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A condition that can affect any of the
3 Ridgeback Dog breeds in the World.

By Jack Sterling

The three RIDGEBACK dog breeds that have this condition are:


The Dermoid Sinus Cyst has been a subject of interest to all of the breeders of the three ridgebacked breeds mentioned above. Since these three breeds are all related because of their ridges in some way or another, there is no solid proof where the FIRST ridgeback dog was developed. All that is known for sure is that the Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs were a cross-bred dog consisting of 8 or more European and African dogs created over the past 150-200 years. The Vietnamese Phu Quoc dog is found only on the island of Phu Quoc in the Gulf of Siam near the southern part of Vietnam. They may have been brought to Vietnam by the Thai several centuries ago. Thus the Thai Ridgeback Dog [also known as the Mah Thai Lung Ahn in Thailand] is believed to be the first of the "ridgeback" breeds to have evolved from the "heart" of Thailand. 

The DSC condition appears in all three of these different ridgebacked breeds. Some breeders of the RR and veterinarians believe that this is a genetic problem and tell their clients to cull [put to sleep] any pup who shows this condition. Since there are no real true breeders of the Phu Quoc dogs, there is no education on this subject to the people who have this breed in Vietnam. This leaves the people here in America and in Europe who have bred the native TRD now in their new homes with several DSC pups appearing in several of the litters that have been bred so far. Most of these DSC TRD pups have NOT been culled and the owners have opted to for the surgery on these DSC pups. Surgery has seemed to be the way to treat all of the pups here in America so far.

 The "cyst" or Dermoid Sinus Cyst as it is properly called is usually located on the back of the middle of the neck of the dog and the base of the tail. It can be palpated as a tube or cord-like thread attaching the skin to the vertebral column. Because it is a tube of skin containing, in its center, hair and sebum, it can easily become the seat of an abscess.  It is very important that all breeders learn to detect this "tube-like growth" as soon as possible so they can then either cull the said pups or at least inform the new owners of the condition so they can arrange for the proper surgery to the said pup.


The DS is noticed as soon as the pup is whelped [born].  One can palpate a new-born pup with a high degree of accuracy. Put the said pup in your lap and pinch up the skin as far forward as possible on the top of the head with the fingers of one hand and hold that firmly.  With the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, take up the skin right beneath the first hand. Move these two fingers back and forth, rubbing on each other with a fold of skin between your fingers. Do this all along the neck as well as down the entire back to the base of the tail. If you feel the "tube" then you know this is a DS. A small dimple will show itself as you push up the skin. This is in some animals very serious and only your vet can tell if it is too difficult for minor surgery. In most cases, these DSC animals are saved and can live a wonderful life with their new owners. But, others might not be as lucky and those should be culled. Breeders and veterinarians should be very careful when giving an injection to a Ridgebacked dog, especially a puppy that is being checked for a DSC in the back of their necks.  The needle track can be mistaken for a DSC and that pup might be destroyed by mistake. All breeders must check and have their vet double-check for the DSC condition in each new litter of pups. People who buy a TRD or RR must be made aware of the problem and then they can make their decision on whether they want to get a DSC pup or not. This condition can be treated and in most cases surgery will fix this problem caused in nature.  






Burns, M/Fraiser. M.,   Genetics of the Dog, The basis of Successful Breeding.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1966.  pp.84-85.

Clark, R.,  DVM/Stainer, J.R., Editors.   Medical  & Genetic Aspects of Purebred Dogs.


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