The detection of pANCA (perinuclear anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibodies) is a serum test based on evaluation of antibodies to neutrophils which can be easily
assessed from about 1ml of whole blood. The test has been evaluated in a group of 22 SCWT in the United States . The dogs were first tested for pANCA at 6 months of age and then every 6 months thereafter.
All of the dogs in this study were positive for pANCA early on in their life and subsequently went on to develop protein-losing disease later in life.
The interesting fact is that the positive pANCA result was seen on average 2-3 years before the dogs showed any signs of illness. This means that the pANCA serum test could be useful in identifying the
disease before dogs become ill. These dogs could then receive early treatment and their participation in a breeding programme could be reviewed early in their life.
In order to estimate how many dogs in the UK population are pANCA positive, blood samples need to be obtained from at least 200 dogs; preferably 100 dogs in the
age group of 2-4 years and 100 dogs in the age group 4 years and older.
The pANCA test result is unaffected by any other health issues in the dog at the time of testing; for example, the result would not be altered, even if the
dog had already been diagnosed with any other disease. In order to maximise the potential benefits from this project, we hope to combine efforts and send any leftover samples to the AHT for their genetic
If you are able to attend one of the testing sessions, we will take the blood sample, carry out the test and send the result to you free of charge. Results can
be expected to be released 6-8 weeks after sampling. The pANCA test result of each individual dog will be known only to myself and the respective owner. (Although it is strongly recommended
that the owner shares this information with the breeder of the dog and the SCWT Club of GB.)
My research team and I will be taking samples from 3 June until end of August 2007.
I am very much looking forward to carrying out this research and hope that you will be willing to allow your Wheaten to participate.
Dr. Karin Allenspach, Med. Vet., PhD, DECVIM-CA
Lecturer in Internal Medicine, The Royal Veterinary College