Lafora’s Disease in MWHD
Lafora’s disease is an inherited, late onset, progressive myoclonic epilepsy. This degenerative neurological disease has been identified in Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds. The disease is characterised by myoconus. Typically this looks like a backwards shuddering/jerking of the head when there is movement towards the eyes, when light intensity increases, when there is flickering light (e.g. television) or at sudden noises. Some dogs also develop epilepsy. Middle aged to older dogs (age range 5-8 years) of both sexes can be affected. Unfortunately there is not a completely effective treatment, however many are improved on anti-epileptic drugs.
The abnormal gene which causes this disease has been identified and a DNA test is available (but only from a laboratory in Canada). This is especially important as the disease develops after the normal breeding age, so an early test could provide a way for breeders to “breed away” from this problem.
If a dog has tested positive (affected) then both parents and all the offspring of that dog are either carriers or affected.
Canine Lafora Disease website