Amstaff juvenile Laryngeal and Polyneuropathy
ALPP is an abbreviation that stands for “Amstaff juvenile Laryngeal and Polyneuropathy”. First described in the scientific literature in 2018, and since 2022 detectable by performing a DNA test. ALPP is Just like Ataxia a neurological disease, or better said, a disorder, which affects the brain, spinal cord and nerves in the dogs body.
The first signs of ALPP can appear as early as 3 months of age and are usually manifested by respiratory impairment (presence of noises) and a modification of the bark (dysphonia). The ataxic approach (loss of movement coordination) usually occurs after a few months to a few years later.
Dogs with ALPP exhibit an abnormal gait. This can be the first clinical sign. Most, but not all, affected dogs also develop laryngeal paralysis which will be leading to respiratory distress. In some cases, the laryngeal paralysis becomes noticeable first, this before the abnormal gait will be present.
Also ALPP can develop megaesophagus , which is a disorder in which the oesophagus gets larger in size and consequently loses its ability to transport food. When this disorder occurs, the food accumulates in the animal’s esophagus.
Antagene laboratories in France reckon that 8% of the American Staffordshire population carries this gen.
ALPP is a hereditary disease which can be discovered by performing a DNA test.
Antagene is a specialized laboratory that conducts these tests. The cost of ALPP testing is currently around 75 Euro.
There are 3 results possible:
ALPP free: this dog will never develop and / or pass the disease to its offspring.
ALPP carrier: this dog will never develop the disease, but could possibly pass on if it’s bred with another dog which is carrier of this gene.
ALPP affected: 2 defective copies of the implicated gene – the dog has ALPP, and will pass the gene onto offspring.
The approximate inheritance rate of breeding a clear, carrier and affected dog is as follows:
Clear to Clear – 100% Clear
Clear to Carrier – 50% Clear, 50% Carrier
Clear to Affected – 100% Carriers
Carrier to Carrier – 25% Affected, 25% Clear, 50% Carriers
Carrier to Affected – 50% Affected, 50% Carriers
Affected to Affected – 100% Affected
Testing for ALPP should be obligatory!
The kennel clubs should put a covenant in place whereby testing for ALPP is an obligatory part for receiving a pedigree for the American Staffordshire Terrier.
This is in our opinion a next milestone to get our breed as healthy as possible.