|Direct DNA Test Now Available for (Juvenile) Renal Dysplasia
There is now a gene test available for all breeds for the disease traditionally known as juvenile renal dysplasia and now referred to simply as canine (congenital) renal dysplasia. Renal dysplasia results ultimately in kidney failure, with clinical symptoms being first increased thirst and urination (PU/PD), then vomiting, weight loss and loss of appetite. Until now the only way to diagnose the disease was with a wedge biopsy.
It was long thought that only those dogs who died young of kidney disease could have renal dysplasia, but new evidence has demonstrated that more adults than puppies actually succumb to renal dysplasia, and even veteran dogs can ultimately be brought down by this disease. This is important to note as renal dysplasia is an inherited disorder, so those dogs which only develop clinical signs of the disease as an adult may unwittingly enter a breeding program and pass on this disease to offspring even in its most severe form.
The change in names reflects a better understanding of the disease & its mode of inheritance, which is dominant with incomplete penetrance, which means: (a) that any offspring of a dog diagnosed with RD has at least a 50/50 chance of having inherited the gene for the disease, and (b) that many dogs who do NOT necessarily show signs of the disease may still carry the gene for the disease and pass it on to offspring.
So for families where kidney failure has occurred and/or where a wedge biopsy has been performed and found to be positive (for RD), using the new direct DNA test can allow breeders to locate clear dogs and carriers of the disease gene, and owners to determine if a dog they own may have inherited the defect. The cost per dog is $135 and discounts are given for litters and for breed clubs. Three buccal swabs are needed per dog for testing.
Best regards, JP Yousha
Permission to reprint as submitted for educational purposes is given.