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It has been several years now since researchers identified the gene mutation for PRA1 and NAD in Papillons and Phalénes and developed a simple DNA test for people to use to test their breeding stock. As of December 2019, nearly 8000 (PRA1) and 2500 (NAD) Papillons and Phalénes had been DNA tested by genetic test labs worldwide. Of those tested, about 19% and 9% (PRA1 and NAD, respectively) are Carriers and 1% are PRA1 Affected.  NAD is a fatal disease at a young age, so statistics for NAD affected dogs are not available.


DNA testing our breeding stock is just the first, and most important step we all need to take. But sharing those results is another key step towards our goal to eradicate both PRA1 and NAD from our Papillon and Phaléne gene pool! Our goal should be two-fold: 1) know the status of our own breeding stock and use that information wisely going forward and 2) promote responsible breeding for the improved health of our papillons and phalénes. First, contact those who are directly involved in the dog's lineage (i.e., owners/breeders of parents, progeny and siblings, if known). This personal contact is also an opportunity to discuss with that person which dogs they should test and what the significance is to their breeding program. There are as many people out there who do not understand as there are those who have a clear picture of the significance of DNA testing and "smart breeding". So we need to help educate each other whenever we have the chance. Secondly, share your dog's PRA1 and NAD status publicly. Many owners and breeders are opting to submit their DNA test results to OFA, along with their heart, patella and eye examination results. In addition, our PCA Genetics site has both cumulative listings of PRA1 and NAD Results by year and a chart showing worldwide Statistics for PRA1 and NAD Test Results thru 2019 - based on data provided by the genetic testing laboratories. While breeders and owners are continuing to DNA test their breeding stock, we are no longer gathering or publishing updated statistics because the percentages have not changed for some time. Also, many more laboratories worldwide are offering both tests, but some are not willing to provide updated numbers each year.


One of the advantages of publicly disclosing the PRA1 and NAD status of your Papillon(s)/Phaléne(s) is that you don't have to figure out who all might have related dogs. Breeders can look it up for themselves - either on the PCA Genetics website or the OFA website.




Many genetic testing laboratories worldwide are now offering DNA testing for Papillons and Phalénes, including PRA1 and NAD. Most of the laboratories offer various discounts (seasonal discounts, flash sales, combination/panel discounts, club discounts, health clinics, litter discounts, etc.), which you can learn about from their websites or by contacting the laboratory directly. Most of these laboratories will provide DNA test kits and prepaid return shipping with your order.

With DNA based tests, we will eventually eliminate the disease while preserving those desirable attributes that make up our Papillons.


   While Papillons are generally a healthy breed, there are known genetic problems that affect

   some individuals.

   The goal of this Committee is to enlighten the breeding community and the general

   public about the types of problems that can occur, in the hopes we can all work

   together to reduce their incidence. 

 PCA Health & Genetic Committee       

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