Health Testing

Within the gene pool that affects English Show Type Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles and consequently Cockapoo breeding there are some known genetic diseases that can cause serious illness later in life that will not be apparent as puppies. It is the responsibility of the breeder to be aware of these conditions and following testing procedures to minimise the occurrence of the diseases now and in future. 
 
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Prcd-PRA)  

The genetic disorder, prcd-PRA , causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. The “rod” cells operate in low light levels and are the first to lose normal function.  Most affected dogs will eventually be blind. Typically, the clinical disease is recognized first in early adolescence or early adulthood, and unfortunately, at this time there is no treatment or cure for PRA.
 
Familial Nephropathy (FN)

Familial nephropathy  (FN) is a type of hereditary kidney disease that leads to renal failure in affected dogs, usually at a young age. It is relatively widely spread across the English cocker spaniel dog breed, with just over 10% of English cockers in the UK carrying the gene mutation that leads to the condition.

Generally, dogs affected with the condition will go into irreversible renal failure by the time that they reach the age of two, which cannot be cured and ultimately proves fatal

 

Inheritance

Both Prcd-PRA and FN are inherited as a recessive trait. This means a disease gene must be inherited from BOTH parent in order to cause disease in an offspring. Parents must both be either “carrier” or ''affected'' by the diseases in order for either to be passed on. A ''carrier'' is a dog which has one disease gene and one normal gene, meaning he himself is not affected by Prcd-PRA or FN, but he can pass it on to his offspring. A clear dog has no disease gene and is termed “homozygous normal” or ''Double Clear'' this means both copies of his gene are same and therefore no puppies produced by this dog can ever be affected by Prcd-PRA or by FN. A dog with two disease genes is termed “affected” – both copies of the gene are abnormal and he himself will suffer from the effects of Prcd-PRA and will almost certainly go blind, on by FN with would almost certainly leady to his untimely death at around 2 - 3 years of age.

Although prcd-PRA or FN are inherited, it can be avoided in future generations by testing dogs before breeding. Identification of dogs that do not carry diseased genes is the key. These "clear" dogs can be bred to any mate - even to a prcd-PRA or FN affected dog, which may be a desirable breeding prospect for other reasons. The chance of producing affected pups from such breeding depends on the certainty of each parents test results. 
 
Here at Hallslake Cockers any litters bred will ALWAYS be sired by a father who is 'DOUBLE CLEAR' of both Prcd-PRA & FN. Most of our girls are DOUBLE CLEAR, BUT some of our girls are tested as 'CARRIERS' and their offspring will only be sold to pet homes and we ask their buyers to agree not to breed from their puppy in the future. The puppies mothers health test results will always be issued with the paperwork in each Puppy-Pack. If the mother is a CARRIER there will be an endorsement on that puppy with a contract to be signed by the puppies new owners agreeing thet that puppy is not to be bred from in the future.
 
We do not own, or breed from any dogs or bitches which are 'AFFECTED' by prcd-PRA or FN.