New DNA Testing Scheme for the Shar Pei

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for primary open angle glaucoma/primary lens luxation (POAG/PLL) in the Shar Pei, following consultation with the breed’s health co-ordinator on behalf of the breed clubs.

A Shar Pei health day was held collaboratively by the Kennel Club, the Shar Pei Club of Great Britain, the Midland Shar Pei Club and the Animal Health Trust (AHT) on 26th February. There were 43 dogs swabbed for DNA tests on the day by the AHT.

Cathryn Mellersh, Head of Canine Genetics at the AHT said “We were thrilled with the uptake for the new DNA test at the health day; we tested 43 dogs and unfortunately the frequency of the mutation was very high among those dogs. This means that it is vitally important that carriers continue to be used for breeding, at least for the next few generations as not using carriers could lead to an unacceptable reduction in the genetic diversity of the breed.  POAG is recessive in the Shar Pei, so carriers can be safely bred to clear dogs without the risk of producing clinically affected offspring, although any puppies that might be used for breeding should themselves be tested prior to breeding.  I would like to congratulate the breed for the enthusiasm with which they are embracing the DNA test and the effectiveness and honesty with which they are distributing information about primary open angle glaucoma and the new DNA test”.

The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions.