Pituitary Dwarfism in German Shepherd
The Pituitary Dwarf leads to a delay of growth. About 11% of German Shepherds carry the genetic mutation responsible for this disease. A reliable DNA test can detect breeders, adapt mating to prevent pups from being born, and spread the disease into the breed.
Disabling hereditary disease
Dwarfism Pituitary leads to growth retardation. The first symptoms appear a few months after birth by a small size, a delay of appearance of the adult coat, hair loss. The affected dog is not a dwarf variety of German Shepherd but an animal that suffers from a hormonal deficiency linked to an underdevelopment of the pituitary, which generates different health problems and a limited life expectancy.
A fairly common disease
About 11% of German Shepherds in Europe carry the genetic mutation responsible for Pituitary Dwarfism. A breeder can unknowingly mate a male carrier and a female carrier and breed litter with infected puppies.
A breeding dog that is a healthy carrier does not develop the disease but transmits it to 50% of its offspring. A mutation-bred stallion, which reproduces a lot, then spreads the disease within the breed and helps to increase the frequency of the mutation and increase the number of pups reached.
A preventable disease
When that a dog is affected by the disease, it means that both parents are at least healthy carriers. Breeders who are not sensitized to Pituitary Dwarfism can unknowingly mate breeders carrying the mutation and give birth to infected puppies.
A DNA test, called the NAH test, makes it possible to detect German Shepherd's Pituitary Dwarfism with superior reliability at 99%
To avoid breeding puppies
The breeder to secure his breeding and not to take the risk of breeding affected puppies, must absolutely detect his breeders using the DNA test.
When acquiring a puppy for breeding or when using a stallion for breeding, the breeder checks the dog's genetic status for Pituitary Dwarfism by asking for the result of the DNA test.
A DNA test easy to perform
The vet carries out a simple oral swab that is sent to the laboratory. The result, delivered in a few days, indicates whether the tested dog is healthy, healthy carrier or affected by pituitary dwarfism. The result in the form of a genetic certificate must be used as a guarantee in the context of a breeding or to justify the sale of puppies free of Pituitary Dwarfism.
The veterinarian who prematurely observes growth problems in a German Shepherd puppy can implement the DNA test to confirm or disprove the diagnosis of Pituitary Dwarfism. If the puppy is actually reached, the parents must also be tested.
Breeders who know the genetic status of their dogs can select breeders, adapt mating, avoid breeding puppies and limit the spread of this disabling disease in the breed.
Dr Guillaume QUENEY
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