51 – Finding the Genetic Test: Pat Fendley’s Fight Against Cerebellar Ataxia in Spinone Italiano
But I Don’t Have Spinone Italiano’s?
Every breed has something lurking in it’s DNA. Pat Fendley’s sacrifice to “save” her breed is a lesson for all breeders.
Cerebellar Ataxia is a horrific disease that affect puppies. They start with wobbling or stumbling. Within months, the disease rapidly progresses until the young dog can not even stand on it’s own and is euthanized.
For many years, the existence of Cerebellar Ataxia was denied or ignored by some breeders. In 1998, Great Britain publicly acknowledged the disease in the Spinone Italiano. Lack of knowledge of it’s genetic origin caused many unaffected dogs to be removed from the gene pool. Some even believed it was a communicable disease, rather than genetic.
Pat Fendley tells her story of working with the Animal Health Trust in Great Britain by breeding a carrier test litter to develop a genetic test to identify carrier dogs. This test litter made it possible for many other dogs and owners to not suffer the disease.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — FRANCIS BACON
Pure Dog Talk is grateful to all of the mentors in our sport who support us with their knowledge, their kindness and their generosity. JOIN us today in providing access to this invaluable “watering hole” for anyone who is thirsty for knowledge. Your pledge of as little as $5/month helps guide the next generation of dog fanciers. Click the “Be My Patron on Podbean” button to join our “listener supported” team at Pure Dog Talk.