ARVC In Boxers
arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy
What is ARVC?
The Genetics Behind it all
- Strong evidence that ARVC in Boxers is of genetic influence
- Genetic deletion in gene that produces striatin - though in a study from the UK 29% of dogs with ARVC did not have the gene mutation.
- This gene is associated with proteins that hold cardiac muscle cells together and is autosomal dominant
- Suspected to be an autosomal dominant genetic conditions with incomplete penetration
- Suggested that this gene is more severe in homozygous individuals
- Best diagnostic tool is the Holter monitor. This devise records the dog's heartbeat for 24 to 96 hours
- Testing for one of the genetic mutations thought to lead to ARVC has recently become available
- No current tests are completely accurate, instead a veterinary cardiologist can asses how likely it is that a dog has ARVC.
- Often times the first sign of ARVC is sudden death
- In humans with ARVC, there are 141 different mutations at 8 different genes, and this could be the case with boxers, though it is unknown at this time.
- Though breeders can avoid breeding boxers that have the known gene mutation, in many cases of ARVC, the dog does not have the known gene mutation.
Experts advice on breeding
- Boxers that are heterozygous positive, should be carefully evaluated for the disease
- Boxers that do not show signs of the disease may be bred with boxers that are negative for the mutation
- Puppies should be screened over a couple generations
- Puppies who are mutation-negative should replace parents who are mutation-positive
- Boxers who are homozygous positive should not be bred
- Under special cases where a homozygous positive Boxer has special qualities that must be maintained, Boxer must be bred to homozygous negative Boxer
- After two generations of breeding to negative homoygous Boxer, negative puppy should be chosen to breed as replacement
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