Ectopic ureters (also called ‘wet puppy syndrome’) is known to be a hereditary problem in Golden retrievers; however the mechanism for the inheritance of this condition is unknown. In the Entlebucher Mountain dog a recent study, using an ultrasound screening test of healthy dogs has identified 3 ureteric subtypes (A, B & C), with ‘A’ being normal, ‘C’ being ectopic and ‘B’ intermediate. Pre-mating ultrasound screening in this breed has achieved a reduction of the incidence of wet puppies from 26% to 10% over 3-4 years.
Cambridge University is undertaking similar research in the Golden Retriever. An ultrasound screening test is being used to assess whether three subtypes can be identified in the Golden Retriever and to see if there are clinically normal dogs present within the breed with type C ureters (ectopic).
The aim of the project is to determine whether an ultrasound screening (or DNA) test can be used to reduce the number of wet puppies and thus improve the health and welfare of the Golden Retriever. The project will hopefully shed light on how the condition is being transmitted and provide a strategy to reduce its incidence. The initial findings of the project can be found here

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