Multisystem

This is a Multisystem condition.

Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, PCD

What is PCD?

This is a developmental disease of Old English Sheepdogs that can cause increased susceptibility to respiratory infections and, in male dogs, reduced fertility or infertility. PCD arises from a mutation in the CCD39 gene, which is required for the function of motile cellular appendages such as sperm flagella and the cilia of respiratory tract cells. These appendages whip with directionality, allowing sperm to propel themselves towards an egg, and for respiratory tract cells to whip dust, bacteria, and mucus up towards the throat to be coughed out. A portion of affected dogs also have a condition called situs inversus, where the arrangement of their heart, liver, stomach, and other asymmetrically arranged organs are actually a mirror image of normal anatomy. As long as respiratory infections are diagnosed and treated early, affected dogs can lead healthy and happy lives.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

This disease can cause increased susceptibility to respiratory infections and, in male dogs, reduced fertility or infertility. A portion of affected dogs also have a condition called situs inversus, where the arrangement of their heart, liver, stomach, and other asymmetrically arranged organs are actually a mirror image of normal anatomy.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Respiratory infections can develop at anytime, however, male fertility can only be assessed after puberty.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic and laboratory testing are used to diagnose this condition. Abdominal ultrasound is used to examine the location of organs.

How is this condition treated?

There is no cure for PCD. Respiratory infections need to be treated promptly with the correct antibiotic.

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