Inherited Diseases of Huntaway Dogs

Several inherited diseases of Huntaway dogs have come to our attention and we welcome further information on them.

1. MucopolysaccharidosisIIIA (MPSIIIA)
This is a lysosomal storage disease that begins insidiously but manifests with progressive cerebella ataxia from about 2-3 years of age. We presently offer a free DNA based diagnostic test with follow up tests on related dogs. These are done on EDTA blood, or blood drops on blotting paper, but please contact one of the undersigned before submitting sample so it is expected.

2. Sub-aortic stenosis with acute cardiac infarction
We have had several such dogs with cardiac infarction from about 1 yr of age. Affected dogs are likely to have a prominent murmur from a young age and may show exercise intolerance associated with minor infarcts. Sudden death may occur.

3. Dilated cardiac myopathy
A possible inherited predisposition to this disease has been identified in Huntaway dogs. Affected individuals are likely to be male, large size and around 4 years of age. Clinical signs include exercise intolerance followed by development of congestive heart failure.

4. Black hair follicular dysplasia
Recently black hair follicular dysplasia has been identified in a Huntaway. This disorder manifests as hair loss restricted to black areas of the body from as early as 2 weeks of age. It is caused by an inherited defect in a protein responsible for intracellular transport of melanin. Hair loss predisposes to skin infection but is not life threatening. Definitive diagnosis can be obtained through skin biopsy.

5, Anasarca of foetuses
Foetal anasarca, necessitating caesarian section has occurred in a number of litters. Further information on other cases and a DNA sample (heart blood dotted on blotting paper or tissue such as liver) would be appreciated; but please contact the undersigned before submitting. A recessive mode of inheritance is suspected.

R.D Jolly, R.D.Jolly@massey.ac.nz phone 06 356 9099 ext 7891
J.S. Munday, J.Munday@massey.ac.nz phone 06 3569099 ext 4581
N.R. Marshall, nm.kmvs@xtra.co.nz phone 021 581984