In the last couple of months a disturbing condition has received some noteriety among golden breeders. Know as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL) it is devasting to affected dogs. I am posting a plea I made on a facebook breed group to have your field golden tested and the results posted on K9data. If enough dogs are tested this becomes just one more hoop a responsible breeder will need to jump through before breeding. Left unchecked It has the potential to become far more widespread and as such less manageable. Some big name field dogs have already been identified as carriers. While it appears the incedence of affected dogs is quite low indicating a paucity of carriers (affected dogs almost always die before their 2nd birthday) lets keep it that way thru' intelligent breeding and testing.
"For those not yet aware, a new (potentially serious) genetic condition is being investigated. Although it is particularly concerning to the owners and breeders of US field dogs, it has been identified in a N. American show dog and in a russian bench dog. This condition is present in other breeds, but only recently become apparent in goldens. The condition is known as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofucinosis or NCL. It is nasty. Affected dogs begin to show clinical signs around 18 mos and by 2 their quality of life is such that they ust be put down. Clinical signs are loss of sight, confusion followed by loss of motor skills and eventual paralysis.
Fortunately it is a recessive gene and dogs are characterised as clear, carriers or affected. Breeding a carrier to a clear will NEVER result in an affected dog, but carrier to carrier could result in affected pups and potential heartbreak. As such, I believe it is exremely important for a large portion of the field golden population to be tested, much in the way we have been testing for ichthyosis. This is potentially far more devastating than a skin disorder. Even if you do not plan to breed your dog, it is still important to test as your dog's test can potentially identify carriers among your dog's progenitors and give researchers a larger sample pool to work with.
Even as a rare condition, there are a few very well know dogs who have been identified as carriers. There is no reason whatsoever to avoid these dogs as part of a breeding program. Avoiding these dogs and other carriers would further tighten our already too tight gene pool. Intelligent decisions can be made with a simple test of the sire or dam.
In the US, although Paw Print and Optigen are working to license the test, only the University of Missouri, Columbia has a test for the golden variant (CL5). The test costs $65 for a dog not displaying clinical signs. If you have the test done, please, please, please add your results to k9data.com (user managed web site for golden pedigrees) A searchable field has been added for the NCL variant.
If you cannot find the paperwork, pm an email address and I will forward it to you.
Thanks in advance... feel free to share to other sites. By education and testing we can get in front of this evil before it becomes widespread."