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Phosphofructokinase Deficiency in Dogs

Phosphofructokinase deficiency stands as a critical metabolic condition primarily impacting glycolysis, a pivotal pathway converting glucose into pyruvate and furnishing energy for diverse bodily functions, including red blood cell maintenance and skeletal muscle activity during exercise. It emerges from a genetic foundation and prominently affects English Springer Spaniels, American Cocker Spaniels, and mixed-breed canines.

Symptoms and Types

The symptoms linked to this condition vary based on the extent of phosphofructokinase deficiency. Among the more prevalent signs are fever, depression, lethargy, weakness, hematuria (blood in urine), pale mucous membranes, muscle wasting, cramping, and intolerance to exercise.


The cause of the condition is a deficiency in the phosphofructokinase enzyme.


To diagnose the condition, provide your veterinarian with a detailed account of your dog’s health history, including symptom onset and characteristics. The veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive physical examination along with a complete blood test, biochemical profile, and urinalysis.

Blood tests typically reveal anemia and other red blood cell irregularities. A biochemical profile often indicates elevated levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, urea, and total protein. Bilirubin levels may be notably high, reflecting increased red blood cell breakdown and bilirubin release, which can also be confirmed through urinalysis.

Your veterinarian might recommend DNA testing, such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, to identify carrier dogs or conduct further tests to assess phosphofructokinase enzyme levels.


It’s crucial for your veterinarian to first stabilize and rehydrate your dog. This may entail administering fluid therapy, such as IV fluids, or blood transfusions, particularly in cases of severe anemia. However, the sole treatment for phosphofructokinase deficiency is bone marrow transplantation, which is costly and necessitates a healthy donor.

Recovery and Management

With proper management, most dogs can lead a normal lifespan, although some may face fatal complications such as severe anemia or kidney failure. It’s essential to maintain a stress-free environment for the dog, keeping it away from other pets or active children. Avoiding strenuous exercise and exposure to excessively hot environments is also crucial for their well-being.

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