Institute of Genetics

Cardiomyopathy and juvenile mortality in the Belgian Shepherd

Completed research project

Belgischer Schäferhund

Cardiomyopathy and juvenile mortality (CJM) comprises a very unspecific disease. Affected puppies developed normally until approximately 6 weeks of age when variable signs such as vomiting, weakness and tremor started. The affected puppies died within a few days at 8 weeks of age. It seems possible that other affected puppies die even earlier, possibly even during birth. In the framework of an international scientific collaboration, we identified the causative genetic defect and developed a genetic test. Genetic testing is available from several laboratories offering diagnostic services. CJM is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Affected puppies can be reliably avoided, if matings are planned with at least one of the parents being clear of the genetic defect.

Scientific publication