Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS)
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A DNA test for Acral Mutilation Syndrome in Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels will be available from the Animal Health Trust DNA testing service from the 6th of February 2018.
Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS) is a sensory neuropathy which causes an insensitivity to pain in the dogs feet. This insensitivity can lead to sever self mutilation of their limbs.
This test can be used by breeders as a tool to ensure that puppies bred do not suffer from this condition.
How is the disease inherited?
This disorder shows an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, which means that two copies of the defective gene (one inherited from each parent) have to be present for a dog to be affected by the disease.
Individuals with one copy of the defective gene and one copy of the normal gene, called carriers, show no signs of disease but can pass the defective gene onto their offspring.
When two carriers are crossed, 25% (on average) of the offspring will be affected by the disease, 25% will be clear and the remaining 50% will themselves be carriers.
Breeders using our DNA test will be sent results identifying their dog as belonging to one of three categories. In all cases the terms ‘normal’ and ‘mutation’ refer to the position in the DNA where the AMS mutation is located in the Cocker spaniel and English Springer Spaniel; it is not possible to learn anything about any other region of DNA from this test.
CLEAR: These dogs have two copies of the normal gene and will not develop AMS as a result of the mutation we are testing for, although we cannot exclude the possibility they might develop a similar condition due to other causes or the effect of other, unidentified mutations.
CARRIER: these dogs have one copy of the mutation and one normal copy of DNA. These dogs will not develop AMS themselves as a result of the AMS mutation but they will pass the mutation on to approximately 50% of their offspring.
AFFECTED: these dogs have two copies of the AMS mutation and will almost certainly develop AMS during their lifetime.
We cannot exclude the possibility that carriers might develop a similar condition due to other mutations they might carry that are not detected by this test.
Carriers can still be bred to clear dogs. On average, 50% of such a litter will be clear and 50% carriers; there can be no affected dogs produced from such a mating.
Pups which will be used for breeding can themselves be DNA tested to determine whether they are clear or carriers of AMS.
Plassais J, Lagoutte L, Correard S, Paradis M, Guaguère E, Hédan B, et al. (2016) A Point Mutation in a lincRNA Upstream of GDNF Is Associated to a Canine Insensitivity to Pain: A Spontaneous Model for Human Sensory Neuropathies. PLoS Genet 12(12): e1006482. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1006482