Health Testing News - Neuronal Degeneration

In January 2016 we submitted DNA swabs to the University of Minnesota in the U.S. for testing for Neuronal Degeneration. The DNA test for Neuronal Degeneration is a new test which has been developed specifically for Pyreneans after the condition was identified in the breed in the U.S. (to date no affected dogs have been identified in Australia).  We have tested three dogs: Louise (Ch Despreaux la Chanteuse), Nena (Ch Espinay Albine) and Azure (Ch Espinay Azun).  All three have tested as clear (N/N), meaning they have two normal copies of the gene and don't carry the gene for Neuronal Degeneration.

Neuronal Degeneration is a lethal condition which causes widespread degeneration in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It causes symptoms such as muscular weakness and ataxia in the rear.  They may also develop laryngeal paralysis. It first appears in pups at around 4 to 6 months of age and is a degenerative condition which means dogs who have the condition slowly get worse over time. The gene for Neuronal Degeneration is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, which means dogs need two copies of the gene to be affected by the condition.  Dogs with one copy of the gene will not be affected, but will be able to pass the gene to their offspring. Testing enables those dogs identified as carriers (having one copy of the gene and one normal gene) to be bred to dogs identified as clear (having two normal genes) so that they do not produce puppies that are affected by Neuronal Degeneration and can safely remain in the gene pool.  With careful breeding policies it is hoped that no more affected Pyreneans will be produced.