In this second blog of a two part blog series (read part one here) about inherited diseases of the wonderful old English sheepdog (OES), we will examine two inherited diseases reported in multiple dog breeds in addition to the OES.
Historically a disease associated with the German shepherd dog, degenerative myelopathy (DM) has now been identified in over 100 dog breeds. A canine disease similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) which affects people, DM is a late-onset neurological disease caused by a mutation in the SOD1 gene. Affected dogs initially present around 7 to 10 years of age with weakness in the hind limbs and difficulty rising after lying down. As affected dogs gradually lose the ability to fully control their hind limbs, it is common for them to begin dragging their hind feet while walking and may occasionally lose their balance and fall over. In some circumstances, affected dogs will also suffer from urinary and/or fecal incontinence. Once initial signs of disease present, progression of the neurological dysfunction to the front limbs tends to be rapid with most dogs losing the ability to walk within 6 months to two years.
Diseases with a late ...