Addition of a new publication in the Vet Timesunder the Publications section
Norway 8 has been added. Sire is the same as Sweden 43
Another two pedigrees have been added to the website. The first from Denmark - Case 2 and then another from Norway - Case 7
Two more pedigrees of confirmed Boxer JKD cases were added to the website today - one from Norway (Norway 6) and another from the UK (UK 174). The Norwegian case was confirmed by diagnostic tests, Imaging and also a Post Mortem. The UK case was confirmed by diagnostic tests and Imaging. Both pedigrees contain a number of carriers in their pedigrees. The Norwegian case has both continental and UK families. Both of the newly published cases also contain siblings to known carriers in their pedigrees. Both these new cases strongly support a recessive inheritance pattern
The following article was written a few weeks ago for the American Boxer magazine, Boxer Daily, and should appear in the December 2015 edition. It is printed here ahead of time with the permission of the Boxer Daily editor.
It is clear from anecdotal evidence that kidney disease has existed in Boxers for many years but the frequency has always been low, diagnosis has been uncertain, and there has been only dubious evidence that it might be inherited. It has ‘appeared’ and ‘disappeared’ in several Boxer groups such that with the knowledge that kidney failure can be caused by external agents, it is hardly surprising that many breeders have been sceptical about the disease having a genetic basis. Even as evidence is currently accumulating, uncertainty and confusion dominates thinking.
Here I summarise this background history as I have seen it, leading on to the more definite evidence that we have today.
I have been made aware of kidney disease in Boxers a number of times over the past 30 or so years but up until about 5 years ago I too was not truly convinced it was inherited. I first met a kidney disease in Boxers at the time of progressive axonopathy (PA) in the early 80s. That delightful lady, Leslie Boyle, came to me seeking advice over a couple of litters that contained show age puppies that were suffering from kidney failure. The two litters were related; both were inbred on one of Leslie’s major dogs. The evidence for the condition being inherited was there, but limited, and only loosely suggested that a recessive gene might be involved. However, Leslie accepted that there was a risk that should be avoided and took it seriously enough to close the line. Sadly, she died a few years back and never learned that she had made the right decision.
No more cases appeared and I thought that this might be the end of the matter but early in the 2000s I learned that Sweden had been picking up kidney failures in Boxers, with the Swedish Kennel Club immediately banning parents from further breeding. Some of these dogs were British-bred. On enquiry, I was supplied with the pedigrees, but they showed a mixture of lines and nothing to indicate to me that the condition was really inherited. I was even less convinced when I learned that Sweden was recording kidney problems in a number of breeds at the same time. This did not sound like a genetic problem.
Not long after I was notified that a small group of American Boxers were suffering kidney problems. Obtaining the pedigrees I saw that some showed inbreeding on one notable stud dog of the day, but seeming outcrosses had also produced the disease. Again, a genetic effect seemed possible but a bit dubious, yet there was enough concern among owners that blood samples were collected and sent to Dr Lindblad-Toh at the Broad Institute to instigate a scan to find the gene; and funding was obtained in the name of one unfortunate dog, Suky – the Suky story. The amount of material was admittedly limited but no indications of a responsible gene were detected. This event brought some further hints of kidney disease in the UK to my attention, but again a genetic effect could not be seen. However, kidney disease was clearly around as internal medicine specialist Marge Chandler of Edinburgh University was able to collect some 30 cases within a short period of time. She published a detailed paper in 2008, but, as before, the pedigree evidence did not stretch to establishing a genetic cause. Shortly after, Sheila Cartwright of Tyegarth Boxers, reported early observations of Boxers suffering a range of kidney problems to Breed Council, but nothing came of this.
But finally, when a general practice vet asked me to speak to one of his clients, Sharon McCurdy, who was experiencing numbers of kidney cases in her breeding, I found I was faced with indisputable indications that the condition was indeed inherited. The evidence that gradually accumulated was as follows:
Genetics and breeding
It is clear from the above that JKD has been with us for years but has been largely unnoticed because of its partially hidden nature. Here, I have addressed only the biological reasons on how JKD is largely missed, focussing on the difficulties of recognising and understanding the disease and its expression. Much of the background evidence is limited; there is a need for research upon the disease itself. And to this end a UK specialist in internal medicine has agreed to help the breed with this difficult disease. The aim is to seek hard evidence that some fading puppies may have JKD and also older, post-juvenile dogs. Both aspects will require UK breeder cooperation in providing the needed material, and to this end appeals have already been placed in the media requesting the help of breed clubs and individuals. The results will not only aid a better understanding of the disease but provide essential information for the operation of valid scans to find the responsible gene that are running In Norway, Sweden and America. Here is the chance to for breeders to obtain answers for the many problems they see with JKD.
All available pedigrees are to be found on the www.boxerjkd.com website together with breeding guidelines based on currently available information. The pedigrees are being updated as released by owners. References and links to published work are also provided, as also basic information on the disease, its diagnosis and treatment.
The page on diet has been updated - there is still work to do and would love some input from owners who have tried various diets for their Boxers that have been diagnosed with JKD
Addition of the Research Thesis of the Italian researcher Claudio Brovida - there is an abstract in English but the thesis is published in Italian. We have provided a translation of the thesis obtained by the use of Google Translate
Renal dysplasia is defined as a disorganized development of the renal parenchyma, consequent to an anomalous differentiation of the nephron’s various segments. The final diagnosis is based on the correct histopathology evaluation of the kidney and the finding of the typical structural anomalies. In Boxer dogs, renal dysplasia, also defined juvenile nephropathy, has been described, however the published material on this topics is still limited and different theories about the development of this disease are proposed. The author, starting from the evaluation of a group of cases of juvenile nephropathy, that he diagnosed, by kidney biopsy, in a period of five years, planned a prospective study, on a population of young Boxers, aging a mean of 12 months, which have been evaluated during one year of time. Starting from a group of 120 investigated Boxers, he included in the study 84 dogs on which basic haematology, biochemistry and urinalysis tests have been performed. The consequent data, statistically evaluated, have been analysed to envisage elements that could help to define an early detection of signs of renal damage, that may be associated to a juvenile nephropathy, in these Boxer dogs.
Added a FAQ section - please ask your questions through this Blog and we will attempt to answer them as soon as possible
Updated website with a plea to breeders to support a research project with a UK Vet School. This research requires the submission of post mortem and fading puppy tissues.
Permissions for publication of Case 138 and Case 165 are completed. The new PDF files were created and uploaded to the website