Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (Rottweiler Type)

Other Names: NAD
Affected Genes: VPS11
Inheritance: Autosomal Recessive
Mutation: chr5:14777774 (canFam3): A/G
Breed(s): Rottweiler

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Common Symptoms

Neuroaxonal dystrophy (Rottweiler type) is an inherited neurological disease affecting dogs. Affected dogs often present before 5 years of age (most commonly before 2 years of age) with a variety of neurological symptoms including progressive gait and posture abnormalities, head tremors and incoordination of the head, loss of balance, hyperactive reflexes, gait abnormalities, and rapid involuntary movements of the eyes called Nystagmus. Despite maintaining normal vision, affected dogs also have a decreased response to objects moving rapidly toward the eyes (decreased menace response). Disease progression tends to be slow and some affected dogs may live to late adulthood despite progressively severe clinical signs of the disease.

Testing Tips

Genetic testing of the VPS11 gene will reliably determine whether a dog is a genetic Carrier of neuroaxonal dystrophy (Rottweiler type). Neuroaxonal dystrophy (Rottweiler type) is inherited in an Autosomal Recessive manner in dogs meaning that they must receive two copies of the mutated gene (one from each parent) to develop the disease. In general, carrier dogs do not have features of the disease but when bred with another carrier of the same Mutation, there is a risk of having affected pups. Each pup that is born to this pairing has a 25% chance of inheriting the disease and a 50% chance of inheriting one copy and being a carrier of the VPS11 gene mutation. Reliable genetic testing is important for determining breeding practices. In order to eliminate this mutation from breeding lines and to avoid the potential of producing affected pups, breeding of known carriers to each other is not recommended. Dogs that are not carriers of the mutation have no increased risk of having affected pups.

There may be other causes of this condition in dogs and a normal result does not exclude a different mutation in this gene or any other gene that may result in a similar genetic disease or trait.


  • Chrisman CL, Cork LC, Gamble DA. Neuroaxonal dystrophy of Rottweiler dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1984 Feb 15;184(4):464-7. PubMed: 6698879 [PubMed: 6698879]
  • Lucot KL, Dickinson PJ, Finno CJ, Mansour TA, Letko A, Minor KM, Mickelson JR, Drogemuller C, Brown CT, Bannasch DL. A Missense Mutation in the Vacuolar Protein Sorting 11 (VPS11) Gene Is Associated with Neuroaxonal Dystrophy in Rottweiler Dogs. G3 (Bethesda). 2018 Jul 31;8(8):2773-2780. doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200376. PubMed: 29945969 [PubMed: 29945969]