The Kennel Club has announced that following consultation with the Keeshond Breed Health Coordinator on behalf of the breed clubs, the regulation that all imported Keeshonds, or overseas dogs being imported into the UK breeding programme, must be DNA tested for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) before registration of progeny, has been placed on-hold. The reasoning behind this is that there is no peer-reviewed scientific literature providing the details of the mutation tested for, or details of the association between the mutation and the phenotype, and so the validity of the DNA test with clinical disease is not fully understood. Lack of this crucial information does not align with The Kennel Club’s updated DNA test auditing system.
As such, the test will also be removed as a requirement from Assured Breeders of Keeshonds in line with the new schedule update (expected Summer 2023), and the import restriction will be lifted with immediate effect. Test results will continue to be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on The Kennel Club website.
PHPT results from an inappropriate and excessive secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) into the blood. As a result of this, calcium levels rise above normal levels, which if undetected, can lead to too much calcium within the body, causing clinical signs such as muscle weakness, tiredness, excessive urination/ thirst, lower urinary tract problems, weight loss, and vomiting. In the majority of affected animals, clinical signs are not evident until later in life, often after the point at which a dog would be used for breeding.
This condition is rare in the UK breed population, however it is acknowledged that imported dogs may have the potential to rapidly reintroduce disease, which was the basis for the initial introduction of the clause. Given the very small global population size of this breed, making use of breeding animals from a range of countries of origin is essential in an attempt to conserve genetic diversity.
Any reports of this condition should be made to the Breed Health Co-ordinator, Anji Marfleet, who can be contacted via The Kennel Club's breeds A-Z.Details about the disease, and which test providers The Kennel Club is able to record results from, and those that will send results direct to The Kennel Club, can be found on The Kennel Club website.