Alaskan Husky Encephalopathy

Brain and Spinal Cord

This is a disorder causing neurologic signs due to a defective thiamine (Vitamin B1) transporter. Thiamine has an important function in creating energy for the brain and helping the axons conduct messages.

  • Signs and symptoms

    Symptoms include seizures, weakness, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and partial or complete vision loss. Signs usually begin suddenly and can persist through the life of the dog; in some affected dogs, the disease comes and goes in episodes and dogs have periods of time where they are neurologically normal.

    This is a disease that first presents in the puppy or young adult age groups.

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  • Diagnosis

    It is important to note that many other neurological diseases have a similar patient presentation and diagnostic results. AHE is diagnosed based on patient history, pedigree information, brain imaging, and other diagnostic tests.

  • Treatment

    There is no treatment for this disorder. Certain medications may be prescribed to control symptoms.

  • What to do if your dog is at risk


    • However, in the Alaskan Husky, a mutation in the SLC19A3 gene associates perfectly with the condition; testing for this mutation can help bring about diagnosis much faster.

  • Genetic Information

    This mutation was first described in Alaskan Huskies.

    This disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that affected dogs must have two copies of the mutation to show clinical signs.

    Gene names:

    SLC19A3 (Exon 2) ‐ chr

    Inheritance type:


  • Breeds affected

    This health condition affects the following breeds

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