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Research in PNA

If you wish to make a donation to the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club's PNA research fund with the Canine Health Foundation:
Check Made out to: AKC Canine Health Foundation
Note on check: For Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Fund For PNA
Mail to: AKC Canine Health Foundation
251 West Garfield Road - Suite 160
Aurora, Ohio 44202-8856

The second test litter was born on July 18, 2001 in the wee hours of the morning. There were 3 puppies in the litter, one coated and 2 hairless. The coated pup was born with a cleft palette and died shortly after birth. They have been named Gryffin and Rayven.
At 6 months of age Rayven began showing symptoms of PNA. The disease is progressing rapidly, she now resides with an MU staff member where she can be cared for and monitored for the rest of her short life. Gryffin remains healthy and has been placed in a loving home.

Update: Rayven was officially diagnosed with PNA following her death early 2003.

Gryffin 15 weeks old

Rayven 15 weeks old

7 Weeks and getting more difficult to photograph

5 weeks old

4 Weeks old

3 weeks old

2 weeks old

1 Day Old

1 Week Old
(Maybe we should've called them Yin & Yan)

Below is the story of the first test litter. Check back for more information on this current litter.

I took ownership of Mona in June of 1999 and later that year was informed that she had produced a PNA puppy in her first litter born March 1999. This gave us the conformation that she was indeed a carrier of PNA and I began discussing the situation with the Neurologist at the University of Missouri, Columbia. That is when the decision was made to have a test mating between Mona and Wolfie, a PNA carrier Chinese Crested Dog. The first PNA test breeding litter of pups was born March, 2000. There were a total of 3 pups, one of which faded and died within the first 24 hours of life. The other two we christened....




Currently the research being done at the University of Missouri, Columbia, primarily focuses on PNA in Chinese Crested dogs. The inclusion of a known Kerry carrier in this project is to add a slightly different type of genetic make-up from that of a Chinese Crested that will possibly help the researchers discover 2 things,

a)if the disease is indeed the same mutation. and...

b) you get a more heterozygous pup which makes mapping the gene responsible easier. Not easy mind you, but easier.

One of the problems that you run into is if the breed is too uniform in their genetic makeup, you can't detect differences in genes that allow you to tell which gene came from which parent. The whole basis of mapping is finding differences in the genes that you correlate with the disease and map it to smaller and smaller areas of the chromosomes until you find the gene responsible for the disease (if you're lucky). With PNA, the gene must be present in both parents in order to produce a PNA puppy. Thus, having parents of two different breeds with a PNA offspring, allows the researchers to first divide out the genes from the different parents and then compare where they are the same to help in locating the single gene responsible for the disease (the marker!). Once this is accomplished, a blood test can then be developed to detect this marker in breeding dogs to help identify carriers when contemplating breeding, which will eradicate PNA by knowing that you are not crossing two dogs that carry the PNA gene and thus the breed will be strengthened. Remember that BOTH parents must be carriers in order to have pups with PNA. You will have successful breedings with just one parent being clear.


Your letters have indicated that you as well as I would like to see a research project in the future which has more emphasis on Kerries, so here are ways in which we as Kerry owners can help:
1) FUNDS: The University already has a pool of Kerry DNA in storage ready for mapping. The Empire Kerry Blue Terry Club has started a PNA research fund with the Canine Health Foundation. To make a donation please make your check out to: AKC Canine Health Foundation
Note on check: For Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Fund For PNA
Mail to: AKC Canine Health Foundation
251 West Garfield Road - Suite 160
Aurora, Ohio 44202-8856
In University research, the earmarked funds must first be present and only then is a project developed to use those funds. The grant is simply a "map" written out to define a study that the University wishes to do and what it will hope to accomplish with a given set of funds that is already in place and earmarked for specific research. So, sufficient funds must be present BEFORE the grant (research) in a given area can be contemplated.
2) KERRY DNA: The university is DEFINITELY interested in more PNA affected Kerries. They certainly do not want to miss an opportunity to get more information on this problem. If someone finds themselves with a PNA suspect, they should contact:
Liz Hansen
Coordinator of Veterinary Information
Dr. Gary Johnson's lab - Dept. of Vet. Path.
209A Connaway Hall
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
573-884-3712 (office)
573-884-5414 (department fax) (office email)

The University would also like to have DNA (blood samples) from the siblings and parents of any suspected PNA pup - the instructions and forms for that can be downloaded from the Canine Epilepsy Network web site - - by clicking on "Sample Submission". or the university can mail or fax the information if people would prefer by contacting Liz. At some point they will have an "all projects" web site, but that isn't ready to roll yet. The instructions and forms are the same for all research projects, so the info you can get on the CEN site should take care of it. And of course, if there are any questions, Liz Hanson is there to try to answer them! By going directly to Liz, you may be assured that no one in the Kerry world will be privy to your information and blood lines, thus you do not have to be worried that you will be ostracized in any way by other Kerry breeders.
Of course, if you have questions that are not answered here, I will also try to answer any questions that I can. Having had a PNA affected Kerry puppy and having gone through the heartbreak of the disease, I am familiar with the warning signs and progression of the disease and I will try to help share that information should you wish to contact me. I will also be updating this web site with information on the test litters and how they are progressing, so please continue to check back.

Test Litter #1 Update...June 8, 2000
The puppies will be on their way to their foster homes within the next week. Pippin appears completely healthy with no signs of neurological problems. Frodo seems all right on the surface, however I am concerned with his movement. He seems to have very subtle gait abnormality at this time.
It looks as though there is a strong possibility for continuing this project next year, of course as with all research, funding is still an issue. I have already notified the University that Mona and I are available if they need us, now we just need to find the $$ to keep the project alive.

Please consider making a donation to the EKBTC PNA research fund with the CHF. Researchers are making new discoveries in the canine genome map every day, it's only a matter of time and dollars before the gene responsible for PNA is found. Your support is very important to this project.


July 13, 2000

The Neurologist at MU strongly believes that Frodo is affected with PNA. Confirmation can only be done as a result of a necropsy at the time of the pup's death. Frodo is currently living happily with a MU staffer where he will spend the rest of his short life in a loving home. Though this news is sad it is also wonderful in regards to the research. Once there is confirmation of PNA then we will know for certain that it is the same disease that affects both Kerries and Chinese Crested Dogs. This serves two very important purposes, it increases the chances of finding the PNA marker due to an increased amount of DNA to work with, and since there is no Kerry specific PNA project at this time, it allows for the continued inclusion of Kerries in the current research. This is a HUGE step forward! I will keep updating this page when more information is available.

Update August 26, 2000

Frodo spends the weekend back home, it is wonderful to see him again. There is now no doubt whatsoever that he has PNA. The disease has progressed quickly, the neurologist believes he may have another month before he is unable to stand or walk, but that is only an estimate. Having Frodo back with us for these few days has made me realize how important this research is and has given me the fortitude to continue. He is by far the happiest and most friendly pup you could imagine, still full of himself even though he is prone to stumbles and falls, it doesn't slow him down much. His color is turning to blue already but he looks an awful lot like an oversized crested in body shape. His caretaker gave him a radical haircut so that the computer gait analysis would be clearer but left his facial hair. His coat is straighter, more like a puff crested would be, though not as soft.

In February 2001 Frodo lost his battle with PNA, he was euthanised and the PNA diagnosis was confirmed, he lived a happy although short life, his sacrifice will help research and benefit Kerry and Crested owners and breeders in the future. Rest in Peace little Frodo.

Plans are for a repeat test breeding between Mona & Wolfie. Reports are that Pippin is completely healthy at this point there is no reason to suspect a problem. She is living a happy life with her new family. I wish I had a picture of her. I'll keep updating this page as we go along.

The second test litter is due sometime in Mid July 2001, I will update this page with information regarding this next litter soon.

For more information on PNA, see Marilyn's PNA Brief..A MUST READ!

Thank you for visiting my PNA page at Angelfire.
Please come back and visit again for updates on the latest research!

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