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Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (Discovered in the Rottweiler)

Neuroaxonal dystrophy is a neurodegenerative disorder causing uncoordinated movement and gait (walking/running pattern) changes.

Found in

1 in 630 dogs

in our testing

Key Signs

Ataxia, Hypermetria

Age of Onset

At birth

Present at birth


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

High likelihood

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

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with NAD

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 NAD

The first signs of neuroaxonal dystrophy are uncoordinated movement (ataxia) and overstepping (hypermetria) . Additional signs may include tremors and involuntary eye movements (nystagmus). Clinical signs typically emerge in young adults.

There is no treatment for this disorder. However, due to the slow progression of disease, affected dogs can live comfortably for many years.

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 disease is autosomal recessive meaning that two copies of the mutation are needed for disease signs to develop. A carrier dog with one copy of the NAD mutation can be safely bred with a clear dog with no copies of the NAD mutation. About half of the puppies will have one copy (carriers) and half will have no copies of the NAD mutation. 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 disease signs similar to the ones caused by the NAD mutation could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Gene VPS11
Variant A>G
Chromosome 5
Coordinate 14,777,774

All coordinates reference CanFam3.1

References & Credit

Credit to our scientific colleagues:

Lucot, K. L., Dickinson, P. J., Finno, C. J., Mansour, T. A., Letko, A., Minor, K. M., … Bannasch, D. L. (2018). A missense mutation in the vacuolar protein sorting 11 (VPS11) gene is associated with neuroaxonal dystrophy in rottweiler dogs. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 8(8), 2773–2780. View the article