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OptiGen Tests PRA-Affected Dogs at NO Cost

It is EXTREMELY important to test as many PRA-affected dogs in each breed as possible. To promote this, OptiGen will test, at no charge, affected dogs from each of the breeds with a known genetic form of PRA. (link to “Tests”)

Why is this so important? Because, a genetic test is developed to detect SPECIFIC mutations that are KNOWN TO EXIST in the breed. If a second or a rare variety hasn’t been discovered yet, we can’t test for it.

Here are two examples. Miniature Schnauzers and Miniature/Toy Poodles appear to have at least two genetic types of PRA. Only one type (Type A in MS and prcd-PRA in M/TP) is detectable now. We need to find PRA affected dogs that do NOT test affected with the current test in order to research and discover the other forms of PRA.

The other example was seen with Portuguese Water Dogs. Only after testing over 1600 PWDs did a new allele that causes prcd-PRA come to light. When a PRA-affected dog did not test “Pattern C”, extensive research was done by the Baker Institute and OptiGen to define the mutation associated with PRA in this dog. The result – discovery of the cause for prcd-PRA in PWDs AND improvement of the test.

Who qualifies?

The dog’s sample was not submitted previously either to the Baker Institute (Drs. Acland and Aguirre) or to OptiGen. The dog must have a clinical diagnosis for PRA by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist (ACVO, ECVO). The diagnosis must be compatible with the form of PRA present in the breed. Status of “PRA-suspicious” or “atypical PRA” or “multi-focal degeneration” does not qualify.

Here’s what you do!

FIRST, mail in a copy of the eye exam report (CERF report or other) and a copy of a 4-5 generation pedigree for pre-approval before sending a blood sample. If possible, provide an email address for a reply.
Wait for a response from OptiGen to learn if your dog has a diagnosis that qualifies for free testing.
NEXT, provide the blood sample - 2 tubes of 3 ml each - according to standard instructions (
Ship Sample). One blood tube will be saved for research.
Complete all details of the standard
Request Test form.
Send NO payment.
Send the sample and all paperwork to OptiGen.
You will receive a report from OptiGen 2-3 weeks after the sample is received. A copy can be sent to your veterinary ophthalmologist at your request.


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OptiGen®, LLC · Cornell Business & Technology Park · 767 Warren Road, Suite 300 · Ithaca, New York 14850
Tel: 607 257 0301 · Fax: 607 257 0353 · email: genetest@optigen.com or optigen@clarityconnect.com
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