Inherited Polyneuropathy (IP) is a degenerative
condition caused by a loss of the myelin sheathing of the efferent (muscle) nerves. It
has been reported in some Malamute lines, and indications are that the mode of inheritance
is a simple recessive gene. Age of onset is generally between 6 and 24 months. Symptoms
appear suddenly, remain stable for 6-8 months, and then diminish, though they do not
entirely disappear. Symptoms can include loss of coordination or balance, exercise
intolerance, a "hopping" gait, loss of muscle mass, cough and difficulty swallowing.
Depending on the severity of the condition symptoms may be multiple and marked, or
barely noticeable to the untrained eye.
AMRF sponsored Victoria MacLean, a long-time Malamute breeder, in cooperation with the
Helena (MT) Veterinary Clinic, in making and distributing a video to educate owners and
inform veterinarians about this disease. While this video cannot be considered definitive
[it is based on a limited-sample study from Norway] it is quite informative. Copies of
this video are available for $15 plus postage. Please contact Tom Knoll at
or 517-638-7056 to order your copy. All proceeds go to AMRF research projects.
Aug 2000 Update:
Inherited Polyneuropathy (IP) Project Funding: $1000 Completed: 1998
The committee will also be looking into storing DNA
samples bit by bit until there are enough positive cases and funding to do DNA research on
the disorder in the future.