Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis.(NCL)
NCL is a neurological disease that is found in a number of canine breeds including the American Bulldog.
It is passed on genetically from dogs that are affected or carriers to their offspring. Testing and research is currently being undertaken at veterinary colleges in the United States, whilst testing is available in Germany as well now. A blood test is available to determine if a dog is affected (CCL +/+), carrier (CCL 0/+) or clear (CCL 0/0).
The main research body in the USA states that whilst all efforts should be made to eradicate the disease a dog that is shown to be breed worthy should not be excluded from your breeding programme if it is a carrier of NCL But it can only be bred to clear partners and all offspring should become tested as well.
Presently many UK and European vets are unaware of NCL, so you may find the information below useful when approaching on the subject
It is a disease that does not have to happen!
Responsible breeders will test their dogs for this recessive gene and will avoid breeding âaffectedâ dogs -- meaning dogs that will manifest the debilitating disease and ultimately require euthanasia at a young age.
Responsible breeding can occur between a dog carrying the recessive gene and another dog that is clear of the gene. However, responsible breeding practices require testing all puppies produced from that breeding for NCL, disclosure to puppy purchasers of the genetic status of that animal, and agreement of the puppy purchaser to follow good breeding practices if they intend to use the animal for such purpose.
No dog has to suffer the effects of NCL as long as good, responsible breeding practices are maintained. The University of Missouri offers inexpensive testing services to find out if a dog is a NCL carrier, clear or affected, as does a company known as Vetgen. In Germany the âTierÃ¤rztliche Hochschule Hannoverâ offers the test.
Many veterinarians, just seeing the dog in the early stages, will guess that it has hip dysplasia, as most vets do not have a clue what NCL is. Within the next 1 to 3 years, the dog wonât even be able to keep from falling down. When walking the dog will tend to stagger and move randomly, especially down a flight of stairs or over uneven ground. When running, the rear will show very little control. Just standing will be very difficult, much less trying to walk. Normally, by the time the dog is 5 years old, it will need to be euthanized. If your American Bulldog exhibits any of these symptoms, please inform your vet about NCL. Information provided to the University of Missouri from affected dogs, including pedigree information, is most helpful in their research relating to both the canine and human forms of the disease and how it is inherited.
Here are some relevant links: