Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club of Canada

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  Progressive Retinal Atophy (PRA)

On February 1, 2002, OptiGen Laboratory, LLC, a canine genetic testing laboratory began accepting and processing blood tests to determine - with 99% accuracy - if your Toller is clear, a carrier of, or affected with Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).

This exciting new test, available world wide, is made available through the research of Dr. Gus Aguirre and colleagues of the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell University.

"The test is as close to perfect as a test can be without actually being a true gene test," said Dr. Aguirre, Alfred H. Caspary Professor of Ophthalmology. Technically referred to as the Toller prcd (progressive rod cone degeneration) test, the new procedure is a gene marker test that can predict with 99 percent accuracy a Pattern A (clear), Pattern B (carrier) or Pattern C (affected) Toller.

Unlike prcd tests offered for other breeds, this marker test is specific for Tollers and results in a greatly reduced chance (0.05 percent or less) of false positive results. The test eliminates the guess work from a breeding program with respect to prcd - the only form of PRA seen in Tollers which results in blindness. Breeders will no longer have to remove affected and carrier stock from their breeding programs. As long as these dogs are bred to clear dogs, they will not produce any affected dogs.

To read more about the discovery of the test and an extensive Question and Answer page, go to

To order a Toller progressive red cone degeneration (prcd) blood test:

Detailed instructions are available from OptiGen's website that explain how to ship a sample, request a test and information about the Toller prcd test.

Or contact:
OptiGen Laboratory
(607) 257-0301

January 3, 2005