Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS)

Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS) is a rare, genetic connective tissue disorder that affects cartilage and bone development. It’s caused by a mutation in the LEMD3 gene, which codes the structural protein laminin 332 (LAMA3).

The clinical symptoms of MLS can vary significantly, depending on the breed and severity of their disorder. The most common signs are skeletal deformities, such as bowed legs, shortened stature, and an abnormal gait. Joint laxity is also common due to weak connective tissues. The disease can also cause other symptoms such as ocular defects, cardiac anomalies, and skin problems.

Symptoms of Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome

The most common symptoms of Musladin-Lueke Syndrome include:

Joint laxity is also common due to weak connective tissue. Other signs can include:

  • Ocular defects (such as cataracts)
  • Cardiac anomalies (such as cardiomyopathy)
  • Skin problems (such as dry, itchy skin)

Diagnosing Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome

Diagnosing Musladin-Lueke Syndrome is based on a combination of clinical signs, physical examination, laboratory tests, radiographs, and genetic testing. A complete blood count and biochemical profile can help rule out other conditions that could present with similar symptoms. Radiographs can be used to identify any skeletal abnormalities. Genetic testing is available for certain breeds. Musladin-Lueke Syndrome is an inherited disorder that cannot be prevented except by selectively breeding dogs without this disease. Responsible breeding practices are important to reduce the number of affected animals. Dogs with MLS should not be used for breeding.

It’s also important to get affected dogs veterinary care and nutrition to help minimize the impact of their symptoms.

Stages of Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome

The stages of Musladin-Lueke Syndrome can vary depending on the individual animal. It’s important to recognize that some dogs might not have any clinical signs until later in life. Generally, the disorder progresses in three stages:

Stage 1

This stage is typically associated with skeletal deformities such as bowed legs and a shortened stature.

Stage 2

In stage 2, the animal might have joint laxity due to weak connective tissues, as well as ocular defects, cardiac anomalies, and skin problems.

Stage 3

This is the most severe stage of the disorder where the animal will have significant mobility issues and might not be able to walk or stand on their own.

Treating Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome

Treating Musladin-Lueke Syndrome is limited and focuses on reducing pain and improving their mobility. Physical therapy, exercise, weight control, anti-inflammatory medications, and joint supplements can be recommended by your veterinarian. Surgery might also be recommended in certain cases to help correct any skeletal deformities.

Preventing Canine Musladin-Lueke Syndrome

The only way to prevent Musladin-Lueke Syndrome is through responsible breeding practices. Dogs with MLS should not be used for breeding, and any affected puppies should be spayed/neutered. It’s also important for breeders to screen potential parents for the disorder before mating. This can help reduce the number of affected puppies.