Amelogenesis Imperfecta (Discovered in the Lancashire Heeler)

Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI), also known as enamel hypoplasia, is a disorder where the hard enamel covering of the teeth is thin, roughened, and discolored. Please note, the genetic variant tested by Wisdom is currently under research for association of AI in the Lancashire Heeler with a scientific manuscript in preparation.

Key Signs

Discolored teeth, Enamel roughening, Enamel thinning, Small pointed teeth

Age of Onset

0 to 2 yrs

Juvenile onset


Autosomal Recessive

For autosomal recessive disorders, dogs with two copies of the variant are at risk of developing the condition. Dogs with one copy of the variant are considered carriers and are usually not at risk of developing the disorder. However, carriers of some complex variants grouped in this category may be associated with a low risk of developing the disorder. Individuals with one or two copies may pass the disorder-associated variant to their puppies if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

Moderate-high likelihood

At risk dogs are likely to show signs of this disease in their lifetime.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with AI

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your dog’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about AI

Amelogenesis Imperfecta is characterized by defects in the enamel formation of both deciduous (baby) and permanent teeth. Enamel formation starts before the eruption of the tooth and there will be no subsequent repair of the enamel after eruption. In affected dogs, the tooth enamel erodes more rapidly over the years than normal enamel. The teeth can appear pitted, rough, and brown in color. Teeth of affected dogs are often small and pointed with increased gaps. Many dogs with mild signs go on to live a normal life when provided with routine dental care.

There is no curative treatment available for Amelogenesis Imperfecta. Because affected dogs are more prone to developing tooth sensitivities, dental tartar and periodontal disease, particular attention should be paid to maintaining good dental health. Intervention, such as dental extractions or crown placements, may be needed in some cases.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a dog with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding dogs. Regardless of test results it is important that your dog is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the puppies if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most kennel club websites.

This disorder is autosomal recessive, meaning two copies of the variant are needed for a dog to be at an elevated risk for being diagnosed with the condition. A carrier dog with one copy of the Amelogenesis Imperfecta (Discovered in the Lancashire Heeler) variant can be safely bred with a clear dog with no copies of the Amelogenesis Imperfecta (Discovered in the Lancashire Heeler) variant. About half of the puppies will have one copy (carriers) and half will have no copies of the variant. Furthermore, a dog with two copies of the Amelogenesis Imperfecta (Discovered in the Lancashire Heeler) variant can be safely bred with a clear dog. The resulting puppies will all be carriers. Puppies in a litter which is expected to contain carriers should be tested prior to breeding. Carrier to carrier matings are not advised as the resulting litter may contain affected puppies. Please note: It is possible that disorder signs similar to the ones associated with this Amelogenesis Imperfecta variant could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Technical details are not available at this moment.