Lethal acrodermatitis (LAD) in the Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier

Completed research project

Letale Acrodermatitis (LAD)
Changes in the paws of an LAD affected Bull Terrier (Foto: Dr. Sandra Högler)

Lethal acrodermatitis (LAD) has been first described in the 1980s. It is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait in Bull Terriers and Miniature Bull Terriers. Affected puppies develop infected paws, their skin gets red and scaly and they have a delayed growth compared to their non-affected littermates. Later on affected dogs suffer from severe infections and the claws degenerate. As this disease is quite severe, affected dogs have to be eventually euthanized. In the beginning LAD has many similiarities with a zinc deficiency. Therefore, the correct diagnosis is sometimes not made immediately. In the framework of a large international collaboration we identified the causative genetic defect and developed a genetic test. Genetic testing for LAD is available from several laboratories offering diagnostic services.