Health: Canine Multifocal Retinopathy

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, Jan. 8, 2018
Rock (Hammer/Blossom)

Yesterday, I was informed that Rock [Hammer/River] is clear and not a carrier for all genetic diseases EXCEPT Canine Multifocal Retinopathy [CMR] at the Best1 chromosome where he has two copies of the allele. Rock is not physically affected, that we know of, but the fact that he has two alleles for CMR means that he always gives one copy of the allele for CMR to all of his offspring. I have added Rock’s score to the regularly updated DireWolf Dog Genetic Disease Chart. This means that if you have a Rock puppy, you can be sure that her puppy is at least a carrier for CMR.

Genetic health issues

Again, we have been having an ongoing discussion about this and many already know, but CMR is a very mild genetic disease and we know of no dogs physically affected by this disease at this time. Most dogs who are actually physically affected by the disease show very small dots the size of a pin head in the eyes. In very rare cases, this disease can cause blindness in one or both eyes. FYI: No dog in the history of the Dire Wolf Project has ever been reported to have gone blind at any point in its life.

Because we know this about Rock, it is a certainty that all Rock offspring are at least carriers of CMR. I have added this information to the chart. Furthermore, because Rock has two copies of CMR, we also know definitively that both of Rock’s parents [Hammer/River] are at least carriers. I have also added this information to the chart.

The other thing about this knowledge is that we can look at those females bred to Rock and begin to have a fairly high statistical knowledge of whether they were clear of CMR or also in possession of alleles coming from this disease.

Since we already know Vegas’s DNA results, let’s take Flower, another female bred to Rock, as an example of how we can be fairly certain of her results. As you seen in the updated genetic chart provided, Rock was bred to Flower and two puppies from this mating have been DNA tested. Since we know that Rock can only throw one CMR allele and both of the dogs tested only had one copy of the allele, it is quite a high probability that Flower is clear and not a carrier of this disease. In fact, according to “Control of Canine Genetic Diseases” by George A Padgett, DVM, there is a 75 to 80% chance that Flower is clear and not a carrier for CMR... and since no other diseases showed up in those two dogs, it is equally likely that she is clear and not a carrier for all other genetic diseases tested by Embark.

That being said, we can also look at Flower’s grand-offspring from Kerberos and Elwin. Two dogs were tested out of that match, Harpo and his brother and both dogs were clear and not carriers for any disease. This is further evidence that not only was Flower very likely clear and not a carrier for any genetic disease, but also her son Kerberos as well as Elwin are also very likely clear and not carriers for any genetic diseases tested by Embark. I hesitate to definitively place a star behind Flower’s, Elwin’s or Kerberos’s name because it is not a one hundred percent that they are clear, but it is highly likely and so we keep this in mind when thinking about their parents and offspring.

As usual, this chart is copyrighted. Please do not share this chart with any other group of site without written permission.

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Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.