PRA - New DNA Testing Scheme for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Pap-Pra1)

If you are thinking of breeding from your Papillon dog or bitch, I urge you to get your dog tested for PRA1. It is a simple DNA swab test and will ascertain, if your dog has PRA!, is a Carrier or is Clear. If both the Sire & Dam are clear then the puppies are Clear by parentage.

I receive this from the Kennel Club. It makes interesting reading.


New DNA Testing Scheme for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Pap-Pra1) approved.

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Dear Mrs Stanbury,

The Kennel Club has recently approved an official DNA Testing Scheme for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Pap-PRA1) in Papillons following consultation with the Papillon Breed Council on behalf of the breed clubs.  This test is offered by Optigen in the USA and Laboklin in the UK. 

Copies of all test results issued by these laboratories will be sent directly to the Kennel Club and will be added to the dog’s registration details.  This will trigger the publication of the test results, which will appear:

  • In the next available Breed Records Supplement

  • On any new registration certificate issued for the dog

  • On the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog

  • On the Health Test Results Finder in the Kennel Club’s online health rescource, Mate Select

 By publishing these results, it allows breeders to have a better understanding of which genes a dog may pass on to its offspring, giving them the information required to avoid producing affected puppies. Making informed decisions from health test results enables breeders to adapt their breeding programmes and reduce the risk of this disease appearing in future generations.  For more information regarding this announcement, including how to get your dog tested, please see our Questions and Answers section below. 

Kind regards, 

Nick Sutton

Health Information Officer

Questions and Answers

What is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)?

PRA is an inherited eye disorder that causes cells in the retina of the eye to degenerate, eventually leading to a decreased adaptation of vision and blindness.

For this particular type of PRA in Papillons, the onset of this disease and severity of its clinical signs vary greatly.

The disease is described as an autosomal recessive condition.  This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected.  A dog that inherits only one copy of the abnormal gene (from its mother or its father) will have no signs of the disease, but will be a carrier and may pass the gene on to any offspring.

Who can I contact to find out how to test my dog for Progressive Retinal Atrophy?

This test is offered by Optigen in the USA (www.optigen.com), and, Laboklin in the UK (www.laboklin.co.uk). Further details can be obtained by contacting Optigen at genetest@optigen.com, or Laboklin at info@laboklin.co.uk.

Where can I find advice on breeding from a DNA tested dog?

The Kennel Club currently recommends breeders consider only breeding from dogs that have been tested for this condition.  This is a breeding recommendation and is not a requirement for Kennel Club registration or the Assured Breeder Scheme.  For more information on how to breed responsibly from your DNA tested dog, please read our Breeding for Health Information Guide, which can be accessed here

For information on other health tests that may be recommended for your breed, please visit the Kennel Club’s Breed Information Centre (www.breedinformationcentre.org.uk).

How do I know if a dog I’m considering mating from has been tested for Progressive Retinal Atrophy?

The Kennel Club’s online health resource, Mate Select, allows you to search for health test results for any dog registered on the Kennel Club’s Breed Register. Searching the database is easy and only requires the dog’s registered name, registration number or stud book number. It will display any health screening test results received and recorded by the Kennel Club from any official Kennel Club DNA Testing Schemes, or from the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club (BVA/KC) health schemes. 

To access Mate Select, please visit www.mateselect.org.uk

Mate Select also allows you to calculate the degree of inbreeding, or Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI), for potential puppies that could be produced from a hypothetical mating.  For more information on inbreeding and its impact on health, please read our Breeding for Health Information Guide, which can be accessed here

How do I submit my dogs’ results if they were tested before August 2014?

Results for dogs already tested can be recorded on our database, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves.

If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge.  Please send any DNA test certificates to:

Health & Breeder Services

The Kennel Club

1 – 5 Clarges Street




or scan and email copies of the certificates to hbs@thekennelclub.org.uk.

How does a DNA test become an official Kennel Club Testing Scheme?

The Kennel Club continues to work alongside Breed Clubs and Breed Health Coordinators, in a collaborative effort to improve the health of dogs. The Kennel Club is happy to consider a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists and would normally need a formal request from the Breed's Health Coordinator or a majority request from the Breed Clubs.  If you would like the Kennel Club to consider making a DNA test an official Testing Scheme then please contact your local Breed Club.  Breed specific contact details can be found on the Kennel Club’s Breed Information Centre (www.breedinformationcentre.org.uk).

Who can I contact if I have further questions that are not answered here?

If you have any questions about the DNA test itself, please contact Optigen at genetest@optigen.com, or Laboklin at info@laboklin.co.uk

If you have any general questions regarding the Breed Club or its activities, then please use the contact us section of the Breed Club’s website which can be found at www.papillonclub.co.uk.

If you have any general questions regarding official Kennel Club Testing Schemes, please e-mail mateselect@thekennelclub.org.uk.

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