DNA Tests for Cocker Spaniels

DNA Tests for Cocker Spaniels

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for Adult Onset Neuropathy (AON) in the Cocker Spaniel. The decision, which was taken after consultations with the breed’s health co-ordinator on behalf of the breed clubs, aims to reduce the incidence of this hereditary neurological condition in Cocker Spaniels.
 
Clinical signs of AON can include "weakening and unsteady hind limbs or an uncoordinated gait", and generally show between the age of 7.5 and 9 years. The weakness eventually progresses to include the front limbs, with most dogs eventually unable to walk properly.
 
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said, “The Cocker Spaniel is one of the UK’s most popular breeds, with over twenty thousand puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015 alone, so we are pleased that we are able to offer this DNA test to help tackle this debilitating condition.
 
“We work alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and we are happy to accommodate a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists. We would normally need a formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs to do this.”
 
Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded if owners provide copies of the DNA certificates; by providing the original registration certificate for the dog, the owner will receive a new registration certificate - including the the DNA result - free of charge. This, the Kennel Club says, will ensure that breeders are supported with resources to help them to make responsible breeding decisions.
Jessica Barratt

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