Institute of Genetics

Shaking Puppy Syndrome in German Shepherd Dogs

Ongoing research project, contact:  med. vet. Matthias Christen

Shaking Puppy Syndrome, or Canine Hypomyelation, is a hereditary disorder that results in delayed myelination of nerves. Myelin acts as an insulating layer that surrounds the nerves and thus guarantees good and fast impulse transmission between the brain and the muscles that carry out movement. Poor myelination results in problems with the fine control of muscle contractions (trembling in the hindquarters and head, coordination and balance problems, delayed reflexes). This can go so far that affected puppies tremble so much that they have difficulty nursing from their mother. In addition, the constant muscle contractions consume a lot of energy, so that affected puppies are left behind in their growth

We would like to investigate the molecular genetic basis of this disease in German Shepherd dogs. For our research we need blood samples from affected German Shepherd dogs, as well as from their closest relatives (parents and healthy full siblings). If you would like to participate in our study and are willing to send in a blood sample from your dog, please follow the instructions in our leaflet.