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: The method used for testing is extremely accurate and allows complete differentiation between affected animals, carriers and healthy dogs. Testing can be done at any age.
Disease control: read more
Sample: EDTA whole blood (1.0 ml) or buccal swabs. Detailed information about sampling can be found here.