December 17, 2016

Inherited Myopathy of Great Danes

This case study examines 25 Great Danes who were all diagnosed with the same genetic muscular disease. This disease does not have a name yet, so it is referred to as inherited myopathy of Great Danes (IMGD). Inherited muscular diseases are uncommon among dogs, although a few select breeds are affected by such diseases. IMGD does not appear to have a human counterpart, suggesting it may be unique to Great Danes. The disease causes some muscles to atrophy. Researchers found evidence of this in the biceps femoris, quadriceps, temporalis, gluteal, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus muscles of the subjects. The subjects also presented with a tremor which got worse with increased exercise. Some displayed “bunny hopping” when running. No dogs showed signs of pain or inflammation.

Histochemistry of muscle tissue revealed that type I and type II muscle fibers were affected by the disease. Postmortem results of some of the subjects revealed that only skeletal muscle was affected. Most of the dogs studied were euthanized but eight had a high enough quality of life to survive, although they all had difficulty walking and some had a tendency to collapse under stress. The pedigrees of the dogs studied were consistent with a recessive autosomal genetic disease. Current data obtained in the UK suggests 0.06% of Great Danes have this disease, but the researchers expect this figure to rise over time.

Reviewed by Jason Hammerman.

Original article:

Lujan Feliu-Pacual, A., G. D. Shelton, and M. P. Targett. "Inherited Myopathy of Great Danes." Journal of Small Animal Practice 47.5 (2006): 249-54. Wiley Online Library. 25 Apr. 2006. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.