Registered DOGS NSW Breeder of Miniature Dachshunds

Sarcoglycan Deficient Muscular Dystrophy also known or referred to as SGCD, SGCD, and Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD).

Sarcoglycan Deficient Muscular Dystrophy is a form of Limb-girdle muscular dystrophies are a group of inherited disorders which lead to progressive muscle dysfunction. The group is characterised by muscle weakness which, in dogs, has a tendency to affect muscles of the shoulders and hips but can also affect vital organs such as the heart and esophagus.

SDMD, is mainly seen in miniature smooth dachshunds and occasionally in miniature long hair dachshunds which might have been bred from miniature smooth dachshunds. Other dachshund varieties may carry the disease if crossed with miniature smooth hair dachshunds.

Symptoms of SDMD in affected Dachshunds typically appear around 12 months of age, but can manifest as early as 6 months. Affected dogs may experience difficulty walking or running, muscle weakness, and an unwillingness to walk or step over objects. They may also have difficulty with eating, drinking, swallowing, and experience constant drooling and redish-colored urine. As the disease progresses, muscle wasting becomes more pronounced, and dogs may develop a hunched posture and struggle to rise from a lying position. Due to increased inflammation of the muscles, dogs may shiver from pain and appear to feel the cold.

Diagnosing SDMD in Dachshunds typically involves a combination of clinical signs, physical examination, and genetic DNA testing. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for this condition. The main focus is on managing the dog’s clinical symptoms, such as providing ongoing pain medication. It’s important to note that dachshunds affected by SDMD are highly susceptible to disc herniation (IVDD) due to muscle wastage and weakness. Other secondary conditions may include pneumonia due to difficulty in swallowing. In some cases, SDMD affected dachshunds have been misdiagnosed as having megaesophagus.

A DNA test is available from various institutions including the University of Minnesota, USA, Orivet Australia, Massey University, Paw Print Genetics, Wisdom Panel, Embark, and others. This test can identify the presence of a mutation that is autosomal recessive, meaning that both parents must be carriers in order to produce affected offspring. The test is able to identify dogs as clear, carrier, or affected. DNA testing for this mutation first became available in late 2019.

Buyers are strongly recommended to ask for the DNA test results of the puppies’ parents from their breeders. It is important to ensure that at least ONE (1) parent is DNA tested CLEAR to avoid acquiring an AFFECTED dachshund puppy. CARRIERS do NOT present illness. Ideally, both parents should undergo DNA testing for SDMD. If neither parent has been tested for SDMD, or if the puppy itself has not been DNA tested for SDMD, buyers are strongly encouraged to consider walking away.

It’s truly heartening to note that in Australia and New Zealand, SDMD is effectively managed, thanks to the breeders’ access to advanced genetic DNA testing. This significant stride in technology has indeed made a world of difference.

Article compiled by Heather Coles Jan 2024, posted on https://www.facebook.com/groups/DachshundSDMD