Details about the disease
AON is an inherited neurological disorder characterised by a weakness in the hind limbs, eventually leading to weakness in the front limbs. Neurological signs of this condition seem to progress gradually over three to four years.
Clinical signs usually begin between 7½ to 9 years of age. These signs include weakening and unsteady hind limbs and uncoordinated movement. The weakness eventually progresses to include the front limbs. When all limbs are affected, there may also be difficulty in swallowing.
How is it inherited?
The disease is described as an autosomal-recessive condition and is unique to Cocker Spaniels. 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 affected. A dog that inherits only one copy of the abnormal gene (from its mother or its father) will have no signs of the disease, but will be a carrier and may pass the gene on to any offspring.
Which laboratories test for this condition?
A list of laboratories that test for AON can be found below.
Laboratories that do not send a copy of your dog's results to The Kennel Club. You'll need to do this yourself.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
How to submit DNA test results to The Kennel Club
The laboratories listed above do not send your dog's DNA test results to The Kennel Club. To have these results placed on your dog's record please submit them yourself by scanning and emailing them to our health results team.
What we require on the results certificate
Please note that we require at least two forms of identification on the result certificate. These must include the dog's microchip or tattoo number along with either the dog's registered name or registered number. Results without these details cannot be accepted by us.
Where will your dog's results be published once you have submitted them?
DNA test results received by The Kennel Club are added to the dog's record in the registration database, and are published:
- in the next available Breed Records Supplement
- on our Health Test Results Finder
How to responsibly breed from your DNA-tested dog
If, once your dog is DNA tested, you would like to find out what their DNA test results mean, or how to select the right mate to avoid producing affected puppies, then please read our breeding advice and DNA testing information.
How to find out if a potential mate has been DNA tested
The Kennel Club’s Health Test Results Finder allows you to find the results of DNA tests carried out as part of The Kennel Club's official DNA testing schemes for any dog on The Kennel Club’s Breed Register.