Glen of Imaal Terrier Health

    In line with the Kennel Club’s "primary commitment to the health and welfare of dogs" we are undertaking to monitor Glen of Imaal Terrier health …... and we cannot do this without your help!

Please visit our HEALTH STRATEGY page to see what you can do to help us monitor the health of this lovely breed.

We will also be producing Surveys & Health Reports that are AVAILABLE TO ALL

The EFG operates an informed consent database. All information sent to the Breed Health Co-ordinator remains confidential unless the owner specifically authorizes release of the information into the public domain. Owners are encouraged to release all information, realising it is in the ultimate health interests of the breed. For those not quite ready to accept open sharing of information, there is still value in submitting their results. All test information entered into the database is available in aggregate for research and statistical reporting purposes, but does not disclose identification of individual dogs.

Copyright 2013

Unfortunately around 20 years or so ago it was discovered the Glen of Imaal Terrier suffers from an hereditary eye disease called Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The breed worldwide pulled together to combat this & the two research projects,  Optigen in the United States and Bochum in Germany, arrived at the self same discovery within weeks of each other!


~ Progressive a slowly developing disease process ~ the affected dog will gradually lose its sight and will usually adjust to its handicap

Generalised progressive retinal atrophy (GPRA or PRA) was first recognised in the Glen of Imaal Terrier in the mid 1990’s.  This condition causes gradual loss of vision.  To develop PRA, an affected Glen has to have inherited two copies of the disease gene … one from each parent.  Up until recently, the only way to diagnose PRA in the Glen was by eye testing.  Glen PRA is late onset, with some affected Glens not showing any clinical signs of disease (by eye examination) until seven years old and older … in many cases after breeding duties were completed.  This made it almost impossible to “breed out” PRA from the Glen gene pool.

In 2010, the gene that causes Glen PRA was identified.  The Glen is the only breed with this particular variant of PRA … cone-rod dystrophy 3 (crd3).  The development of a DNA test means that we need never again breed a Glen that is at risk of developing crd3; and we can work towards eliminating crd3 from our gene pool.  As long as breeders have at least one DNA-tested or hereditary Clear parent in a pairing, the puppies will not develop crd3.

Professor Bedford, a veterinary eye specialist and patron of the Glen of Imaal Terrier Association (UK) writes on GOITA’s Glen Health page, “As a breed you have already developed the discipline of eye examination and you should continue to be certain that another problem does not become entrenched within the breed …… Eye examination is essential to ensure that our delightful breed remains free from other potential ocular [eye] disease.
There is no consensus as to how often eye testing should be done, but at 2-3 years, 5 – 7 years and over 10 years is a suggestion that covers the age range at which late onset PRA has been diagnosed in the Glen. Eye testing is generally recommended on an annual basis and so most responsible breeders will eye test their breeding stock on a more regular basis. Eye examination needs to be done by a Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist whose name is listed on the BVA/KC
Panel of Examiners

For information about how you can arrange to have your Glen eye tested or DNA tested, please click here

                                                          Eye test results can be found for individual Glens on the Kennel Club website.(DNA results for                                                            CRD 3 are also listed.  The EFG organise an annual eye testing session in July. Other                                                            sessions are held around the country by breed clubs and canine societies.                                                            Please use the Contact page to enquire about DNA and Eye Testing Sessions                                                          

NB.  Your Glen must be either tattooed or microchipped for both DNA and eye testing

Details can be found on page 11 of the DNA booklet

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Want the full Glen of Imaal Terrier/ DNA and breeding story?

The document cover on the left will take you to the DNA/Glen of Imaal Terrier story (full digital copy) in a lot more depth & it is suggested you do it if you are thinking of mating your Glen either now or in the future. If you are thinking of breeding AT ALL you owe it to Glendom (and the owners of any of your puppies) to make sure your dog or bitch has been DNA tested

Prefer a video presentation on PRA ?

Have a look here