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New DNA tests to help prevent blindness in border collies
"We hope our research will help to reduce the number of dogs that go blind from this disease.”
Genetic mutation found to be responsible for severe gonio 

Scientists have discovered a mutation in the OLFML3 gene which causes sudden blindness in border collies.

The findings have resulted in several companies developing genetic tests for the condition, called goniodysgenesis - or gonio - to avoid affected dogs being used to produce puppies.

In severe gonio, the affected dog’s eyes do not develop properly, which can cause glaucoma, leading to sudden loss of sight. Sudden blindness in border collies was first seen in Australia in the late 90s, then in the UK in relatives of the original dogs. Breeders suspected there may be a genetic cause.

Researchers from the Roslin Institute collected DNA from dog saliva samples and compared those with healthy eyes, to those with symptoms of severe gonio. They found a genetic mutation in OLFML3, which is involved in the early stages of eyeball development.

All dogs who suffered blindness had two copies of the mutation gene. The research paper has been published in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

Dr Carys Pugh, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted that our findings have directly led to a genetic test for this condition. We hope our research will help to reduce the number of dogs that go blind from this disease.”

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

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News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.