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Cornell University Research Project Requests Your Help

Professor Santiago Peralta, DVM, DAVDC at Cornell University and DVM candidate, Nicholas Roman, MA are requesting your participation in a research study on the incidence of orofacial clefts (cleft lip, cleft palate, or both) at birth in several dog breeds. They are asking our breeders to fill out a survey about litters you have whelped in the past year.  The Genetics and Health Committee of ESSFTA has endorsed and requests your participation in this study.  It is completely anonymous.

Purpose of the study:  To determine whether certain purebred dogs have a higher risk of orofacial clefts and to estimate the financial impact on breeding programs.

Time commitment:  The survey should generally take 10 to 20 minutes to complete (it may take longer for extremely large breeding programs). No personally identifiable information is collected as part of the survey.

What you get out of it:  Getting involved in research is a powerful way to be a part of veterinary medical breakthroughs. While we cannot offer financial compensation for participating in this survey, we hope that the research may eventually help to improve breeding programs. By participating in this study, you can help improve researchers’ understanding of the frequency with which orofacial clefts occur as well as possible causes, predictors, and risk factors. The information gained may potentially help veterinarians and researchers to diagnose, treat, and prevent orofacial clefts and thus improve breeding operation economics.

This study is being performed by Professor Santiago Peralta, DVM, DAVDC, and other colleagues in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine.  Should you have questions or concerns about the study, Dr. Peralta can be contacted via email at

Participation in this survey is voluntary.  All participants must be at least 18 years old.  You may refuse to participate, discontinue at any time, or skip any questions, with no penalty, although incomplete surveys may not be included in the study analysis.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights as a subject in this study, you may contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Participants at 607-255-6182 or access their website at You may also report your concerns or complaints anonymously through Ethicspoint online at or by calling toll free at 1-866-293-3077. Ethicspoint is an independent organization that serves as a liaison between the University and the person bringing the complaint so that anonymity can be ensured.

New article – Cushings Disease

New article – Cushings Disease

Many thanks to Barbara Boettcher for writing a very useful article for our site describing the experience that she and her husband, Gunther, have had with Cushings Disease in their dog Rocky.  Rocky is officially known as FC AFC CFC Lighthouse Rock Star.

Lighthouse Rock Star

Photo Credit: Photography by Geeb

We know you'll find the article informative:

Please contact us if you'd like to share your experience with a health issue in your ESS.

Genetic Testing Company Seeking PFK & Fucosidosis Affecteds/Carriers

Paw Print Genetics, a new genetic testing laboratory dedicated to canines, seeks cheek swab samples from English Springer Spaniels that are affected or carriers for either PFK (phosphofructokinase deficiency) or fucosidosis to assist in validating their DNA testing protocols.  If you can offer assistance with this process please contact Martine Huslig at Paw Print Genetics, 509.483.5950 or mhuslig[at]

FAQ on Cord 1 PRA Testing

Thank you to Patricia Meiser, DVM of Animal Care and Reproductive Services, LLC in Westmont, IL and the ESSFTA Foundation for sharing a useful primer regarding the Cord 1 PRA test for ESS and how this test can be used in our breeding programs.  Click here to access this document.