Health Issue: Autoimmune Thyroiditis
Autoimmune thyroiditis, that is the immune (genetic) variant/cause of hypothyroidism was discovered in the Kishu Ken/verified via OFA testing in the summer of 2020 in the form of positive compensative autoimmune thyroiditis - that means a hypothyroid dog that is currently normal-appearing due to the thyroid compensating for the autoantibodies attacking it/its function.
I'm posting so prospective Kishu owners and current Kishu owners know that their dog may be hypothyroid even if their T4 levels read "normal"; a TgAA (thyroglobulin autoantibody) test must be performed to see the risk in breeding dogs and individual dogs. These dogs and other hypothyroid Kishu Ken may appear entirely healthy. As of this writing, my best knowledge is that Kishu Ken generally do not have issues with weight that some hypothyroid dogs do, but may have poor coats, skin, or temperament issues.
This is important due to the other health issues known in Kishu Ken at this time - Addison's Disease and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - have a strong correlation with autoimmune thyroiditis and may be the only predictor we have of these more serious illnesses at this time.
Hypothyroidism is simple to treat, but Addison's Disease and SLE can be deadly without treatment, so without being alarmist I do recommend speaking.
This may be an issue that is pervasive in the breed, but here are dogs who are hypothyroid or autoimmune affected:
- Akiyama no Roushya Daikokuten go (Gomataro go x Kaneko go) (Hypothyroid)
- Jikino Kensha no Nami no Aima go (OFA thyroid classification "positive compensative autoimmune thyroiditis") (Tetsushiro go x Karin go)
- Kikuhou go Ouriku Kurauchi sou (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) (JP import)
- Shiro Kenji Sachiko of Mogeki (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) (Ryuu go x Maimi go)
- Vuorenvarman Suunsoittaja (Hypoythyroid) (Asahi go x Ai go)
- "Meiko" (Vuorenvarman "I" Litter) (Kamishiro no Ginshun go x Adannaya) (hypothyroid)
I am not giving this information to slag on any breeders or upset anyone, but to provide a factual record of our breed and the health issues individuals may face.