December 11, 2017

Detection of Genetic Variations Using RAPD Markers in Siberian Huskies Affected with Swimming Puppy Syndrome

This article explores the possible causes of Swimming Puppy Syndrome (SPS) in four affected Siberian Husky puppies; specifically, this article looks at how genetics are correlated to this syndrome. Swimming Puppy Syndrome is a mysterious syndrome, as researchers do not know or understand neither the physiological changes or pathogenesis associated with it nor the cause of the syndrome.

Swimming Puppy Syndrome is a syndrome in which puppies, typically neonatal puppies, cannot stand up or walk and tend to have splayed out legs. The affected areas may either be the hind legs, forelegs, or both. However, since such little research has been published on this disease, researchers still do not know what causes it, but they hypothesize that genetics play a role in what puppies are affected.

Typically, affected dogs grow like a healthy puppy, gaining weight, feed well, etc., but around when they begin to develop eyesight, the affected puppies begin to show the lack of strength in their legs such as having splayed out legs, similar to a swimmer hence the name Swimming Puppy Syndrome.

In this case study, four Siberian Husky puppies with the disease were tested and three healthy Siberian Husky puppies were used as controls. Out of the four afflicted puppies, only the hind limbs of three were affected and the other one had both the hind limbs and forelegs affected. Researchers used clinical standards, which included that the dog must have splayed out legs for more than two months, in order to diagnose the dogs with SPS. First, they used RAPD technique to test the afflicted puppies DNA through taking blood from the cephalic vein; however, they found no genetic differences between the healthy puppies and the one affected with swimming puppy syndrome. This ultimately leads researchers to believe that SPS and genetics have no correlation to each other. However, through the use of bandage techniques and rehabilitation, the puppies recovered within the first two months of starting the treatment without medication.


Reviewed by: Danielle Folkerts


Chomdej, Siriwadee, et al. “Detection of Genetic Variations Using RAPD Markers in Siberian Huskies Affected with Swimming Puppy Syndrome.” Thai J Vet Med, vol. 43, no. 3, 2013, pp. 435–438.