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New DNA testing scheme for the Japanese Akita Inu

Amelogenesis Imperfecta/Familial Enamel Hypoplasia is an inherited genetic disorder that can be diagnosed in the breed

23 October 2020, at 3:00pm

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA test reporting scheme for Amelogenesis Imperfecta/Familial Enamel Hypoplasia (AI/FEH) in the Japanese Akita Inu following consultation with the breed club.

Amelogenesis Imperfecta/Familial Enamel Hypoplasia is an inherited genetic disorder affecting the tooth enamel. Affected dogs are unable to develop normal tooth enamel resulting in teeth being misshaped with roughening / thinning surface and greyish or brownish spots. The disease affect both baby and permanent teeth. In affected dogs, permanent teeth are pointed and unusually small with gaps between the teeth due to increased enamel wear. The gaps between the teeth increase as the dog gets older.

AI/FEH is described as an autosomal-recessive condition. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is likely to be affected. A dog that inherits only one copy of the abnormal gene (from its mother or its father) will likely have no signs of the disease, but will be a carrier and may pass the gene on to any offspring.

Tested dogs will be recorded on the Kennel Club systems as either:

  • Clear - The dog does not have any copies of the abnormal gene associated with the disease. The dog is highly unlikely to be clinically affected and will only pass on a normal copy of the gene to a puppy.
  • Carrier - The dog has one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the abnormal gene associated with the disease. The dog is highly unlikely to be clinically affected, but may pass one copy of the normal gene, or one copy of the abnormal gene on to a puppy.
  • Affected - The dog has two copies of the abnormal gene associated with the disease. The dog will likely be clinically affected by the disorder and will pass one copy of the abnormal gene on to any potential offspring.

To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from for this test, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, please refer to our page about AI/FEH. Please note that this listing is not necessarily comprehensive and other labs may offer the tests. To find out which DNA tests are relevant to your breed, visit the website.

Dr Tom Lewis, Genetics & Research Manager at The Kennel Club, said: “The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions. The Kennel Club works alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and is happy to consider a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists. A formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.”

Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website.

Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves. DNA test certificates should be scanned and emailed to health.results@thekennelclub.org.uk.

Owners are reminded that from August 2018, it is mandatory that the dog’s microchip (or tattoo) number is recorded along with either the dog’s registered name or registered number on any DNA certificates. Any test results issued after that date that do not carry these identifying features will not be added to the Kennel Club systems.