Mucopolysaccharidoses in Dogs

Mucopolysaccharidoses are a group of metabolic disorders caused by the absence or malfunctioning of lysosomal enzymes needed to break down molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGS)- long chains of sugar carbohydrates in each of body cells that help build bone, cartilage, tendons, corneas, skin,connective tissue and the fluid responsible for lubricating joints – and subsequent accumulation of GAGS. 

Certain breeds of dogs are at a higher risk of acquiring these disorders. These include Plott hounds, Labrador retrievers, wire-haired dachshunds, Huntaway (sheep) dogs, miniature pinschers, miniature schnauzers, Welsh corgis, mixed breeds, and German shepherds.

Symptoms depend on the type of enzyme deficiency, type of GAG stored, and the tissue in which storage occurs. Some of the more common ones include:


Severe bone disease

Degenerative joint disease (DJD), including partial dislocation of hip joint

Facial structural deformity

Enlarged liver

Enlarged tongue

Eye cloudiness

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