Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a genetic lung disorder that affects young dogs and leads to death. It is especially prevalent in Dalmatians.
The gene that has been linked with this syndrome is the anillin protein ANLN. Some dogs who had the gene defect also had only one kidney and some had hydrocephalus or water on the brain. It appears that this genetic issue may be related to those problems as well.
A dog can be a carrier of the gene and not show symptoms. If both parents are carriers, then it is more likely that the puppies will suffer from ARDS. Breeders will be able to test their dogs before breeding and hopefully drastically reduce the instances of ANLN in dogs.
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The genetic test will be available from MyDogDNA test (www.mydogdna.com).
This discovery may also help scientists understand respiratory diseases in humans benefiting both dogs and people.