Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Other Names: Familial Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, ARDS
Affected Genes: ANLN
Inheritance: Autosomal Recessive
Mutation: chr14:47912313 (canFam3): C/T
Breed(s): Dalmatian

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Common Symptoms

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is an inherited disease affecting dogs. Affected dogs present between 5 and 10 months of age with clinical signs of severe lung disease including rapid, strained, and noisy breathing, extension of the neck, blue to purple gums, and low blood oxygen. Radiographs (X-rays) of affected dogs are consistent with signs of diffuse lung injury, and in some cases, the dogs develop a phenomenon in which air fills the space surrounding the heart, trachea, esophagus and other structures in the central thorax (known as pneumomediastinum). Dogs typically die or are humanely euthanized within six weeks of the initial clinical signs due to poor quality of life.

Testing Tips

Genetic testing of the ANLN gene will reliably determine whether a dog is a genetic Carrier of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Acute respiratory distress syndrome 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 ANLN 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.


  • Holopainen S, Hytonen MK, Syrja P, Arumilli M, Jarvinen AK, Rajamaki M, Lohi H. ANLN truncation causes a familial fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome in Dalmatian dogs. PLoS Genet. 2017 Feb 21;13(2):e1006625. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006625. [PubMed: 28222102]
  • Jarvinen A, Saario E, Andresen E, Happonen I, Saari S, Rajamaki M. Lung Injury Leading to Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Young Dalmatian Dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 1995 May-Jun;9(3):162-8. [PubMed: 7674217]