"Lundehund syndrome or lymphagetasia DNA health testing for the Norwegian lundehund dog breed
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"Lundehund syndrome or lymphagetasia DNA health testing for the Norwegian lundehund dog breed

Dogs
Health & Safety

The Norwegian lundehund is a small spitz-type dog, which as you might expect, originates from Norway. The Norwegian lundehund isn’t a very common dog breed in the UK and in fact these dogs aren’t recognised by the Kennel Club for formal breed registration in the UK, but lundehunds are a lot more popular in their home nation and some other Scandinavian countries too, and they are also widely recognised by several international dog breed registries.

Norwegian lundehunds are petite and compact dogs with a very workmanlike appearance, and they are notably very flexible too, with a large range of movement in their joints, which helped them to excel at their original working role of hunting. Norwegian lundehunds were originally bred and kept to hunt puffins and puffin eggs, and the breed is also sometimes known as the puffin dog as a result of this.

Another interesting fact about the Norwegian lundehund is that they are polydactyl; they have more than the usual number of toes for a dog, usually having six fully formed, jointed toes on each paw as opposed to the usual four. This helps to ensure that dogs of the breed are very surefooted, which helped them to navigate the narrow and often treacherous cliff paths they needed to get around within their working roles.

Whilst this breed doesn’t get a huge amount of recognition in the UK, they are one of the longest established extant dog breeds of all, with some evidence to suggest that dogs of this type were around before the last ice age began, and unlike a huge number of now extinct species, they survived the ice age and have continued to thrive right up to the present day.

If you are considering buying a new dog and are looking for something rather unusual in your next pet, the Norwegian lundehund might be a good choice, if you can find a breeder in the UK offering Norwegian lundehund puppies for sale. However, like most dog breeds, there are some hereditary health issues that can be found within the Norwegian lundehund gene pool, which all prospective owners should take the time to research before committing to a purchase.

One hereditary health condition that can affect the Norwegian lundehund dog breed is called lundehund syndrome, also sometimes known as lymphagetasia. This is the term used to describe a collection of gastrointestinal disorders that can have a wide range of implications for the care and longevity of affected dogs.

However, there is a DNA testing scheme in place that allows Norwegian lundehund breeders to find out before breeding from their dogs if any litters they produce will inherit lundehund syndrome, to enable breeders to make informed mating matches.

In this article we will look at lundehund syndrome or lymphagetasia in more detail, explain how the heredity of the condition works, and share information on how to get a Norwegian lundehund tested to find out their status. Read on to learn more about DNA testing for lundehund syndrome in dogs.

What is lundehund syndrome or lymphagetasia?

Lundehund syndrome or lymphagetasia is not strictly one health condition, but a descriptive term used to describe a cluster of gastrointestinal disorders that can present in dogs of the Norwegian lundehund breed. These include protein losing enteropathy, and excessive growth of bacterial colonies in the dog’s small intestine.

Lundehund syndrome can best be described as a chronic and severe form of gastroenteropathy, which causes the dog’s digestive system to fail to absorb the appropriate protein and nutrients from food that it needs to support health.

Over time, lundehund syndrome in the Norwegian lundehund can ultimately cause the development of cancer in the stomach and/or intestines, which can also cause perforation of both of these organs.

Lundehund syndrome can be quite unpredictable in terms of when it may begin to affect any dog that inherits the condition, but it tends to present with symptoms anywhere from the age of around six months old, right up to ten years old or sometimes even older.

How is lundehund syndrome passed on from dog to dog?

Lundehund syndrome is passed on from parent dogs to their offspring following the autosomal recessive mode of heredity, which means that it is the combination of genes that a puppy inherits from both sides of their parentage that determines their own status.

A dog may be either clear of, affected by, or a carrier of lundehund syndrome, and if you know the status of both parent dogs within a mating match, you can determine the status that their pups will inherit as follows:

  • Two clear dogs will produce a clear litter.
  • Two affected dogs will produce an affected litter.
  • Two carrier dogs will produce a litter within which each puppy has a 50% chance of being a carrier, a 25% chance of being clear, and a 25% chance of being affected in their turn.
  • A clear dog mated to an affected dog will produce a litter of carriers.
  • A clear dog mated to a carrier will produce a litter with each pup having a 50% chance of being clear and a 50% chance of being a carrier.
  • A carrier mated to an affected dog will produce a litter with each pup having a 50% chance of being a carrier and a 50% chance of being affected.

How to get a Norwegian lundehund DNA tested for the markers of lundehund syndrome

Prior to breeding from any two dogs, Norwegian lundehund breeders can have the two prospective parent dogs DNA tested to find out their status for lundehund syndrome. This enables breeders to ensure that only dogs that will produce unaffected puppies are mated, and also, allows owners of Norwegian lundehunds to find out if their dogs might have inherited the affected form of the condition prior to showing symptoms.

To get a Norwegian lundehund DNA test for lundehund syndrome, you just need to book a consult with your local vet and ask them to take a DNA sample from your dog. This is then couriered to an approved testing laboratory, who will return a detailed result of the dog’s status to their owner.

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