Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Washington State
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Vestibular syndrome is not that uncommon. It is a congenital malformation of the inner ear causing hearing loss and equilibrium problems, hence the name "dings".
I went to a seminar on this issue. Mark Neff, Ph.D is doing research on on this syndrome and has discovered a single gene mutation (autosomal recessive) that causes bilateral congenital vestibular disease. There should be a DNA test available shortly if it isn't already. So obviously there is a genetic link, which most long time breeders know already, as some pedigrees seem to produce them more frequently.
I know there has been a lot of talk about giving antibiotics to ding puppies and there has been some success, but according to Dr. Neff these puppies are not that same as those who have a genetic disorder and congenital deformity. There can be more that one cause of deafness, bacterial infections included.
Once you have seen a ding you won't forget it, and they are pretty easy to spot even right after birth. In my opinion, these puppies should be euthanized, even though in some cases, as the dogs grow older they learn to compensate for the equilibrium problem. They are all deaf, however and that presents other problems for the owner.
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