Spinal dysraphism is an inherited neural tube defect affecting the Weimaraner breed. The disorder is caused by abnormalities in embryonic development which result in varying degrees of histopathological changes in different parts of the spinal cord. These changes include duplicated, constricted, or absent central canal, loss of nerve cell bodies in gray matter, fluid filled cysts forming within the spinal cord (syringomyelia) and others. The clinical symptoms include scoliosis in the lumbar spinal region, abnormal, “bunny-hopping” gait, paraparesis (weakness in limbs), crouched posture, and frequent falling. Other signs include a kinked tail and abnormal hair streams along the back. The symptoms usually become apparent in the first months of life, when the dogs start walking.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive - read more
Mutation: NKX2-8 gene
Genetic test: The method used for genetic testing is extremely accurate and allows complete differentiation between affected animals, carriers and healthy dogs. DNA testing can be done at any age.
Disease control: read more
DNA test sample: EDTA whole blood (1.0 ml) or buccal swabs. Detailed information about sampling can be found here.