Heavily muscled Whippets, named ‘‘bully’’ Whippets, have broad chests and unusually well developed leg and neck musculature. ‘‘Bully’’ Whippets are easily distinguished from their normal littermates based on physical appearance alone.
The myostatin protein has been shown to have effect on muscle growth. Myostatin is a growth factor that restrains muscle growth, ensuring that muscles do not grow too large. Myostatin deficiency affects amount and composition of muscle fibres.
Myostatin deficiency is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Heterozygous dogs are more muscular than normal Whippets and show enhanced racing performance. Dogs with two copies of mutation (homozygotes for mutation) are called „bully" Whippets, and are extremely muscular dogs that are not suitable for races.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive- read more
Mutation: MSTN gene
Genetic test: Disease or carrier can be identified by genetic testing at any age. The PCR method used for testing is extremely accurate and allows complete differentiation between affected animals, carriers and healthy dogs.
Disease control: read more
Affected breeds: Whippet
Sample: EDTA whole blood (1.0 ml) or buccal swabs. Detailed information about sampling can be found here.