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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Help for PFK

Dear all,

Our beautiful English Springer Spaniel, Domino, has been diagnosed with the rare condition phosphofructokinase deficiency and the advice is to avoid too much exercise and stress. I wonder if any of the readers of Dogs Today have any experience about how to manage day to day life with a dog with this problem?

Many thanks,

Rhona Light
, by email

Alison Logan, vet, advises...

PFK deficiency is a so-called glycogen storage disorder - inherited as an autosomal recessive trait -which affects the ability of red blood cells and muscle cells to respond to activity. You have been told to avoid over-exercise and stress because clinical signs tend to become apparent after exercise, or after a long period of barking or panting when stressed. The classic sign is dark urine; other signs include jaundice, anaemia, fever and poor appetite. There may also be poor exercise tolerance, muscle cramping and a refusal to work, particularly in working and active individuals.

You have not said how old Domino is, but the ESS is such an exuberant and willingly active breed that it must be very hard for both you and him to try to adopt a more calm and less active lifestyle.

I think it would be worth trying a DAP collar which may help him to chill out. Do remember that other dogs can be attracted to a dog wearing one of these collars so you might have to remove it when he is mixing with canine friends.

As a side issue, it occurred to me that you will have to watch his weight now that he cannot exercise as much. Weaning him to a lower energy food would be a wise move.


  1. I would suspect crate training would be a very good thing, if you've not done it already, and perhaps speak to your vet about whether medication (perhaps Zylkene, or something stronger) might help to keep Domino's stress levels low.

  2. Thank you very much. Have just got a crate and will ask the vet about Zylkene.

  3. Sadly we have just found out our 6 yr old ESS had this and sadly died because of it, we had another 12 yr broader collie who died 3 weeks ago and I think the stress got to Harvey and he went into Anemic shock and passed away far to young and quick .....we miss you so much Harvey we just wished we knew he had this disordered we might have been able to prevent his death