In a move designed to combat inherited disease in the Tibetan Terrier, the Kennel Club, UK, has approved an official DNA test reporting scheme for pituitary dwarfism.
Pituitary Dwarfism is a genetic condition caused by a deficiency of growth hormone. This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, hence the name ‘pituitary dwarfism’. Affected puppies may not be noticeably different at birth, but will not grow correctly and can die young.
Affected dogs are smaller than other dogs of the same breed and may remain puppy like in their appearance. Typically dogs with pituitary dwarfism retain their soft puppy coat, may develop hair loss or have problems with tooth development.
The disease is autosomal-recessive and this means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from each parent) before its health is affected.
According to the Kennel Club's press release of 23 July 2021, tested dogs will be recorded on The Kennel Club systems. If it is recorded as 'Clear' then the dog is highly unlikely to be affected and will only pass on a normal copy of the gene to a puppy.
If the dog is 'Affected' that means the dog will likely be affected by the disorder and will pass one copy of the abnormal gene on.
To find out which DNA tests are relevant to your breed, visit the Kennel Club Breeds A-Z pages