PRA Research Initiative for Tibetan Terriers

Here at the University of Missouri we are working with the Tibetan Terrier Health and Welfare Foundation to identify the mutations responsible for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Tibetan Terriers, and to provide DNA tests to help Tibetan Terrier breeders reduce the incidence of PRA.  We have reasons to suspect that one or both of two mutations we are currently studying may account for a substantial proportion of the PRA in Tibetan Terriers.  To test this possibility, we are offering free DNA tests for each of these two mutations to owners of the first 100 eligible Tibetan Terriers that complete an online information form before May 31, 2012.  To be eligible for this free testing, Tibetan Terriers must be diagnosed as affected with PRA, or have a first degree relative (sire, dam, full sibling, or offspring) with PRA.

If you currently own one or more eligible Tibetan Terriers and would like to participate in this free testing, please click here to send us an email to initiate the process.  We will send you a link to a short information form which can be filled out online.  A separate online form must be filled out for each eligible Tibetan Terrier to be tested.  If your dog does qualify and is among the first 100 testing requests received, we will send you a sampling kit consisting of instructions, a one page submission form to be completed and returned with the sample, a DNA storage card, and a swab to be used to transfer a sample from the inner surface of your dog’s cheek to the DNA storage card.  The sample should be returned to us by regular mail as soon as possible. We anticipate that results will be reported to owners within three weeks from the time we receive the samples.

Once this stage of our research is completed, we expect to begin an investigation of those Tibetan Terrier PRA cases not explained by either of the two mutations mentioned above.

If you have questions, please contact Liz Hansen - HansenL@missouri.edu.