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Official Publication of Dogs NT Vol. 45.3 Jun / Jul 2017
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Juvenile Laryngeale Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (JLPP)

The following article was written by Dr. Prof. Peter Friedrich, President of the German Kennel Club, breed judge, working judge and member of the breeding committee of Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK), and is being published with permission of the VDH, the ADRK and Total Rottweiler Magazine for the translation.


Introduction: Genuine Breeder or Puppy Producer?

With the promotion of HEALTHY dog ownership it would seem obvious that breeders would embrace DNA tests available for their breed. Yet this is not the case. A serious problem has arisen in Rottweilers called Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy.

Dogs with this condition can develop repeated bouts of inhalation pneumonia, often resulting in death or can even have bouts of severe choking. A DNA test is now available for this horrendous condition and one would hope that breeders everywhere utilise this to rid the breed of this mutation.

The genuine breeders will do so.

Dr Robert Zammit BVSc

The article on JLPP sets out in detail what is in this severe disease, how it is inherited, and how and why it must be fought. Although it is hoped that the disease is not yet widespread, complete testing of all breeding animals must continue.

It is expressly emphasised that at most adult dogs are carriers of the disease, even if they cannot fall ill, because the disease had shown at a young age.

In Germany, as of November 1, 2016, breedings may only be carried out with animals that have been tested for JLPP. This means that of all the animals that are to be found in breeding use, an oral mucosa sample must be taken and evaluated, and the result must be entered in the pedigree. Samples (in duplicate) must be taken by an LG-breed warden, breeding judge or veterinarian and samples sent to the laboratory Laboklin for investigation. Before mating, the owner of the dogs involved must access the pedigree to verify that each pairing is permitted in the future.

ADRK Executive Board

1. What is JLPP?

The symptoms of Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (JLPP) have become apparent in Rottweilers in recent years. I would like to begin with an outline of the symptoms that are characteristic for this disorder and its typical progression, at first explaining where the term itself comes from.

Neuropathy is a word used to describe a severe disorder of the nervous system. The prefix “poly” indicates that neuropathies can affect many different parts of the body at the same time. In a healthy body, nerve structures control muscles and perform a range of complex additional functions. In its fully expressed form, polyneuropathy causes control over the muscles to be lost to an ever-greater degree, until it is ultimately lost entirely.

Pronounced symptoms of paralysis of the larynx and the surrounding tissue comprise the second component of JLPP. The onset of the disease is typically marked by breathing problems in affected dogs, especially during physical exertion or when they are excited. Dogs may cough when eating or drinking, and the sound of their bark often changes. This is followed, somewhat later, by a loss of coordination in the hind limbs and subsequently also the forelimbs. These symptoms worsen until the dog is unable to move. The disorder typically appears either shortly after weaning age or in somewhat older juvenile dogs. The risk of misdiagnosis cannot always be eliminated.

The disease causes immense distress to affected dogs. It is inevitably terminal; no cure exists. We can consider ourselves lucky, that its appearance can be avoided with absolute certainty. This situation represents the best possible scenario for everybody seeking a Rottweiler puppy.

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