Hereditary neurological disease
Cerebellar Ataxia is a neurological disease. The first signs of this horrible disease usually appear when the dog is between 3 and 5 years of age.
Symptoms include equilibrium imbalance, difficulties with coordination and falling while shaking its head.
The disease is progressive and unfortunately there is no cure yet.
Ataxia is a hereditary genetic disease. This means that a dog who receives 2 defective copies (1 of each parent) of the mutated gene can develop the disease.
The disease Ataxia is very easy to establish through a DNA test.
Antagene is a specialized laboratory that conducts these tests. The cost of testing this is currently around 78 Euro.
There are 3 results possible:
- Ataxia free (this dog will never develop and / or pass the disease to its offspring).
- Ataxia 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).
- Ataxia affected – 2 defective copies of the implicated gene – the dog has ataxia, 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)
It is completely safe to breed two ataxia free dogs. This is our only and absolute preference.
Testing is obligatory
Since January 1, 2016, a convenant with the Raad van Beheer has been put in place whereby testing for ataxia is an obligatory part for receiving a pedigree. This is in our opinion a milestone to get our breed ( in the Netherlands ) as healthy as possible.