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Kooikers are generally very healthy, but can be prone to a few health issues. Thanks to the diligent work of breeders, enthusiasts, and researchers worldwide, some serious issues are under control through testing and selective breeding.
All Kooiker health information is reported to the Dutch breed club via this email: info-cie@kooikerhondje.nl
HERE is thorough step-by-step list on how to submit all the health tests for the breed,
and below is a list of all the issues currently observed in kooikers:
 
 
  • Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (ENM)
    Also known as Kooiker Paralysis or Leukodystrophy, it is a degenerative and fatal disease characterized by a noticeable change in movement and muscle weakness that starts in the hind legs and progresses to the front legs until there is a complete paralysis of the body. It usually breaks out early on, between the 3rd-12th month of life. ENM is not painful, not treatable, and always lethal. Affected dogs die of asphyxiation if they are not euthanized. After the first physical signs have started the affected dog will die within 2 weeks to 11 months. Affected dogs take up 0.2% of the worldwide population and unaffected carriers take up about 25%. Inheritance is recessive and all breeding stock is required to be tested for the carrier status. Screening done by blood sample submitted to Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease (type 3)
    VWD is a hereditary clotting disorder caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood clotting protein required for platelet adhesion, called von Willebrand Factor. This condition makes those afflicted likely to bleed abnormally and severely. This can lead to potentially life threatening consequences in situations such as injuries or spaying/neutering. Inheritance is recessive and all breeding stock is required to be tested for the carrier status. Screening done by blood sample submitted to Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
  • Polymyositis
    A progressive autoimmune disease causing chronic muscle inflammation and weakness. Prognosis is poor and this disease affects about 1% of the population with (currently) no genetic screening test available. Two types are seen: in relatively young dogs with swallowing or eating problems, and then young to middle age dogs with more musculoskeletal problems and with or without swallowing problems. Symptoms include reduced endurance/exhaustion, muscle weakness, swallowing problems, fever, lameness, stiffness, hunched posture, salivation, vomiting, and inappetence. Myositis can be inherited or caused by infections, autoimmune diseases, and/or toxins, and may be misdiagnosed as Myasthenia Gravis. If diagnosed early, available treatments are immunosuppressants and steroids. We are now able to test for it!!
  • Patellar Luxation
    The patella, or kneecap, is part of the stifle joint (knee). In patella luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. This can be a hereditary defect, or caused by malnutrition and over-exercise. Low grades relatively common in population (approximately 15% noted to have grade 1 PL). Screening can be done by any veterinarian after dog is 1 year of age.
  • Hip Dysplasia
    A condition of the hip join in which the bones are not properly formed, resulting in a loose hip socket-thighbone connection. This can cause pain and lameness that can range from mild to crippling. Not commonly seen in the breed. Screening via OFA over age 2 recommended to avoid increased prevalence.
  • Hereditary Eye Disorders
    Cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and distichiasis are occasionally seen in the breed. Screening done over 1 year of age via CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) exam by veterinary ophthalmologist. OFA recommends (for all breeds) annual screens thereafter.
Screening Tests Available
  • Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (ENM)
    Also known as Kooiker Paralysis or Leukodystrophy, it is a degenerative and fatal disease characterized by a noticeable change in movement and muscle weakness that starts in the hind legs and progresses to the front legs until there is a complete paralysis of the body. It usually breaks out early on, between the 3rd-12th month of life. ENM is not painful, not treatable, and always lethal. Affected dogs die of asphyxiation if they are not euthanized. After the first physical signs have started the affected dog will die within 2 weeks to 11 months. Affected dogs take up 0.2% of the worldwide population and unaffected carriers take up about 25%. Inheritance is recessive and all breeding stock is required to be tested for the carrier status. Screening done by blood sample submitted to Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease (type 3)
    VWD is a hereditary clotting disorder caused by a defect or deficiency of a blood clotting protein required for platelet adhesion, called von Willebrand Factor. This condition makes those afflicted likely to bleed abnormally and severely. This can lead to potentially life threatening consequences in situations such as injuries or spaying/neutering. Inheritance is recessive and all breeding stock is required to be tested for the carrier status. Screening done by blood sample submitted to Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
  • Polymyositis
    A progressive autoimmune disease causing chronic muscle inflammation and weakness. Prognosis is poor and this disease affects about 1% of the population with (currently) no genetic screening test available. Two types are seen: in relatively young dogs with swallowing or eating problems, and then young to middle age dogs with more musculoskeletal problems and with or without swallowing problems. Symptoms include reduced endurance/exhaustion, muscle weakness, swallowing problems, fever, lameness, stiffness, hunched posture, salivation, vomiting, and inappetence. Myositis can be inherited or caused by infections, autoimmune diseases, and/or toxins, and may be misdiagnosed as Myasthenia Gravis. If diagnosed early, available treatments are immunosuppressants and steroids. We are now able to test for it!!
  • Patellar Luxation
    The patella, or kneecap, is part of the stifle joint (knee). In patella luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. This can be a hereditary defect, or caused by malnutrition and over-exercise. Low grades relatively common in population (approximately 15% noted to have grade 1 PL). Screening can be done by any veterinarian after dog is 1 year of age.
  • Hip Dysplasia
    A condition of the hip join in which the bones are not properly formed, resulting in a loose hip socket-thighbone connection. This can cause pain and lameness that can range from mild to crippling. Not commonly seen in the breed. Screening via OFA over age 2 recommended to avoid increased prevalence.
  • Hereditary Eye Disorders
    Cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and distichiasis are occasionally seen in the breed. Screening done over 1 year of age via CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) exam by veterinary ophthalmologist. OFA recommends (for all breeds) annual screens thereafter.
Screening Tests NOT Available
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