Mucopolysaccharidosis type VII in a German Shepherd Dog

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Feb 15;224(4):553-7, 532-3. doi: 10.2460/javma.2004.224.553.


A 12-week-old male German Shepherd Dog was evaluated because of a 3-week history of a progressive inability to ambulate. Clinical and laboratory findings included skeletal deformities, corneal cloudiness, cytoplasmic granules in the neutrophils and lymphocytes of blood and CSF and glycosaminoglycans in a urine sample (detected via a toluidine blue spot test). Enzyme activity and DNA analyses confirmed mucopolysaccharidosis type VII as a result of severe beta-glucuronidase deficiency; this condition had been identified in a mixed-breed dog (likely of German Shepherd Dog descent) that was reported 20 years earlier and caused by the same missense mutation. Because of the progressive nature of this disease, the puppy was euthanatized and all tissues examined contained evidence of lysosomal storage leading to marked cellular distention. Mucopolysaccharidosis type VII is only one of many hereditary lysosomal storage diseases identified in companion animals. It is important that clinicians recognize the typical signs of lysosomal storage diseases and are aware of the cytologic and urinary screening tests for mucopolysaccharidosis disorders. Furthermore, there are specific blood enzyme and DNA-based tests to distinguish the forms of mucopolysaccharidosis in affected and carrier animals.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Genetic Testing
  • Glucuronidase / deficiency
  • Male
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VII / diagnostic imaging
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VII / genetics
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VII / pathology
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis VII / veterinary*
  • Mutation
  • Radiography


  • Glucuronidase