Did you know that one of the current most prevalent and costly hereditary health problems in the Boston Terrier breed is completely preventable with one inexpensive health test?
Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts are preventable through responsible breeding practices. At the All Color Boston Terrier Club we understand the importance of health testing, but we need your help to further awareness and education on the matter.
Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts were first found by K.C. Barnett in a Boston Terrier’s eyes the year of 1978. The lens in the eye focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye so a canine may see clearly. Cataracts occur when the normally transparent lens becomes clouded. Able to be seen as early as 8 weeks of age, the cataracts begin as small white flecks viewable when the pupil is dilated. By the age of 9 months the cataracts take on a form much like that of crushed-ice in appearance. A JHC is typically fully developed by the age of 4.
For an excellent article on Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts please see the Boston Terriers of Color's article linked here:
Though JHCs were first discovered in BTs in 1978 it wasn't until Dr. Cathryn Mellersh and her research group at Animal Health Trust (AHT) in England were able to map and identify the mutated gene responsible for Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts, entitled the ‘heat shock transcription factor’ gene or HSF4. This gene is responsible for JHCs in Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Because of the success of Dr. Mellersh and her research group, a DNA test was developed in Feb 2006 and began being offered by AHT to the public at $116 a test, results typically provided in 3-4 weeks.
Thanks to advances through medicine there are now additional laboratories that can test for JHCs not only with a faster result turn around rate but at a more affordable cost as well. We have worked with several laboratories but we have been most impressed with Animal Genetics, Inc. Their website is informative, customer service is thorough and attentive, results typically supplied in 1 week of being received, and they offer JHC testing year round to the public for $45 a test. Let it be noted that All Color Boston Terrier Club members are awarded a year round discount of $5 per test ordered through AG,INC.
The All Color Boston Terrier Club and Animal Genetics, Inc have teamed up to bring you Juvenile Hereditary Cataract Awareness Month the entire month of October. With the help of the Boston Terriers of Color on Facebook we will be spreading the word about the importance of Juvenile Hereditary Cataract testing with the help of the below incentives:
**Animal Genetics has donated 4 gift certificates good for 1 free JHC test (a $45 value) that we will be given away through the month of October on our ACBTC Facebook page and the BTSofC Facebook page. Be sure and LIKE the pages to receive updates for when we will be giving away those free tests.
**Animal Genetics has agreed to offer the least expensive JHC testing that has ever been offered to the public by any testing facility in the history of this test to commemorate Juvenile Hereditary Cataract Awareness Month: ***ONLY $35***
**You do not need to be a member of the All Color Boston Terrier Club to receive the discount. This is open to the public for all breeds affected by juvenile hereditary cataracts: Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers and any others there may be that we are unaware of.
How do I take advantage of this offer from Animal Genetics?
1. Order the # of test kits you need by going to this link -----> (copy and paste to your URL) http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/CanineTestKits.htm
Test kits are free from Animal Genetics so you can stock up if you'd like extras on hand for later use. Payment is made once the test is completed and mailed back.
2. Once you receive the test kit read all instructions carefully. There will be two swabs in an envelope that resemble tiny bottle cleaners. To conduct the test you will be rubbing the inner cheek of your dogs mouth with the swab which is completely painless and can usually be done by one person. There will also be paperwork to fill out with your personal information as well as information about the dog being tested.
3. Once both test and paperwork are completed being sealed in an envelope along with payment the test must be mailed to the All Color Boston Terrier Club as we will be collecting all JHC tests that are part of JHC Awareness Month that will receive the discount. The last day that tests can be received will be October 31, 2012 as we will mail them all together, unopened, to Animal Genetics.
4. In order to receive the $35 price per test they must be mailed to the ACBTC, no exceptions. The address will not be posted publicly so please email us at email@example.com or please message us through the ACBTC FB page and we will return response with the mailing address.
Again we will not be opening and reading any of the tests received. They will all be mailed sealed to AG, INC. The results of the testing are solely the property of the person who mailed in the test. AG will only supply the total number of tests collected to the ACBTC so that we will know how productive our Awareness month was for next year which we will gladly share with you
In regards to payment, you may pay Animal Genetics using, credit card, check, or PayPal. In the event you'd like to choose PayPal once the test is completed, at the bottom of the information sheet is payment info which lists the PayPal email address. Pay each test with a separate payment at $35 each and subject the payment with the name of the dog you are testing on the information sheet you are submitting with the swabs. Your payment will be stored in the system and easily accessible to AG, INC.
**There will be no pre-paid tests accepted for Juvenile Hereditary Cataract Awareness Month. This means you can't pay for the tests in October to receive the discount and use them in December. To receive the discount you must submit tests by October 31, 2012 to the All Color Boston Terrier Club (email firstname.lastname@example.org or the FB page directly for the mailing address)**
The person with the most power to really make a difference in helping to spread the importance of health testing for juvenile hereditary cataracts is YOU. Why? If you choose not to adopt from a rescue and pursue finding a puppy from a breeder stick to your guns and only get a puppy that has come from juvenile hereditary cataract tested parents. Since it normally costs the breeder only $90 to have sire and dam tested for JHCs through Animal Genetics the decision to buy a puppy from an educated breeder who tests for juvenile hereditary cataracts or from one who does not and potentially get a puppy that may go blind into adulthood or having to put your puppy through a surgery at the expense of $3500+ to try and repair JHCs to save their sight which usually only has a 50% success rate is a no brainer right?
**Always ask breeders for proof of JHC testing prior to purchasing your puppy from them. Don't settle for the excuse of "my vet looked at their eyes and they are fine" or "we have never had problems before". A breeder who health tests is proud to supply their certificates without hindrance or question and would never balk at the request from a potential puppy buyer.
"Breeders you don't want to be like the rest, the best test."