1. I have been in touch with Ake Hedhammar, the geneticist who has been the major player in the Swedish KC attempts to find the gene and find we are in agreement on almost everything, notably that the most certain mode of inheritance is that a recessive gene;
2. We are also in agreement that fading puppies may sometimes be attributable to JKD;
3. And he accepts that in some Boxers, disease onset can occur later in life; the Swedish KC has in fact dropped the J (for juvenile) from its original name, JRD; it is now just RD (renal dysplasia) ;
4. He is also sympathetic to the problems that the strict diagnosis for RD causes for breeders, and we are in discussion about how to deal with this.
5. At another level, it is with joy I can say that we are still not getting new cases of JKD reported in the UK (and this includes the Animal Health Trust), while there are still cases cropping up elsewhere. These will be published in boxerjkd in the New Year; they are informative.
6. Finally, a colleague has come up with a tantalising thread that might lead to detection of the gene. A quick test is planned to see if supporting evidence can be obtained. This will be relatively inexpensive (in molecular biology terms) so I am fairly certain it will go ahead, but I think I will have to go out with my tin box to raise some funds to help. Prepare yourselves.
On this exciting note I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and let’s hope there will be tidings of joy in the New Year.