Institute of Genetics

Neuropathy in the Greyhound

Greyhound Neuropathy is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait. First clinical symptoms occur in 8-12 week old puppies, they manifest in progressive muscle weakness, exercise intolerance and a strange, “bunny-hopping” gallop with turned-out knees. Certain spinal reflexes, i.e. patellar tendon reflex, are absent, whereas sensibility and position reflexes are usually unimpaired. Sometimes also the larynx is affected, these dogs are unable to bark. Muscle degeneration is progressive and affected puppies usually have to be put to sleep at an age of 9-12 months. Until now, we only heard about cases in so called "Show Greyhounds". It is unknown, whether the defect is also occurring in "Racing Greyhounds".

We investigated the genetic mechanisms leading to this disease and identified the causative mutation. This allowed the development of a DNA test that allows the unquivocal diagnosis of carriers for this disease.