JLPP in Rottweilers:
Recently we became aware of an inherited disease in Rottweilers called JLPP (Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy). As soon as we became aware of this disease many Rottweiler breeders started getting their breeding dogs tested.
How is it inherited:
JLPP is recessive which means that both parents have to be carriers of the JLPP gene in order to produce an affected puppy. If at least one parent is clear then the breeding will not produce an affecte...d puppy. If one parent is a carrier then the breeding will produce both carrier and clear puppies (but no affected). If both parents are clear then the breeding will produce only clear puppies.
Why is it important to test breeding dogs:
It is important to test for this disease as it is always fatal to affected puppies. There is no cure. Symptoms can start to manifest at 12 weeks of age, but, may take longer. Most affected puppies die before 1 year of age. This means that the breeder cannot tell without a DNA test if a puppy is affected before it leaves for it's new home at 8 weeks old.
What can I do:
Before buying a Rottweiler puppy make sure at least one of the parents has been tested JLPP clear. For most people (those not looking to breed) it does not matter if one of the parents is a carrier as long as the other is clear.
Do I need to test:
For most the answer is no. Only breeding dogs need to be tested.
If you have any questions about this disease feel free to ask.
What is Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy?
The brain controls muscles via signals that travel through nerves. A disease that affects the nerves is called a polyneuropathy: poly- (many), neuro- (nerves), -pathy (a disease). Due to a quirk in the way an embryo develops, one of the longest nerves in the body supplies the muscles of the voice box (larynx). The vocal folds vibrate as air moves over them allowing a dog to bark. When the dog breathes in, muscles in the larynx pull the vocal folds aside so that air can move easily into their lungs. These nerves also help to close the larynx when the dog swallows so they do not choke on their food.
If nerves are unable to convey messages properly, the muscles become weak or paralyzed. The longest nerves are often affected first; hence laryngeal paralysis is the first symptom. The vocal folds cannot be pulled out of the way as the dog breaths in. They vibrate noisily and can obstruct the flow of air into the lungs particularly when the dog is exercised or hot. The dog may also choke on their food or water or regurgitate, which can result in pneumonia.
The next longest nerves in the body go to the back legs, thus they are affected next. The dogs have difficulty getting up and wobble as they walk. Eventually the front legs will also be affected. The symptoms do not occur until after weaning age, and thus the disease is called juvenile laryngeal paralysis/polyneuropathy or JLPP for short
What else can look like JLPP?
There are other, much more common diseases that can affect a pup’s ability to breath. The windpipe (trachea) is stiff to keep it open when the dog is breathing hard. In some dogs, particularly toy breeds, the trachea does not have the proper stiffness and it can collapse as the dog breathes producing a honking cough. This condition is called collapsing trachea. An infection of the trachea such as kennel cough can cause irritation to the trachea and a similar sounding cough. The major difference is that dogs with tracheal disease cough when breathing out, while laryngeal paralysis produces noise when the dog breathes in. Infections can cause swelling of the tonsils & lymph nodes around the throat in a young pup (strangles) shich can make it difficutl for the pup to breathe. Finally, other diseases of the nervous system, such as distemper infections, can affect nerves producing signs of weakness, sometimes with pneumonia. Laryngeal paralysis also occurs in older dogs, but JLPP is different because they develop paralysis at such a young age.
The below link is to the man that made it public about JLPP in Rottweilers by posting his own heartache for the world to see it explains that there is no need to panic or to lay blame.
ROTTWEILER PUPPY BUYERS BEWARE!!!!
There are some breeders of Rottweilers (some registered with ANKC and some not) who will try to tell people looking to buy one of their puppies that Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (JLPP) is not a common problem in our breed. We are not hearing of NRC(a) breeders behaving this way, but regardless of this buyers need to be aware of what JLPP is and what to ask the breeder.
We have just witnessed an example of this sort of behavior in an ANKC registered breeder in another group. This breeder is not an NRC(a) breeder.
We are seeing breeders whom are not only not testing their breeding dogs, but they are also saying such things as...
* JLPP is no more prevalent in our breed than any other breed.
UNTRUTH - JLPP only exists in the Rottweiler, Russian Black Terrier and Leonberger.
* Breeders would know if their dogs were JLPP Carriers because they would have seen signs.
UNTRUTH - JLPP Carrier dogs do not exhibit any signs of illness at all. They are a perfectly healthy dog and live a perfectly normal life. It is only when two of these Carrier dogs are mated together that Affected puppies can/will be born in a litter.
* Breeders would know if their breeding dogs were Carriers because they have bred with them previously and all of the puppies were fine.
UNTRUTH - Some breeders do not keep in touch with their puppy people and would not know if they started exhibitng signs of JLPP a month or after the puppy left. Also given the mode of inheritance of JLPP and the fact that some unborn puppies can die in utero, it is possible that all of the litter ended up being JLPP Clear or Carrier and therefore healthy.
* Educating the public on such diseases in breed like JLPP is scare mongering.
UNTRUTH - JLPP is real, it exists. We are finding more and more JLPP Carrier dogs becoming apparent within Australia almost everyday, as well as around the world. This is a good thing because ethical breeders will use this information to ensure their breeding practises are eliminating any risk at all of producing affected off spring.
* Vets and specialists around Australia say that JLPP is not a problem in the Rottweiler because it is so rare.
UNTRUTH. Most vets and vet specialists around Australia are still not aware of JLPP. Breeders of Rottweilers are taking this opportunity to educate their vets by way of passing on information to them and encouraging them to find out about this disease.
We cannot express more strongly the importance of asking the breeder you are making inquiries with the JLPP status of both parents of your puppy is. Insist on seeing the certificates that show this status. Ensure your puppys' parents are either both JLPP Clear or only one of them is JLPP Carrier.
NOTE, do NOT be afraid or embarrassed to walk away from a breeder who will not provide you with the information you are asking to see. There will be another breeder with a lovely puppy who will be forthcoming with JLPP certificates plus all the required health certificates and clearances you are being advised to ask to see.
If you have any questions about JLPP, health tests required by NRC(a) breeders or anything else Rottweiler related, please feel extremely welcome to contact us.