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 cannot function.
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 year.
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.
To test your dog for CLAD: https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/125/
Starting in 2020, ISCA will be using Paw Print Genetics as our partner for testing at our National Specialties, due to Optigen’s closing. Please see details below.
Going forward, ISCA only recognizes results from Paw Print Genetics or Wisdom Health for CLAD, rcd-1 PRA testing and rdc-4 PRA testing. All tests may be done via blood draw or cheek swab. Of course results received from Optigen prior to their close will always be accepted.
February 2020 New about new lab for PRA and CLAD testing
Beginning in 2020, ISCA will be using Paw Print Genetics for testing for rcd-1, rcd-4 and CLAD. CLAD and rcd-1 are already available on their website and by spring rcd-4 will be added to the Irish setter panel. Tests can be ordered individually. The Irish setter panel also includes DM (degenerative myelopathy) and von Willebrand disease type 1.
As many members know, Optigen is no longer in business. They were taken over by another corporation, which we used in 2019. Last year there was no time to explore alternatives for testing.
As health chair, my goal during 2019 was to find a company that did mutation-based testing and where individual tests could be ordered, not just as a “batch” with a list of tests that aren’t necessarily applicable to our breed. We also needed a company that would accept blood samples, as well as cheek swabs.
Gustavo Aguirre DVM (who did ISCA’s original PRA research and discovered the genetic test for rcd-1) has been so helpful, giving me feedback and guidance and the right questions to ask. I am especially grateful to Jerold Bell DVM for all his insight and expertise. Susan Hamil was also a great resource. Thanks also to Cheryl Stiehl, Jan Ziech, and Jeanine Wilson for their help.
Thanks go out to input from parent club reps at the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation Parent Club Conference for sharing in the dilemma of where to go for our parent club needs.
Paw Print Genetics, along with 3 other laboratories, developed the first set of Standards & Guidelines for clinical canine genetic testing. In these S&G, there are minimal standards and desired standards. Paw Print Genetics meets the desired standards in that they test each mutation region twice with two independent methods which allows them to provide the highest accuracy in the industry. They understand that accuracy matters and take those extra steps to ensure highly accurate results.
Samples collected at our health clinic in June for rd-1, rcd-4 and CLAD will be sent to Paw Print Genetics.
Of course, there are members who cannot attend the National. In the past Optigen would give us a code good for two weeks surrounding our National, where people could go to their own vet with forms from Optigen website, prepay and send the tests to them. Paw Print Genetics has given us a code for member discounts year-round.
We also will keep all the information on how to order these tests year-round on the ISCA website, as people will often decide to breed their dog who is genetic testing by parentage, and want to take the step of doing a genetic test on that dog for verification. Dr Aguirre had urged us to test every 3rd generation so we would be alert for any possible genetic mutation. Now that the cost of the test is so reasonable, many people test every generation.
Some of you may have questions about why we can use cheek swabs for personal individual testing. Cheek swab techniques do get an adequate amount of DNA to be used for genetic testing, as is evidenced by AKC using this technique for DNA parentage identification. At our clinics at the National it is more efficient for us to collect blood samples, but for in home use, owners may prefer to get a testing kit from Paw Print.
Here is the information about Paw Print Genetics:
The Irish Setter Club of America has partnered with Paw Print Genetics to provide you accurate genetic testing at an affordable cost. Please use code ISCA2020 to save 40% off any order of individual disease tests or 50% off the Irish Setter Panel. You can view the diseases offered for Irish Setters here: https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/125/
To maximize your savings, you should group dogs according to whether they have single tests being ordered or panels. For example, group all dogs with 1 or more single tests into one order to get 40% off and place a second order for any dogs needing the Irish Setter Panel for 50% off. You must apply the code ISCA2020 at checkout. This code is active now and valid through December 31, 2020. Please note that this code cannot be applied to a previous order, combined with other discounts and DNA profiling, parentage testing and Clear by Parentage certificates are excluded. Please contact Paw Print Genetics with any questions, toll free at 1-855-202-4889, direct at 509-483-5950 or by email by email at AskUs@pawprintgenetics.com