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as breeders went to the websites of the various labs to test for JHC, a new option to bundle the JHC and DM tests appeared on some of them as a “breed speci c” test. How does this happen? How does a disease crop up overnight without
the knowledge of experienced breeders? And without involvement of the BTCA
and their Health Committee
in educating breeders of this genetic disorder that we should be preventing? It doesn’t. But we will get to that in a moment.
News of this test for Bostons spread like wild re. While experienced breeders were scratching their heads at this new oddity, others took to the
forums preaching of the value
of this new test. Fueled by posts from owners whose Bostons su ered from any type of spinal issue, the notion that Bostons were at risk gained momentum. Cheek swabs (and money....
lots of money) poured into the genetics labs as breeders rushed to get their dogs tested and cleared so they could proudly show their negative test results. And again, experienced breeders wondered, “How did we get here?!”.
Here’s how. In 2014 a study was published regarding the SOD1 gene (DM) and the mutations potentially responsible for some breeds being more at risk for developing the disease. 222
di erent purebred breeds were tested with the Boston Terrier being one of them.  e dogs were chosen for their respective breeds based upon the assertion from the owner that the dog was a purebred. To quote the study, “ is included 1,368 mixed- breed dogs and 32,378 dogs claimed by their owners to be purebred representatives of 222 di erent canine breeds.” Read that again... “claimed by their owners to be purebred”. We have all seen dogs “claimed by their owners to be purebred” that are undeniably mixed breeds. So the “Bostons” used in this study are already questionable right from the start.
But let’s move on to the results.  e number of dogs ranged from just 1, to nearly 6500 dogs in each breed. Only 14 Boston Terriers total were used. Out of those 14, 13 were clear, 0 were carriers, 1 was a ected.  is resulted in a .07 frequency.  e researchers themselves did not seem to consider this relevant enough to include in their  nal report, so Bostons and all others that registered only a “blip” in the study, were le  out of the results. It should have ended there don’t you think?
No, the testing labs seemed to have another take on the study and every one of those breeds
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