Health News



Lizzie and Duffy have recently been hip-scored,and pleased to say that their scores are good and low,at 5:3 and 3:4.

They have both now been mated,so we look forward to some healthy pups in 8 weeks time !


This is me with my Breed Health Coordinators hat on again - this time with a plea to all those of you who care about the future health of our lovely breed:

It has become evident from recent returned health questionnaires that cataracts are being found in cockers as young as 7 or 8 months ,also another form of PRA has been found in and older cocker ,which should have been hereditarily clear following clear DNA tests on both parents. PLEASE,all those of you who use the Optigen test, do not ignore the clinical testing of your dogs- there are still other conditions out there which may slip below the radar and become far too common if we do not continue to have our cockers eyes examined regularly.

Once again,another plea to those who know of any problems within their dogs/lines ,please fill in a Health Questionnaire which can be found on the Cocker Spaniel Breed Council Website,see below.... these can be sent totally anonymously if preferred,no names of people or dogs are necessary,only the details of the condition. Many thanks.x


As Breed Health Co-ordinator I would like to make a plea to those of you who have any information about any ailments ( serious rather than minor) or conditions which have beset your cockers, to fill in a Health Questionnaire as featured on the Cocker Spaniel Breed Council Website,and send it on to me.The response from cocker owners is decidedly scanty at the moment.Please see the link featured on this page on 22/1/11.


Wishing you all a Healthy year ahead with your beautiful cockers and hounds !!


Our two latest hip scores are 2:2 for Sh.Ch.Charbonnel Life'n'Times JW, and 4:4 for Charbonnel Roxette JW.Very pleased that we are helping to keep the BMS low !!


Many thanks to all the speakers at the Breed Councils first Health Seminar.It seemed to be a resounding success,and I hope it will give everyone some food for thought .

Congrats to Michelle Lockwood who won the £25 Hub International voucher !


Just 5 tickets left for the Breed Council Health Seminar...if you want to learn about the latest research into conditions which our cockers suffer from,also learn to carry out Canine Massage,have semen taken and frozen from your dogs,or hear about and ask questions about patella problems,hip problems and eye conditions,then now is your time to point asking about it after it's over !!! It is on October the 22nd at Stratford on Avon,a full day of expert speakers.GO know you ought to ! It will be the best £15 you will have spent in a loooooooooooooong time !!!! Plus you have a 1 in 60 chance of winning a £25 voucher for a dog products/grooming products company !!


There are very few tickets left for the Breed Councils Health Seminar.Please email Lin Parker ( ) if you wish to buy a ticket. This seminar is not just for cocker people but would benefit anyone with an interest in gundog health.


Please note that tickets are now available for the Health Seminar on the 22nd October,to be held in Stratford Upon Avon.Please email /phone me if you wish to reserve/buy a ticket....there are some excellent topics on the agenda,including eye conditions prevalent in cocker spaniels,Hip Dysplasia,Patella problems,Canine Massage,AI and semen collection and use,and research updates from Lorna Kennedy and Penny Watson.All speakers are experts in their field. Not to be missed !!!


*****As Breed Health Coordinator I would like to let anyone who might be interested know that tickets for the forthcoming Health Seminar being run by the Breed Council on the 22nd October 2011 will be available at the Cocker Spaniel Club Championship show on July 17th, priced at £15 each to include tea/coffee and lunch.*****


Please read this article about a type of neuropathy found in cockers in the USA but thought to have derived from the UK,from some of the older bloodlines from the 70's and 80's.If you think you have ever owned a cocker which suffered with this condition we would really like to know.Please contact me ,as Health Coordinator for the Cocker Spaniel.( 0791 9911779, email :

(Video link to be added soon)


I have now been informed by VGL in the USA that Charbonnel Glossy is also clear for Musladin Leuke Syndrome,as is Charbonnel Raffia,so I am in the lucky position to have 4 bitches who are either clear or hereditarily clear .Thank you to those beagle breeders who have kept clear lines and who bred my bitches' predecessors.


I am pleased to say that the Cocker Spaniel Breed Council now has a Health Questionnaire on its site.This has been decided on as a means of collating evidence on the presence of hereditary/non-hereditary diseases and conditions,either known or unknown to us as breed enthusiasts.

As Breed Health Coordinator, I would ask that anyone who has had experience of a problem,which could be more widespread than we realise,with one or more of their cockers,should fill in the form (which allows for anonymous submission) so that I can build up a dossier to present to the KC at any time if we should wish to ask for research into a condition we deem to be becoming prevelant in the breed.I stress that this exercise can be totally anonymous.



Thanks to the ' appliance of science ' I am pleased to report that our singleton puppy bitch by Warlord is FN clear !! Thank you once again to Professor George Lees and Keith Murphy for affording us the luxury of being able to test for FN. We cocker breeders are so very FORTUNATE !!!


I would personally like to congratulate Dr. George Lees for his achievements in the field of veterinary science and say how pleased I am that he has been awarded 2 accolades for his research and development work. Thank you to Addi Pittman for sending this link detailing the news. I had the great honour of meeting Dr.Lees in the USA when he was involved in the research into Familial Nephropathy, and he took time out to look at electron microscope images of kidneys with me, to explain the differences between healthy and affected tissue. A kind, gracious man.


There will be a health testing clinic at the Cocker Club show, please visit this link for more details.


It's very gratifying to see that there are now 460 cockers listed as tested clear for FN on the KC website database. Mystifying, but not surprising though, to see that there are only 3 carriers listed,2 of whom are bred by me. Am I the only one to have bred FN carriers, or am I the only one to declare them ?? The data featured on the website is still proffered voluntarily by owners of the dogs concerned. When this changes and all tested dogs details are sent straight to the KC will we see a sudden increase in carriers, or will no-one test then.??

Only by being upfront about these diseases will we remove the stigma which is hereditary disease. Lets not be 'backward' breeders, those days are surely over ????


The following details have been forwarded to me by Dr.Imelda McGonnell.I have already sent a puppy to her, as explained in the text, and the process is simple and all postage costs will be re-imbursed by the KC if you wish.

Please do your best to help- in this anti-dog age it is up to us to show our willingness to help other breeds and show solidarity in ridding our dogs of these crippling diseases, for our dogs' sake it is worth a few minutes of our time.

Research into the development of Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Dr's Imelda McGonnell and Holger Volk, The Royal Veterinary College London

Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia are conditions that are prevalent in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They seem to be involved in a change in the size of the brain and/or the skull at the back of the head that results in the compression of the brain and spinal cord. This causes severe pain and can also lead to some paralysis. This condition is also common in the human population.

We are researching the cause of this condition in CKCS and examining whether this condition arises before birth. We have looked at stillborn CKCS pups and there is clear evidence of brain compression and alterations in the formation of the skull. We are now keen to examine how this occurs. However to do this, we need to examine stillborn pups from other spaniel breeds. These spaniels act as our controls and they inform us how the brain and skull should be forming and allow us to work out how this is changed in the CKCS.

We are appealing to Spaniel breeders to donate stillborn pups for our research. We are especially grateful to the wider Spaniel breeder community for any donations as we are aware that this condition does not directly affect other Spaniels.

Currently we examine pups that are stillborn on day of birth or that die within 48 hours of birth.It does not matter if the pups have a defect or have been put to sleep.We provide breeders with a kit that includes a pot to send the pup back to us. We can send these pots out before the pups are born - they are easily stored in a shed, garage or outhouse and have a shelf life of years.This facilitates quick preservation of the whelp.

If you would like to help in our research, we can be contacted on the following email or phone numbers:

Requests for kits for stillborn pups - Ms Elaine Shervill, email or Dr Imelda McGonnell

Information about the project - Dr Imelda McGonnell phone 020 7468 1223

Many thanks for your help.


We're pleased to report that CHARBONNEL WARPAINT (Paddy) has been hip-scored in Sweden and he has A hips. Proud as always to know that our boys around the globe are contributing to the breeds health......


We are really pleased to be able to report that our latest litter by Warlord ,3 in total,have all been tested clear of FN by Antagene.Obviously they could only be carriers at worst, but how fantastic that they are ALL clear !!

Science is a wonderful thing …….

Dog Heatstroke Survival Guide

Know how to treat and prevent this dangerous condition.

Robert Newman

What is heatstroke?

In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don't sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog's respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.

To know whether or not your dog is suffering from heatstroke (as opposed to merely heat exposure), it's important to know the signs of heatstroke.

A dog's normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a dog's temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to take place, and the dog begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, the dog begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.

If a dog is experiencing heatstroke, you may observe excessive panting; hyperventilation; increased salivation; dry gums that become pale, grayish and tacky; rapid or erratic pulse; weakness; confusion; inattention; vomiting; diarrhea; and possible rectal bleeding. If the dog continues to overheat, breathing efforts become slowed or absent, and finally, seizures or coma can occur.

The amount of damage a dog sustains when stricken with heatstroke depends on the magnitude and duration of the exposure. The longer and more severe the exposure, the worse the damage will be.

What to do

1 Pay attention to your dog. Recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke and responding quickly is essential for the best possible outcome.

2 Get into the shade. If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move it into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Apply cool water to the inner thighs and stomach of the dog, where there's a higher concentration of relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Apply cool water to the foot pads, as well.

3 Use running water. A faucet or hose is the best way to wet down your dog's body. Never submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub - this could cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications, including cardiac arrest and bloating.

4 Use cool - not cold - water. Many people make the mistake of using cold water or ice to cool the dog. When faced with a dog suffering from heatstroke, remember that the goal is to cool the dog. Using ice or extremely cold water is actually counterproductive to this process because ice and cold water cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, thus slowing the cooling process.

5 Don't cover the dog. One of the keys to successfully cooling your dog is ensuring the water being placed on the dog can evaporate. Never cover an overheated dog with a wet towel or blanket. This inhibits evaporation and creates a sauna effect around your dog's body. Likewise, don't wet the dog down and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the cooling process is helpful in reducing the dog's body temperature. Sitting with the wet dog in a running car with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal cooling situation.

6 Keep the dog moving. It's important to try to encourage your dog to stand or walk slowly as it cools down. This is because the circulating blood tends to pool in certain areas if the dog is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood from circulating back to the core.

7 Allow the dog to drink small amounts of water. Cooling the dog is the first priority. Hydration is the next. Don't allow the dog to gulp water. Instead, offer small amounts of water that's cool, but not cold. If the dog drinks too much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.

8 Avoid giving human performance drinks. Performance beverages designed for humans are not recommended because they are not formulated with the canine's physiology in mind. If you can't get an overheated dog to drink water, try offering chicken- or beef-based broths.

See a veterinarian<

Once your dog's temperature begins to drop, cease the cooling efforts and bring the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your dog's temperature should be allowed to slowly return to normal once cooling has begun. A dog that's cooled too quickly may become hypothermic.

Even if your dog appears to be fully recovered, the veterinarian needs to check to determine if the heatstroke caused any damage to your dog's kidneys and liver. The effects of heatstroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours longer, even if your dog appears normal.

William Grant, DVM, a veterinarian for 20 years and former president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, has treated hundreds of cases of heatstroke, ranging from mild to fatal.

According to Grant, the most common cause of death following heatstroke is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (blood coagulating throughout the body), or DIC, which can occur hours or days after the heatstroke episode.

DIC can also be caused by pyometra or septicemia, but Grant says heatstroke is the most common cause. "Once a dog develops DIC, it may bleed in the thorax, abdomen, nose and intestine," Grant says. "Once the blood-clotting factors are consumed, there is an inability of the blood vessels to prevent leaking; the condition is almost always fatal." For this reason, follow-up veterinary care is essential following a heatstroke episode, even if your dog seems to be completely fine.

Prevention is the best medicine

The best treatment for heatstroke is prevention. Especially during the summer months, it's essential to be aware of the potential for heatstroke. Knowing the signs of heatstroke, and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, will ensure your dog can have a safe and active life year-round.


For those who want to take advantage of OptiGen's latest 'offer' - Carol Share -Jones is running a clinic at the Cocker Club's Championship show in July Click here for details.


Lots of good 'hip' news today !!

We've had the following results back for our own dogs :

C.SWEDISH DESIGN - 6: 4 = 10

C.DREAM DESIGN     - 5:5 =  10

C.CRUMPETTE          - 7:4 =  11

Claire White who owns Crumpette's sister C.RIPLETTE (Grace at home) phoned to say that her results have just come back and she is 6: 6 =12, just like their mum Lynette, and Claire is really pleased. I do hope that we see more of her and Grace in the ring next year, after she made a promising start to her show career as a puppy.

Good news too from Sweden where CHARBONNEL BLUE'N'YELLOW has been scored with 'A' hips ! Theres and Borje are well pleased as can be expected !!


If you are a prospective purchaser of a puppy, or a SERIOUS breeder with a reputation to uphold, please read this short piece. This is not a fictitious tale, this actually happened to me this week, and there are lessons to be learnt for everyone involved in/with the welfare of pedigree dogs…… 

I received a very distressing phone call from a lady in Lancashire who had VERY recently bought a cocker spaniel puppy from a pet breeder in Manchester. The puppy was apparently 7 weeks old - 6 and a half weeks old at purchase – and she had had to take it to the vet as it was vomiting worms and passing worms from behind. Her exact words were that ‘the worms were in balls coming out of it, just live  worms, nothing else’. The vet had told her it was badly dehydrated and that she had to syringe water into it’s little mouth to encourage it to drink. Her words reduced me to tears and I sobbed for 5 minutes after I put the phone down at the end of the conversation ,feeling helpless and wondering how anyone could sell a puppy at that age in that apparent condition ?????.

The puppy was apparently from a mating of black dog to a blue bitch, and was NOT KC registered as the dog was KC registered, but the bitch was only ‘Dog Lovers UK’  ‘registered’.

I was shocked and VERY UPSET to then be told that the breeder of the pup had given this lady a pedigree for the sire of the pup, stating that he was a CHARBONNEL dog, with Warlord as his sire. The lady kept insisting that my dogs were involved with the breeding of the pup, making me almost feel responsible for the poor puppy’s plight, even though I had no part in it physically. The lady was very vague about the sires name, did not have the pedigree with her and still has not contacted me 2 days on with the dogs name. She seemed impressed with the fact that there were champions in the pedigree, but as I said to her, champions on paper mean nothing if the puppy is unhealthy…….

However, I was SO incensed by this phone call and the obvious state of the poor puppy, that I went on the internet, found the advert for the litter on the LOOT website and phoned the breeder, posing as a prospective purchaser. When I asked who the sire of the litter was, she said “CHARBONNEL WARLORD” !!!!!!!! That was when I flipped !!…..Frankie has not sired an ‘outside’ litter for many years, and never will again…..I KNEW this was not the case, and told the woman straight, making it quite clear to her that I would take the matter further if I should ever discover that she is fraudulently using my kennel and my dogs name to sell her pups. It transpires that she has a dog by Frankie, from one of very few litters he sired, bred by someone else, which she bought from a local paper. And then it clicked, I had spoken to her on a previous occasion when she advertised the same dog at stud in the local free paper, again using Frankie’s name to give her advert some kudos, saying that Frankie was a ‘CRUFTS CHAMPION’ …….

I tried to explain to the’ breeder’ and her husband that the dog could potentially be an FN carrier, and that he should be tested, but needless to say my words fell on VERY deaf ears. I was told to mind my own business. As I said to them, for as long as they use my dogs name, and that of my kennel, to sell their poorly-reared litters, it is very much my business !!

We learn every day through experience, and believe me, this incidence is one HUGE learning curve, and re-iterates why we are absolutely helpless to prevent this type of person from breeding.

NO ENDORSEMENT would /could have prevented this person from breeding this litter from that dog and that bitch. This is a regular, every day occurrence. I know of other breeders who have been in a similar position, where their lines and their names have been abused in this way. I will be speaking to Trading Standards tomorrow about it, and I will continue to make my thoughts public.

All animals are at the mercy of we human beings- there is nothing to stop anyone from mating a dog to a bitch, no matter how ill-informed, mis-guided and uneducated they are. There is no CODE OF ETHICS for these people, no guidelines, no stud-dog owner to help them, and the pups suffer as a consequence.

There were 6 pups in this litter, the one I was told about was black with a white chest and white feet, and was sold for £395, although the one remaining puppy was advertised at a reduced price of  £350 at 7 weeks of age.

Somewhere out there are other unsuspecting purchasers with siblings who must also be worm-ridden. A breeder who does not worm her puppies herself is hardly likely to advise new puppy owners about worming, so what will be the fate of the others ? I DO hope that their vets recommend they worm their puppies, and that they have not suffered permanent damage through their infestation.

Please, anyone out there considering buying a puppy, think long and hard about what you are doing. You want a puppy who will live a happy, healthy life and who has had the best of starts, so :

Choose a breeder who is committed to the health and welfare of their chosen breed.

Ask about Health testing, and ask if the parents are screened. Any breeder who says that they       don’t have problems, and that its not important, is not doing the best they can for their puppies or their owners, so DON’T BUY A PUPPY FROM THEM !!

You should be given help and advice about all aspects of your puppies rearing, feeding and future health. Your breeder should appear knowledgeable and caring.

Don’t buy a puppy who is not registered with the KENNEL CLUB. Any other pedigree/papers are not worth the paper they are written on !!

Don’t think cheap is the best option- this often turns out to be a false economy if the puppy requires veterinary treatment……the price DOES reflect the commitment you should expect from your puppy’s breeder.



Don’t buy from free papers……good breeders do NOT need to advertise in such publications. Contact the Cocker Spaniel Club, or the Kennel Club, for well-known breeders in your area. Those breeders may not have pups themselves, but they will know of others either by their stud dogs or bred by other similarly committed people.

To be continued…………..SANDY PLATT.


I have chosen to include some details of a worrying incidence of Hepatitis in the English Springer in my Health News -mainly because I feel that if only one person who visits my site has an ESS with this problem, it is one person who can help with the ongoing research and hopefully one dog who will get the right diagnosis and help. Also, who knows what is round the corner for cockers as far as this is concerned, after all both ESS and cockers have shown a marked predisposition to Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA),so who's to say that the Hepatitis could not occur in both types of spaniel?

Please follow this link)to the Southern ESS Society website to read a great deal about the condition, the research and how we can help, or this link  to just read the latest update.


We received this email from Elisabeth and Christophe in Switzerland this week :

"The hip score has now returned as "B", so we are really pleased about that. And last week Dundee passed the breeding acceptance examination. Now we can hope for babies from him and Grace or Lucy. We want to thank you once again for this beautiful and really lovely boy."

Thanks to you both for keeping me updated with Dundees progress both in and out of the ring, and for giving him such a loving, happy home....

Here is Charbonnel Fair Trade (on the right) and his playmate Lucy.....

I am really impressed with the way dogs have to be 'passed' for breeding in Switzerland. That MUST be a way forward ....I don't know a great deal about it,but I am going to ask Elisabeth for more details and I will put more info here when I have it....


It is encouraging to see that the Kennel Club are now including lists of DNA tested dogs on their website.

If you wish to see dogs tested for FN follow this link and for PRA follow this link

It looks as though the details are updated in batches, as there are many not included as yet. Those tested prior to the new arrangement with Optigen and Antagene will have to be voluntarily sent to the KC for inclusion. However, any cockers tested from now on will be automatically added by the KC on receipt of the results from the labs.

I have to say that my Frankie stands as a sad, solitary soul being the only dog present on the FN carrier list. I'm sure there are more who should be added, but I guess that their owners would rather keep quiet about it. Why ??? I'm not entirely sure.......

I shall be adding another carrier to the list soon, so he won't be on his lonesome......


We had 3 dogs hip scored today.....SWEDISH DESIGN, DREAM DESIGN AND CRUMPETTE. All look well-within our self-imposed accepted limits.


Pleased to report that, as expected, Tony and Desi 's Optigen results have returned as being 'A' (normal/clear)

This policy of testing our youngsters is in keeping with our constant endeavour to maintain a kennel of health screened dogs, whatever the breed.


Pleased to report that Tony's hip score has returned as 8 : 7 and Poppy (Black Dove) also has a good score of 8 : 6.


I'm pleased to report that the Kennel Club has issued a press releaseabout it's new Health Strategy. It's self-explanatory, and I think most cocker spaniel breed enthusiasts who have taken the trouble to test will greet this news with some relief that the KC are recognising their commitment.


I have received this link from Addi Pittman, the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America's Health Co-Ordinator .It has video of a quite disturbing condition that has been seen in English Cocker Spaniels in the USA, and I wonder if anyone over here has seen it in any of their dogs.? It's possible that research might be done if it is found to be anything like prevalent in certain lines,so please DO get in touch with me if you would like to know more....


As part of our ongoing commitment to health testing our dogs, we have re-tested CHARBONNEL WAR HERO for FN at Antagene, as he was previously tested as one of a litter of 8 Warlord pups at the GTG lab in Australia, as the FN test hadn't been made available in France when those pups were 8 months old. Yes, I kept the WHOLE litter until there was a test available, as Texas A & M were no longer having to 'prove' the efficiency of the test.(GTG are the official lab for PRA and FN testing in Australia, under agreement with Optigen). I was concerned that if the UK Kennel Club DO approve of the move to have a breed health register that they would not accept a GTG result, and so I made this decision.

I am pleased to say that both Jack and his 2 pups...CHARBONNEL SWEDISH DESIGN and CHARBONNEL DREAM DESIGN have been tested normal homozygous (clear ). All 3 are micro-chipped, contrary to the requirements now.


We have added a new list for OptiGen tested working-bred cockers - please see the link on our Site Map page. Anyone who has a tested worker is welcome to send in their dogs details for inclusion.


As I've always said, the place to read about MY DOGS (both bred AND owned by me) is on MY site, so I have great pleasure in being able to say that we have had the good news from Angela Francini in Italy that CHAMPION CHARBONNEL STORM'N'NORMAN has tested CLEAR of FN at Antagene. You may have read on a Swedish site that he is behind a youngster who has unfortunately and regrettably died of FN, so to be sure that he was not one of the carriers concerned he has been tested with the favourable result of CLEAR .

(I doubt very much if the Swedish breeder who finds it necessary to castigate my dogs will annotate the pedigree she so proudly illustrates on her site, so please keep the above information in mind when you should read any more information.)

Obviously Angela and I are relieved and happy that Norman can still be used with confidence. Thank you Angela for your unstinting faith in me and my breeding !!!


Interesting research into anal sac tumours in the UK. Please read the following link and help if you can.....


Wonderful news from Sweden !! Tony's mother, Malena, is FN normal /clear, which means that Tony himself is clear by parentage! Well done Monica, and thank you !!


Good news for Jessica Kelly - her lovely young bitch, Jack's litter sister, CHARBONNEL LANDGIRL TO MOLLNME has been hip-scored with a result of 5:3. So pleased that your foundation bitch is just what you wanted and all that you hoped for Jessica!!




Please read this notice so that you can protect yourself, your dog, and your breed. It is not enough to simply “have your dog tested” for PRA. You must be absolutely sure of the quality, meaning, and legality of all test results. Which company knows the science behind the test? Where will you be assured of continuous testing and record-keeping for many years to come? Did the researchers who developed the test grant a license or endorse any other company to sell the test? The single answer to these important questions is - OptiGen is the only company that can give you the highest quality of PRA test results, answers to your questions and support of the researchers who developed the test and that will continue to do so for years to come. OptiGen is the only genetic testing company that specializes in canine eye diseases. 

OptiGen currently has the U.S. patent and has patents pending for prcd-PRA testing in Europe. We expect issuance of these European patents within a few months. During this brief time before the final patents are granted, some companies are profiting by claiming that they are doing the “OptiGen” test. Let us be clear: NO OTHER COMPANIES HAVE OUR PERMISSION TO SELL THE OPTIGEN TEST in Europe.

Many of you endured the difficult years of dog breeding when genetic testing was not available. You remember the stress that came from producing puppies that might be blinded by PRA when you had no way to prevent the heartache that would follow. Those days are not so long passed but they are now history, thanks to many years of research by OptiGen and our research associates. We have spent and continue to spend much time, money and effort to give our clients all the benefit of our depth of expertise in veterinary ophthalmology and genetics research. OptiGen places the highest priority on accurate, scientific and meaningful information. We care deeply about this subject because we want you to be able to breed the healthiest dogs.

We are greatly disappointed by any other company’s presumption to take our intellectual property and use it during the period prior to our patent being issued. They will not have the legal right to continue when the patent is issued. We greatly appreciate the loyalty and concern for quality that most of our European customers have shown in remaining with OptiGen during this period. Thank you for alerting us to your concerns and for asking advice on how, as conscientious breeders, you should proceed during this interim period.

In appreciation, OptiGen would like to announce a new option that will be available to our loyal customers starting January 2008. Because many of you have taken PRA testing seriously from the start, you now have Normal dogs being mated to Normal dogs. And you would still like to have these offspring OptiGen certified as Normal. To give a cost-effective option, OptiGen will reduce by half the test price for all offspring from OptiGen-Normal x OptiGen-Normal matings. We now are making the necessary changes to our procedures so we can verify OptiGen tested “Normal” results on sires and dams and give you a discount on testing their offspring of any age. The exact starting date will be posted on our website as soon as possible.

On behalf of all the staff at OptiGen, we extend a sincere “Thank you!” to our loyal customers. We look forward to serving you for many, many years to come.

- Sue Pearce-Kelling, Manager

OptiGen®, LLC • Cornell Business & Technology Park • 767 Warren Road, Suite 300 • Ithaca, New York 14850
Tel: 607 257 0301 • Fax: 607 257 0353 • email:  or 


Today my vet phoned to say that CHARBONNEL WAR HERO's hip score had been returned from the BVA/KC as 7 : 6 ,so really pleased about that, especially as his first litter is due next week from CHARBONNEL FAIR ROUGE.


Please follow this link to read details of the latest news in Sweden on Renal Dysplasia in the English Cocker Spaniel, and the progress being made by the Swedish Cocker Club in their pursuit of knowledge on this disease.

It is worrying that this is yet another disease that breeders have to fight, and I DO wonder if we have had instances in the UK in the past which have been wrongly diagnosed as Familial Nephropathy. I know in years gone by FN was also called ' Shrunken Kidney' over here ....the SCSK details say :

Renal Dysplasia (renal = kidney, dysplasia = unnatural cell growth) is defined as an unnatural development of the kidney tissue. The kidney tissue (glomeruli and tubuli) might be underdeveloped (foetal) and/or miss-developed, which causes inflammation and formation of fibrous tissue. In most cases, the dog will become sick and die from renal failure between the age of 4 months and 2 years of age.

While on the subject of health, there is another problem which needs addressing, one which has been around for many years and yet seems now to be rearing its ugly head quite often, and that is hermaphroditism in cockers. This is when a male or female of the species has reproductive organs of the opposite sex, either instead of, or as well as, it's own. I have not heard of it in solids at all, only in parti-colours, but that doesn't mean it isn't in all colours, and I haven't actually seen it in canines, although I have seen it in pigs many times.

As the condition presents itself in so many different ways in each sex, I think it is better to put some links here, rather than me try to explain. Suffice to say that in the majority of cases females are rendered as non-breeders, while of course all carriers appear perfectly normal, and so prolific stud dogs when mated to carriers are once again perpetuating the problem.. and

My friend Lea Bogers- Dam in Holland is very interested in this condition and she has contacted  researchers in the USA about it along with the Netherlands Cocker Club, and I think that if anyone can help in any way with DNA or pedigrees this could be another condition that we could rid ourselves of in the future using a test, with careful breeding strategies.

Anyone with any information can email me in the strictest confidence, and I will forward your mails onto Lea.

Back To The Top  HomeSite Map