are overall very healthy and sound. Veterinary costs are almost
only for vaccinations and health certificates. "Fred" in England was 27 years when I
last heard of him, Marie Antoinettes papillon lived on, after she was executed, to be
22 years old.
However we have to watch out for are Patella Luxation and PRA. Neither is usually a
big problem for the concerned dog but they may be a big problem for a breeder.
The Swedish PapillonClub, Papillon Ringen, have been working for healthy knees for
more than 40 years. There are still some Swedish Papillons with faulty knees but it's not a
3 Papillons (2%), so far, out of Golden Leaf's Kennel have been shown to suffer from
Patella Luxation. 2 are ex the same dam by different sires - all her offspring have been
excluded from breeding.
In the end of 1991 we discovered a few cases of PRA in Swedish Papillons. In
Papillons it is mostly not discovered until 4 years, many are found at 5-6 years of age. This
is probably the reason why PRA has not been found earlier. As a papillon is a very clever dog
and they have this late form of the disease, they simply develop other senses when their
nightvision becomes blurred.
Int Ch SW-91 Golden Leaf's Limerick was classified as PRA through an ERG-test in
June 1992. He stayed with us as a beloved pet and wise leader of the other Papillons and
was put to sleep at 15 years of age. At 10,5 years he was blind in the dark but You had to
know it to notice, because he moved around freely and as assure of himself as he had always
been as long as he was on familiar ground. Jumped in and out of bed, ran far from me outside
etc. The top eye-vet in Sweden was very impressed when checking him at more than 10.
As a veteran he made comeback in the showring because I wanted to show the
doubters that his eyesight is excellent in daylight. They were finally convinced and as a
sidebenefit he was made Veteran of the Year 1996. I had to cry when accepting the award,
Limerick has certainly given me a lot of happy AND sad times.
A total of 3 Papillons (2%) från Golden Leaf's Kennel have, so far, been classified as
PRA. The two others are GL Liza (2 CCs), a sister of Limerick's and GL Tesoro (2 Agility
CCs) a son of Limerick's. All were "made" before knowledge of the disease
PRA is not a Swedish problem. Dogs of purebred English lines have been affected or
are known carriers of the gene. Sweden have, however, more extensively tested Papillons than
in any other country beacause we have a Health Program run by the Swedish Kennel Club on
PRA. Starting 2005 also PL-results are listed through SKK.
The SKK Health Program states:
- All dogs must have an ID-no
- All dogs must be vet.certified clear within a year of each mating (ERG-tested are cleared
- No dog affected with PRA or a known carrier of PRA may be used for breeding
- All information of PRA is official and free. No secrets!
A carrier is known either by one parent having PRA or by previous offspring having PRA
PRA is a recessive disease which means that both parents must carry the gene for a
pup to be affected. The carriers are healthy themselves. This means that NO Papillon can be
guaranteed not to be a carrier.
This makes a breeders task difficult since PRA develops late in Papillons. By ERG
(ElectroRetinoGram) a dog can, at 18 months, be cleared for life. ERG is a guarantee against
the disease itself.
The Swedish Breed Clubs Breeding Council lists all tested dog and the list can be
obtained cheaply by all it's members. The list is an excellant tool where You can easily check
all planned pedigrees. How many generations have been cleared? At what age?
Or You can just check the pedigree at SKK - click Webtjänster - Hunddata - Sök
hundar, and write down the dogs name at namn: You can find healthresults, competitions, titles,
pedigree, offspring and much useful information about any listed dog.
Much is still done by chance though, remember:
- No Papillon, unless ERG-tested, under the age of 4 (of any bloodlines) can be guaranteed
not to have PRA
- No Papillon, anywhere of any bloodlines, can be guaranteed not to carry the gene
PRA naturally concerns all Papillons, not only those of Scandinavian ancestry. The
ancestors of ours were from Belgian and English bloodlines, the same lines that have been
spread all over the world.
The last five years less than 1 % Papillons registered in Sweden have been classified
as PRA (since 10 years 0% born at Golden Leafs Kennels)