
Health Committee Chair (Past)
Chair ISCA Foundation
Member, AKC/CHF Grants committee
As many of you
know, the ISCA Foundation has been sponsoring research by Drs.
Keith Murphy and Alison Starr about HOD (Hypertrophic
Osteodystrophy). There were speakers at our health conference at
the National in Wisconsin 2010, and gave us insight into their
progress thus far.
That progress is encouraging. However we are at a critical
juncture. We MUST get more samples from HOD affected dogs!
ISCA members had made it clear to the Health committee and the
ISCA Board and Foundation that HOD was an important disease
process for us to fund. While we are so lucky to have the
protocol in place, written and researched by our own Gary Brown
DVM ACVS, the causes of HOD remain a mystery as do the genetic
aspects (if any) of HOD.
The only way we can help to unlock the mysteries surrounding HOD
is to SUPPORT the research by sending in samples from affecteds!
It is time for our owners and breeders to make this a priority!
Just to highlight how much progress we seem to be making, I am
including part of a note I received from Dr. Alsion Starr:
“We have completed preliminary analyses with the SNP arrays, and
I have some intriguing data, but I need more dogs - particularly
affecteds (I can get more normal controls from CHIC) - to
This is VERY exciting news. It is URGENT that any owner or
breeder that knows of a HOD affected dog (this means a dog who
actually had HOD) to be SURE that we have blood samples from
that dog to assist in our study.
The sad fact is that we know that there are many more HOD
affected dogs, who are living excellent lives, whose owners have
not taken the time to send in DNA samples.
There are two ways to do this. You can follow the links on the
ISCA website that explains how to submit blood samples to CHIC.
For those who prefer to have the info in written form here in
the Memo, here is the outline of how to submit a sample:
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) has established a DNA
repository into which individuals may contribute blood samples
of the dogs they own. The samples will be stored for use in
future research and would be available to researchers interested
in specific disease projects. At the National Specialty in
Oklahoma City on Wednesday May 4th our Health Clinic Blood draw
will include the opportunity for owners to participate. Blood
drawn from dogs who have been affected by any of the following
three diseases, or who have had affected siblings or parents
will not be charged for this. They are: epilepsy, osteosarcoma
or HOD. All you need to do is to indicate on the online form if
your dogs have had any of these or if the families have been
involved with any of these three.
You can enter your dog’s blood into the repository even if you
have not experienced these particular problems. The ISCA
Foundation will pay the $20 entry fee for your participation.
Online forms are found on the OFA website: www.offa.org.
The forms are available on these webpages:
for the main application, and the health survey, which must
accompany the samples is at
http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/CHIC DNA Bank health survey.pdf
Canine Genetic Research at Clemson University
Samples may also be submitted directly to Dr Murphy’s lab. The
link to that website’s HOD page is posted below. There you will
find forms and instructions for participation. http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/genbiochem/people/faculty_web/kmurphy/projects/hod.html
If you have questions you can contact Dr. Alison Starr directly:
Alison N. Starr, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
51 New Cherry St; 319 BRC
Clemson SC 29634
office: 864.656.0191 or 864 656 6877
Any blood samples sent will automatically be forwarded to CHIC,
so that other researchers can also access them, once Drs. Starr
and Murphy have finished using them.
If there is a financial reason for your not sending your dog’s
blood sample via either of these methods, PLEASE contact me
privately! Best way to contact me is via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also welcome to call my cell 908 216 2357, although I
work midnight shifts and can be hard to get on the phone!
Funds may be available for you to help with shipping and other
related costs. All of us fall on tough financial situations from
time to time, and it is important to the health of our beloved
Irish setters that no person hesitate to be part of this study
with their HOD affected dog due to lack of funds.
All inquiries of this nature will of course be kept
If you prefer to discuss that circumstance with Dr. Starr
instead of me, please do not hesitate to do so. She too can help
to facilitate shipping, etc.
Please be sure to talk to your fellow breeders about this study
and the need for samples. We will once again be doing a DNA
clinic at the Oklahoma National Specialty in May. However the
need for research samples is SO urgent that we would greatly
appreciate an HOD affected samples be sent to either CHIC or
Drs. Murphy & Starr as soon as possible.
It is important that we all remember that our participation in
any of the genetic studies ISCA Foundation sponsors is one of
the major ways to help unlock the key to better understanding of
Protocol for treatment of Hypertrophic
Osteodystrophy (HOD) in Irish
HOD is a serious illness affecting puppies, usually between 4-7
months of age. It is characterized by fever, pain, swelling of the
joints, lethargy, lack of appetite. If left untreated permanent
deformity of the front legs may occur. The treatment protocol
recommended here has been developed by ISCA member, S. Gary Brown,
DVM, an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Brown may be contacted at
email@example.com . It
is recommended that the dog’s veterinarian be the contact with Dr.
Brown for most efficient and timely treatment.
Funded by ISCA Foundation
The Health Committee has recommended that ISCA become part of a new
study into the genetic causes of certain types of cancer in canines.
Osteosarcoma is a major cause of death in large breed dogs, Irish
Setters among them. ISCA has participated in the first part of an
osteosarcoma study with the Broad Institute at MIT. This study has
been able to identify preliminary regions of the canine genome that
may influence risk in Rottweilers. This new study will continue this
work with two of the foremost cancer researchers in the world, Drs.
Matthew Breen and Jaime Modiano.
Tissue or blood samples may be sent to Dr. Matthew Breen, Dept. of
Molecular Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North
Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC 27606.
Include dog's name and pedigree. Phone in advance to
919-513-1467 and ask to speak to Tessa Breen.
The study is called: Heritable and Sporadic Lesions in Canine
Osteosarcoma. The research will use advanced technology to pinpoint
specific genes that are associated with breed-dependent risk, using
Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers and other breeds. Since Irish Setters
are already in the Broad study, we feel this is a good opportunity
for us to continue this work. The ISCA Foundation has received two
large gifts totaling $5,100 which has been contributed to the AKC
Canine Health Foundation for this project.
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) has established a DNA
repository into which individuals may contribute blood samples of
the dogs they own. The samples will be stored for use in future
research and would be available to researchers interested in
specific disease projects. At the National Specialty in Santa Rosa
on June 13th our Health Clinic Blood draw will include the
opportunity for owners to participate. Blood drawn from dogs who
have been affected by any of the following three diseases, or who
have had affected siblings or parents will not be charged for this.
They are: epilepsy, osteosarcoma or HOD. All you need to do is to
indicate on the online form if your dogs have had any of these or if
the families have been involved with any of these three.
You can enter your dog’s blood into the repository even if you have
not experienced these particular problems. The ISCA Foundation will
pay the $20 fee for your participation
Online forms are found on the OFA website:
The forms are available on these webpages:
the main application, and the health survey, which must accompany
the samples is at
http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/CHIC DNA Bank health survey.pdf
Questions can be answered by Anne Marie Kubacz at
Jan Ziech at JanRedDog@msn.com.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disease
which causes dogs to become blind. This project, which is now
complete, was the focus of research for over 25 years. Due to the
support and diligence of Irish Setter owners and breeders,
scientists were able to discover the mutation on the gene which
causes PRA in Irish Setters. A DNA blood test was developed which
reveals normal dogs, carriers and affected dogs. Dogs can be tested
as soon after birth as it is safe to draw blood.
Before the discovery of the DNA blood test, breeders test-mated their
dogs, an arduous and heartbreaking process, in order to eliminate
carriers from the breeding pool. To keep track of those test-mated
dogs, the Irish
Setter Genetic Registry was formed, independently of ISCA, but
closely affiliated with it. ISGR monitored all the paperwork and
procedures that each individual followed. TM (test mated) numbers
were given to all those dogs passing a test mating. If two TM dogs
were mated, then their offspring were issued TMA (Test Mated
Once the blood test was developed it was thought that ISGR would no
longer be needed, but breeders found there still exists a need for a
registry that would enable them to keep track of the status of their
blood tested offspring.
The blood test is administered by a veterinarian and sent to
Optigen, the only laboratory currently approved by ISCA to analyze
and record the data on individual dogs. Once the dog has been DNA
tested results are sent by Optigen to
CERF (Canine Eye
Registry Foundation) at the University of Illinois. The owners of the dog
receive a certificate from CERF,
which sends the results of dogs tested
clear to OFA who is now administering ISGR . The owner of the dog
must fill out an appropriate form and send it along to OFA with a
fee of $7.50 in order to be registered with ISGR.
If the sire and dam of a litter have both been DNA blood tested by
Optigen, their offspring can receive a Gene Tested Ancestry (GTA)
certificate. In order for this to be issued, the CERF certificate
must be submitted along with an application obtained from ISGR. The
combination of the DNA Optigen blood test, which enables the dog to
get a permanent CERF number and the ISGR registry, offers breeders
the proof that their puppies have been cleared of PRA.
For those interested in registering blood tested dogs with ISGR or
registering offspring of dogs already in the registry
Sandy Novocin, 14311 Shirley
Bohn Road, Mt. Airy, MD 21771
All forms now should be sent to the following address:
2300 E. Nifong Blvd.
Columbia, Missouri 65201
Information about the DNA blood test can be obtained by contacting
Optigen at e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Optigen website:
www.optigen.com. All applications and instructions can be found
To download the form for registering blood tested dogs with ISGR click
To download the form for registering offspring of tested sires and
dams click here.
For information about CERF contact
Important Notice for Dogs to Be Tested by Optigen for
Make sure when getting dogs blood tested by Optigen for PRA that
you also register for CERF registration by paying the
extra fee. If you do not do that, none of dogs tested by Optigen
or their offspring will be eligible to be registered with ISGR.
CERF does not give numbers to offspring..(.only ISGR) so it is
important if your aim is to get numbers for the parents in ISGR
and any offspring that you also register for the CERF
registration fee on the Optigen registration form.
"A Message from Eddie Dziuk, CEO
of OFA, regarding registering genetically clear PRA offspring at
There are essentially 2 ways of listing PRA clearances for Irish
Setters, through the OFA and through the ISGR which the OFA
administers for the ISCA.
OFA wise, owners can register their Optigen Test Results with
the OFA, and receive and OFA number. Or for first generation off
spring of clear parents where all three, sire/dam/offspring have
been DNA profiled to verify parentage, the OFA will issue a
clearance with a CBP (Clear By Parentage) suffix at the end of
the assigned OFA number. The OFA’s CBP policy can be found on
the OFA website at:
This policy is applied consistently across all DNA based
The 2nd way of listing clearances is through the ISGR.
The OFA began administering the ISGR for the ISCA in early 2008.
All historical data was imported, we maintain the database, and
have been issuing ISGR numbers since we began the administration
process. For ISGR, owners can submit their Optigen reports and
they are assigned ISGR numbers in the format: ISGR-DNA-####-GT.
The numbering format indicates that the dog was Gene Tested. For
descendants of clear dogs, the only requirement to be issued a
number is that the sire and dam both have existing ISGR
clearance numbers. There is no restrictive limit on the number
of generations that will be cleared, and there is no requirement
that parentage verification be documented. These were the
existing ISGR guidelines when we took over the program, and we
continue to run ISGR under the same criteria. Clear descendants
are issued numbers in the format: ISGR-GTA-###, GTA indicating
“Gene Tested Ancestry”.
BOTH OFA and ISGR PRA clearance numbers are displayed on the OFA
BOTH OFA and ISGR PRA clearance numbers meet the PRA requirement
Hopefully this clears up any misconceptions, more importantly
To download the form for registering blood tested dogs with ISGR click
To download the form for registering offspring of tested sires and
dams click here.
WHAT IS CLAD AND
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
CLAD (Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency is an inherited condition
which is seen in Irish Setters and Irish Red and White Setters. It
has been found in England and in Scandinavia, where the original
research was done. The carrier rate was about 12% at the time, but
through careful breeding it has come down. CLAD is carried as a
recessive mutation in which the dog requires two copies of the gene
(CD18) in order to be affected. A dog with one normal gene bred to a
dog with a mutant gene will be a carrier. If both parents carry the
gene the offspring will be affected.
Affected dogs are unable to mount an immune response because the
gene controlling the activity of white blood cells in the body
The symptoms of CLAD are severe, repeated bacterial infections.
Onset may be early, in young puppies. Several puppies in a litter
may be affected. They are often small at birth and appear not to
thrive. Typical symptoms include gingivitis, skin lesions,
dermatitis of the feet, lethargy, lack of appetite and various types
of bone deformity. Thickening of the lower jaw develops with pain so
that the dog will be reluctant to open its mouth. Anemia is usually
present as well as involvement of the lymph nodes.
There is no cure for this disease which grows progressively worse as
the dog matures. Most puppies die early or are euthanized before a
In the United States we are fortunate not to have identified any
affected or carrier Irish Setters in recent years. However, due to
the increased rate of international matings through the use of
frozen semen, or importation of dogs/bitches, it would be prudent
for breeders to act preventively, not reactively.
That is why the Health Committee recommends DNA testing for CLAD at
the same time that the test for PRA is performed. It is done using
the same blood sample and records are kept at Optigen and reported
to CERF and OFA. If you have already tested your dog for PRA, you
may test for CLAD alone.
Connie Vanacore, Health
Committee Past Chair
Linda Kalmar, DVM, Health Clinic Chair
Additional CLAD Information
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
ISCA is a member of the
Health Information Center
(CHIC) which is a repository for information about the health
clearances for which Irish Setters have been tested.
The AKC Canine Health
Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the
for Animals (OFA) jointly sponsor the CHIC database. The mission
statement of CHIC is to provide a source of health information for
owners, breeders and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy
In order to enter an Irish Setter into the CHIC database, the Health
Committee determined that clearance information about hips, eyes and
thyroid must be included. Once a dog has been tested for these three
conditions it is eligible to be admitted to this data base. For the
exact tests required,
and to search for
Irish Setters listed with CHIC, consult the CHIC website.
The Irish Setter Club of America recommends that
dogs used for breeding have all available veterinary health
clearances. The most often used tests are those that measure eyes
(PRA), thyroid levels and hips. Hip X-rays are used to determine the
status of a dog’s hips. A veterinarian performs X-rays and the
radiographs are usually sent to the
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) where a panel of
veterinarians grades them. Hips are rated Excellent, Good, Fair or
with 4 grades of dysplasia. Another method of evaluating hips is
done through PennHip. OFA now recognizes hip evaluations from
Other Research Projects
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
In January 2012 the ISCA Foundation sent
a check to AKC CHF for $10, 000 to support the following study:
01609: Probiotic VSL# 3 Reduces Enteritis in Dogs with Inflammatory
Principal Investigator: Dr. Albert E. Jergens, DVM, PhD
Institution: Iowa State University
Grant Period: 1/1/2012 - 12/31/2013
The largest study ever undertaken into the causes
and risk factors leading to bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus- GDV)
in large and giant breed dogs was undertaken at Purdue University
over a period of 5 years. The study was conducted by Dr. Larry
Glickman at Purdue and involved almost 2,000 dogs. The study was
begun with support from Morris Animal Foundation and ISCA. We were
one of the first breeds to enter the study and our participation
gave impetus to the AKC Canine Health Foundation to enter. As a
result eleven breeds were included in the study. Findings were
published in several issues of the Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association and summaries appeared in several
issues of the ISCA Memo To Members starting in April, 2000.
ISCA has supported research into finding the causes
for idiopathic epilepsy in our breed. We have been part of the study
undertaken at the University of Missouri School of Veterinary
Medicine in conjunction with the University of Minnesota College of
Veterinary Medicine. This study is ongoing. For information about
epilepsy or to join the study, contact the canine epilepsy network
The U of Missouri is working in conjunction with a lab in
Finland which has just been awarded more than $1 million to study
epilepsy through SNP mapping. They are accepting new blood samples.
Those who would like to participate can do so by logging on to the U
of Missouri epilepsy network
. There is a link there to access an online seizure survey and a
sample submission form.
In April and May 2005, over 200 samples
were collected from Irish Setters to determine the presence of VonWillebrand's Disease, astounding the veterinarians at Cornell.
You all can be proud of our willingness to cooperate in this study.
The Health Committee approved a suggestion by the research
veterinarian at Cornell to cooperate with the research team at the
British Animal Trust in England. Follow up testing is dependent upon
research at British Animal Trust.
Health Information for Irish Setter Owners
The Health Committee has published an informative
booklet which breeders and owners will find useful in identifying
what is normal in growing puppies and older dogs. It describes many
conditions which affect our breed. The book costs $3.00 for
individual copies and $2.50 for multiples of 10 copies. They are
ideal to include in puppy packets. Available from Connie Vanacore or
from ISCA Secretary, Fran Sloughy, 20 Maple Shade Lane, Fleetwood,
PA 19522. Make checks payable to the ISCA Foundation.
Article on Degenerative Myelopathy in Irish
Large file, may download slowly.
and Podcasts available from the AKC Canine Health Foundation
have been recent breaking developments in the UK
about a new form of PRA in the Irish setter, a late
onset form of PRA rcd4, also referred to as LOPRA. This research has been done by
Dr. Cathryn Mellersh and her team at the Animal
Health Trust in the UK.
This is truly emerging information. The actual
research has NOT been published or peer reviewed
It is my goal as Health Chair to provide up to the
minute factual scientific information and testing
information regarding this in the Memo, as well as
links here, on the ISCA website, to this
As you read through this information please keep in
mind the advice received from Dr. Aguirre, who did
the original PRA DNA work for ISCA.
In my correspondence with Gustavo Aquirre DVM PhD he
provided this timely and important insight as we
begin to test dogs in the US and get back results on
” There is absolutely no need to panic and the
breeding recommendations that we have in place for
rcd1 apply to LOPRA. Affected dogs CAN and SHOULD be
bred if of exceptional quality, but only to
genetically normal dogs. Please keep reminding the
club members that you are breeding dogs and not test
results, and it is essential to maintain genetic
diversity in the breed. “
Thanks to Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, who did ISCA’s
initial research on PRA, for his guidance, to Dr.
Christine Haakenson at AKC Canine Health Foundation
for her contacts at AHT, to Dr. Mellersh for her
insight, to Dr. Jerold Bell for the article about
how to use the info once you have test results, to
Dr. Nigel Holmes, the Genetics Service Manager at
AHT for his help getting testing services info to me
as well as permission to publish a direct link to
the AHT info on rcd4 on the ISCA website and to Kim
Poile, Lab Tech at AHT for answering many questions
Finally thanks to Connie Vanacore and Jan Ziech for
helping me every step of the way and to ISCA member
Terry Moberg for giving me an early heads up about
it and ISCA Member from the UK David Bell for his
Information about rcd4 in the Irish setter and how
to use test results:
Please refer here to the ISCA Website, which will
have all the most current links to info about what
PRA is and what rcd4 LOPRA is.
On the website you will find also a wonderful
article from Dr. Jerold Bell. The article from Dr.
Bell provides insight as to how to use the test
Rather than publish text from the Animal Health
Trust website, a link is provided below.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that members realize that the
AHT website is constantly updated as information
Please refer to the link for the most current
emerging information, which is updated frequently:
Be sure to refresh your browser often to assure you
are viewing the most current info.
New: rcd4 PRA DNA Test for Gordon and Irish
Setters now available from the OFA!
Researchers at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in the
UK have discovered the gene mutation for the rcd4
form of PRA which affects both Gordon and Irish
Setters. The DNA test became commercially available
through the AHT in March of 2011. The AHT has
graciously shared the science with the OFA and the
University of Missouri to facilitate the
availability of the test to North American owners.
Tests can be ordered online through the OFA website.
DNA samples will be collected via FTA cards which
are non-invasive and can easily be done at home by
the owner. Testing will be done at the University of
Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Small Animal
Molecular Genetics Laboratory. The OFA will handle
all order processing and reporting. Inclusion of the
results in the OFA database is included with the
order. The test is offered at $65.
To order the test online through the OFA:
Information from the AHT regarding rcd4 PRA in Irish
Where to Record rcd4 Test Results:
Confidential test results will be sent to the OWNER
ONLY. Once owners receive test results from AHT,
they may choose to make the results public. To
submit the results to OFA complete the form in the
following link, attach the official test results
received from AHT and send them to OFA. The OFA form
to use is found at:
How Do I Decide Which of My Dogs to Test?
As Health Chair, I have been asked by many of you
how to decide which dogs to test. Here is my
Consider testing any stud dog that has been used
more than once or a young dog that you believe may
be used at stud. This will help you and all the
breeders who have used your dog once the research is
published and peer reviewed about the heritability
Consider testing any bitch that you plan to breed
over the next 12-18 months.
Consider testing any dog or bitch that you own, to
help support this ground breaking research.
The greater the variety of bloodlines and ages of
dogs from puppies to veterans that we have tested
and the greater the number of samples we get, the
more significant the data becomes.
Our path is so much simpler than years ago when to
participate in PRA research, breeders had to test
breed stock! DNA research has made it possible to
every Irish setter owner and breeder to play a role
in determining the incidence and significance of
this emerging issue.
At the clinics held in fall 2011, and with samples
sent by Irish setter owners to AHT, there were 106
samples analyzed. All 106 samples were CLEAR.
Does this mean that rcd4 is not an issue? NO! We
must be diligent in continuing to test for this, and
be certain that we are not complacent. It is always
better to be ahead of a disease than chasing it!
Anne Marie Kubacz
ISCA Health Chair
SETTER CLUB OF AMERICA, INC. Webmaster: