ABOUT PDE (PUG DOG ENCEPHALITIS)

Approximately 1.2% of Pug dogs die of necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME), also known as Pug dog encephalitis (PDE). NME is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that is usually progressive and fatal. Symptoms of NME include seizures, depression, ataxia, abnormal gait and blindness (1). Female, fawn-coloured Pug Dogs younger than 7 years of age are more apt to develop NME than older, male and non-fawn coloured individuals (2).

The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory offers the PDE susceptibility test to determine risk for developing NME in Pug Dogs and for selecting matings that will produce puppies that are at decreased risk. This is not a diagnostic test for NME in Pug Dogs or for NME disease or risk in other breeds.

The test is reported with the following possible results:

N/N = No copies of the NME associated markers (homozygous for normal). These dogs have a low risk of developing NME.
N/S = 1 copy of the NME associated markers (heterozygous for susceptibility). These dogs have a low risk of developing NME.
S/S = 2 copies of the NME susceptibility associated markers. These dogs are 12.75 times more likely to develop NME in their lifetime.

For breeders wishing to minimize risk for puppies, the following is a list of expected mating outcomes:

1. N/N x N/N = all puppies will have two copies of the low NME risk markers (N/N) and will have a significantly reduced risk of developing NME during their lifetime.

2. N/N x N/S = One half of the puppies will have two copies of the low NME risk markers (N/N), and have a significantly reduced risk of developing NME during their lifetimes. One half of the puppies will carry one copy of the susceptibility markers (N/S), but will also be at low risk for developing NME.

3. N/S x N/S = One fourth of puppies will be N/N and at low risk for NME; one half will be N/S, carry the susceptibility marker, but will also be at low risk for NME; one fourth will be S/S and will be at high risk for NME.

4. N/S x S/S = One half of the puppies will carry the susceptibility marker (N/S), but will not be at increased risk of NME; one half of the puppies will have two copies (S/S) of the susceptibility marker and be at high risk of NME.

5. N/N x S/S = All of the puppies will carry one copy of the susceptibility markers (N/S), and be at low risk for developing NME.

6. S/S x S/S = All of the puppies will carry two copies of the susceptibility marker (S/S) and be at high risk for NME.

For more information or to order testing, which is done by collecting DNA from the inside of the mouth please visit the UC Davis website.  UC Davis are recommended by The Pug Breed Council.

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