In the past few years a small number of Staffords have been diagnosed with a metabolic disorder, its clinical name is L2 hydroxyglutaric aciduria or L-2-HGA.
This condition manifests itself in varied ways with affected dogs displaying behavioural changes and dementia, anxiety attacks, having full blown seizures, as well as exercise intolerance and ataxia (unsteady gait), tremors and muscular stiffness.
Dogs from totally different bloodlines have been found to be sufferers and the number of affected dogs diagnosed has risen. The disorder (and a similar linked disorder D-2 HGA) is found in humans, again very rare, but nevertheless devastating for those families affected by it.
The disorder has an autosomal recessive method of inheritance, which means that both parents must be carriers of the affected gene to produce affected offspring. Through excessive hard work not only on behalf of the Animal Health Trust (now replaced by Canine Genetic Testing) and by people submitting blood and urine samples from the families of affected animals a genetic test has been determined to identify the carriers of the gene which causes L-2-HGA.
IT IS THEREFORE ADVISABLE THAT ALL BREEDING STOCK BE SCREENED IN ORDER TO ERADICATE THIS CONDITION IN THE FUTURE.