Those of you following the kidney saga here and on ‘kidney’ facebook pages may have thought all has become very quiet of late but this is far from the truth; it has been very busy. This has mostly centred on events in France where a large number of JKD cases have been found. The need for action in France is to be presented at the breed club meeting on the 19th March where the boxerjkd website is being presented as an information source. I have offered help as a geneticist and hope for an expanded information source from France as well as needed research material which has largely dried up in the UK, seemingly through the shift in breeding patterns that has been brought about.
Allied to the French move has been my attempt to resolve the dilemma of the Swedish renal dysplasia (RD) diagnosis, used for their search for the gene and being taken by some breeders as the ultimate diagnostic criterion for the disease. This PM histo-pathology requirement is NOT essential for confirmation of kidney disease, but this view must come from the Swedish researchers themselves. Accordingly, with the help of Brenda Bonnett, CEO of the science-based ‘International Partnership for Dogs’, and canine geneticist, David Sargan, who was so complimentary with his editorial comments on my paper on the Boxer heart problem (ARVC), I have sought a statement on the subject from Ake Hedhammar, the vet who has directed the Swedish research on Boxer renal disease over the last 15 or more years. I was asked to provide a short draft to illustrate what was needed, so I submitted the following:
“Kidney disease, expressed in several ways, is common in Boxer dogs (Agria) and is indicated to be inherited. It occurs in Boxers world-wide. At the Swedish Veterinary School attempts to find the gene have specified that for this purpose a renal dysplasia characterised by the presence of immature cells in the glomerular epithelium be evident on kidney biopsy or post-mortem histology. The absence of such evidence does NOT mean that a kidney disease is spontaneous and of no genetic significance. Any indication of an inherited form of kidney disease, notably juvenile kidney disease (JKD), should be taken into account in the selection of breeding stock. Until such time as a valid gene test is available such selective breeding remains the only functional option for Boxer breeders trying to avoid the disease.”
To my delight Ake Hedhammar has responded favourably but has written a longer, more detailed version encompassing the Swedish research project. Yet he clearly supports boxerjkd actions to deal with the inherited kidney disease that has become a serious problem in our Boxers. I can provide his extended statement to anyone interested if they contact me by email (email@example.com).