Histio Testing September 21 Events

Reduced Price ‘Histio’ Blood Testing

The Club is pleased to announce that we are able to offer reduced cost blood sampling for the Bernese SH test at the 2021 Garden Party on Sunday September 5th and at the Championship Show on Saturday September 25th at Priors Marston on September 25th.

Most members will be aware that the club’s Code of Ethics recommends that breeding stock is screened using the Systemic Histiocytosis test developed by the team based at University of Rennes in conjunction with the French Breed Club and provided by French international genetics company Antagene. There are now almost 3,000 Bernese from 26 countries visible on the International HS database.

Bernese owner Dr Rich Irvine BVSc MRCVS is the veterinary surgeon offering his services completely free of charge to facilitate this. Dr Irvine will not be shaving dogs to take the sample and the small blood sample required should not cause any upset to the dogs or affect their day in any way beyond taking up a few minutes of time.
On top of a negotiated club discount with Antagene the Bernese Health Initiative has agreed to subsidise this further for BMDC of GB club members taking the overall cost to just £80 per dog, for some people this special price will be less than half the normal cost of the test (dependent on vets fees, postage and currency conversions etc).

It is hoped that those attending the events with potential breeding dogs* of either gender who have not yet been tested take advantage of this offer. We are happy to offer guidance available to assist with the paperwork for the test, which some people find difficult to complete, and demonstrations of the HSIMS database will be available to help owners make full use of the test for anyone who would like more information and guidance on how to use the test.


It is essential the documents listed below are completed and returned in advance to allow your test on the day and to ensure smooth and timely running of the testing.

We have limited places available so please ensure you email the Bernese Health Initiative  to reserve your place as early as possible, detailing how many dogs and which events you will be attending.’ You will receive a response to confirm your booking and confirm the directions below. Do not attend expecting a test unless you have received the reply.

Follow the guidance below to start the process off. Please note that whilst we will endeavour to be as flexible as we can on the day it may be necessary to restrict the times of the testing so please listen for any announcements about the testing to make sure you don’t miss out.

Points to Note

  • Any Bernese that may be considered for future breeding* can take advantage of this offer. This test is not offered by the developers as a general information test for non breeding dogs and is only of any value for breeding dogs.
  • Dogs do not have to be entered in the main show. (NB under KC rules all dogs present within the designated show ground area should be either entered, NFC or as a visitor dog on the day).
  • Results of the test will only be sent to the owners and Dr Irvine who will not be sharing them with the club. It is definitely not a condition of this offer that the results are shared with the club or anyone else. After receiving the results owners will have the option, via their Antagene on line account, to allow their dogs to be viewed on the HSIMS database. This database can only be viewed by those who have put at least one dog into the system so is not available to the general public who have not utilised the test. Even if electing to enter your dog onto the database the test results themselves are still not made public and this will only happen if actively publicised in some other way by the owner themselves.
  • All sampling at the Garden Party or Championship Show is by pre booking and payment only and booking requests should be sent to the Bernese Health Initiative
  • After booking  you will receive an email confirming your booking. Once confirmed owners need to arrange the paperwork for the test as detailed below and arrange payment by paying using the show entry process or BACS. Please note, tests booked to be undertaken at the Garden Party can still be paid for via the Champ Show entry if made in time.


Documents You are Required to download and complete and return (click to download where appropriate)

Antagene test Order Form –  Order form from the Antagene web site. Please download and print it off and complete sections 5 and 7 making sure the details are clear, especially the dog’s full name and the chip (identification) number and your email address for the results.

Memorandum of Understanding –  Only if this is your first ‘Histio’ test sample do you need to download 2 copies of this document. One will need to be completed and signed and handed over when you test is taken to go to Antagene with your sample and the other is for you to keep as a reminder. If you have previously had at least one dog tested you do not need to do this again as long as the dog you are testing now is in the same name, or names, as the previous dog.

Veterinary Consent Form – Blood sampling is a veterinary procedure and owner consent is needed. Please download and complete this form which also gives authority for Dr Irvine to send a courtesy contact to your vet.

Your KC Registration certificate – this is needed to confirm the details on your order form, especially the chip number. If your registration does not have your chip number you will need something else that officially names your dog and gives the chip number, such as a Petlog registration copy. Dr Irvine will need to see this on the day with your dog but will not need to keep a copy.

A Copy of your dog’s pedigree to go to Antagene with your sample is not essential but is very helpful to the ongoing research side of the project.

These documents should be completed and emailed to bhi@bernese.co.uk


Payment Details

All tests must be paid for in advance. No testing will take place without prior payment. Each dog tested is £80.

1] You can pay with an entry, online or postal, to the Championship Show, even if you are not otherwise entering the show. Just fill in the form as if you are entering but enter Not for Competition and tick the ‘Histio’ test box.

2] You can also pay by direct BACs, bank details below. Please email to confirm this has been done and the date the payment was made. Deadline for payment by this method is Thursday 26th August for the Garden Party and Thursday 16th September for the Championship Show.

Bank Details: Barclays Bank

Account Name: BMDC of GB

Sort Code: 20-43-04

Acc Numb: 4057 9246

If you are unable to pay by either of these methods please email Emily on bhi@bernese.co.uk  to discuss other options.



If you have any concerns or queries about the process, payment, documents or anything connected with this initiative please email Emily Green at bhi@bernese.co.uk giving a phone number if you prefer a call and she will be happy to help you out.


The Test

This test is different to any other in the whole veterinary world, it really is world leading and an example of the future for genetic testing. We are extremely lucky to have it to help our breed but it is so different it does need a bit of effort to understand and should not be applied or thought of like other genetic tests. Only by using it properly to help make informed breeding decisions, of course alongside all the other criteria breeders have to consider, will we begin to reduce the curse of this disease and reduce the high cancer death rate across the breed. More general information about ‘Histio’ and the test can be found on this web site by the links below.

It is hoped UK breeders who have not tested their breeding dogs to date, make good use of this special opportunity to test their dogs with reduced effort and at a cheap rate and maybe take the chance to learn more about the test and how to apply it.

Thank you

Emily Green, Steve Green & Donna Hughes

Bernese Health Initiative


Late July 2021 Update

Initial response to this offer has been very good with a high response rate so, if you wish to take advantage of this great opportunity to test your potential breeding Bernese, please book as soon as you can to avoid missing out. Also it is even more important that all documentation is correctly returned, to ensure time to check and compile them for Dr Irvine, to ensure smooth processing of dogs on the day.


Further ‘Histio’ information on this site

Main Histio Page



Event Information

For more information about attending either of these events please go to the September 2021 Events page


* Potential breeding dogs are those whose owners might be considering using them in breeding in the future. There is no obligation to breed with your dog as a consequence of taking this test. It is merely offered as one part of the process of assessment for breeding. If you have no intention of breeding with your Bernese then there is no value in this test.