Genetic test available for the fatal wrinkled dog disease

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A genetic test for a fatal disease in Great Dane puppies has been developed at the Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover Foundation. The puppies show excessive skin wrinkling at birth, especially in the head area and on the forelimbs. The skin is brittle and excessively keratinized. Most puppies are weak for life. A therapy is not possible. Also, an improvement of the symptoms in the first weeks of life has not been observed so far. Therefore, breeders are advised to discuss the further course of action with their family veterinarian and to contact Prof. Dr. Ottmar Distl, Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover Foundation.

The Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics developed the genetic test after careful molecular genetic analyses and validated it on a larger number of dogs. The test results perfectly identify the diseased puppies and the parents as carriers. The breeder is enabled by the test results to avoid the occurrence of this fatal puppy disease. The use of the genetic test is therefore advisable for every breeder to know the status of his breeding animals regarding this deadly puppy disease before mating. At least one parent must be free of the disease (Normal/Normal). If both parents selected for breeding show Normal/Fold status, this mating must not be done. In this case, the parents are healthy, but pass 50% of the mutation to their offspring. Puppies in these litters will then be affected by the fatal disease. Affected puppies will be marked with the status "wrinkle/wrinkle". The genetic test is subject to patent protection by the Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover.

The forms for requesting the genetic test and an information sheet on blood sample collection and shipment of samples can be found here.

The following test results are possible:


anlage-free (no anlage for the folded dog disease).


Plant carrier (not diseased, but may pass on the plant to offspring and produce diseased puppies when mated to another plant carrier).


Trait carrier (affected by the disease)

Contact:         Prof. Dr. Ottmar Distl

Address:        Institut für Tierzucht und Vererbungsforschung

                        Bünteweg 17p

                        30559 Hannover

Telephone/Fax:   0511-953-8875 / 0511-953-8582