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There are a number of genetic diseases that affect Italian Greyhounds, some of which are able to be tested for by DNA saliva test or vet examination.


We health test our breeding dogs for the available breed specific health tests as we believe that it is the responsibility thing to do as an ethical breeder and it is a requirement at Skyefall for every mating to be low risk for known and testable hereditary diseases.

You can view the results on each dog's personal page. Formal documents available to view upon request.

Some genetic diseases are inherited through a mode of inheritance where a combination of two genes determines the result;

A Normal/Clear has NO copies of the genetic disease, it is not affected with the disease and will only pass on clear genes to its progeny.

A Carrier has ONE copy of the genetic disease, but is not affected. It can pass on either a clear gene or an affected gene.

An Affected has TWO copies of the genetic disease, it is affected with the disease and will pass on one copy of the affected gene.

Familial Enamel Hypoplasia (FEH)

Autosomal recessive amelogenesis imperfecta (ARAI) is an inherited genetic disorder of tooth enamel that occurs in Italian Greyhounds. It is commonly known to breeders as Familial Enamel Hypoplasia (FEH). It is characterized by enamel pitting and tooth discoloration; often teeth are unusually small, pointed and prone to increasing gaps between teeth with age. There appears to be no association of FEH with periodontitis. Dr. Niels Pedersen and his research group at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis identified the mutation associated with FEH in Italian Greyhounds.  It is estimated that 14% of Italian Greyhounds are affected with FEH and 30% are carriers.


Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma​ (Glaucoma)

In Italian Greyhounds, primary closed angle glaucoma (PCAG)is a hereditary disease that results from a rapid build-up of pressure in the eye, which causes loss of optic nerve function and retinal ganglion cell loss. The onset of this condition is sudden, painful and if left untreated will lead to blindness. The average age of dogs at diagnosis is 3.9 years (range 0.5 to 6 years). Research by Dr. Niels Pedersen and Hongwei Liu at UC Davis identified 2 linked mutations that are present in 75% of Italian Greyhounds with primary closed angle glaucoma.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a genetic disease characterised by progressive degeneration of the photoreceptors in the retina that leads to blindness. There is no treatment for PRA. The incidence of PRA in Italian Greyhounds is usually diagnosed at 1 to 14 years of age (6.5 years average). Recent discoveries by UC Davis canine researchers Dr. Niels Pedersen and Hongwei Liu identified mutations in 5 loci that are associated with susceptibility to 90% of the PRA in Italian Greyhounds. This form of PRA, designated as PRA-IG1, is based on 'risk' genotypes (a, b, c, d & e). Each genotype passed on from the parent in combination, the result determines whether the puppy is affected and to what extend of risk.

Animals that inherit "aa" and/or "dd" have a 30 times risk of developing PRA.

Animals that carry at least one "a", one "b" and one "c" have a 9 times risk of developing PRa.

Anmals that carry at least one "a", one "d" and one "e" have a 5 times risk of developing PRA.

The best result is to have all capital letters "AA BB CC DD EE" which results with the animal being "low risk".


University of California UC Davis, Italian Greyhound Genetic Tests, <>.

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