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Cyclic Neutropenia (Gray Collie Syndrome)


Cyclic Neutropenia (CN) is a recessive stem cell disorder that affects both smooth and rough collies. Also known as Cyclic Hematopoiesis or "Gray Collie Syndrome," dogs affected by Cyclic Neutropenia appear visibly lighter than non-affected littermates - even from puppies with the Merle colouration.


Cyclic Neutropenia is a disease that affects the neutrophils of a dog, which are an integral part of the dog's immune system. Every 10-12 days, the dog will experience a dramatic drop in the number of neutrophils circulating through his blood stream, leaving him extremely susceptible to infections. The dog will often experience diarrhoea, fever, joint pain or other symptoms associated with eye, respiratory, or skin infections. Bleeding episodes can also occur. Unfortunately, most affected dogs will die as puppies, and even with the best care, the dog will not likely live past 2-3 years of age.


Gray Collie Syndrome is an autosomal recessive mutation, meaning that a dog must have two copies of the mutation in order to display the signs and symptoms associated with this disorder. This also means that a parent can be a carrier of this disorder but not show any signs. A dog that carries the mutation can pass on either the normal or mutant allele to any offspring. Therefore, if two carriers produce a litter of pups, there is a 1 in 4, or 25% chance that an offspring will be affected by the disorder. Additionally, 50% of the pups will be carriers and 25% will be clear.

Sample Type:

Animal Genetics accepts buccal swab, blood, and dewclaw samples for testing. Sample collection kits are available and can be ordered at test now.

Test Is Relevant To the Following Breeds:

Rough Collie, Smooth Collie


Animal Genetics UK offers DNA testing for Cyclic Neutropenia (CN). The genetic test verifies the presence of the recessive CN Gene and presents results as one of the following:

GCS/GCS Affected The dog carries two copies of the mutant gene and is homozygous for Canine Cyclic Neutropenia. The dog will appear gray in colour (Gray Collie Syndrome) and will experience symptoms associated with the disorder. The dog will always pass a copy of the mutation to its offspring.
GCS/n Carrier Both the normal and mutant copies of the gene detected. Dog is a carrier for the Cyclic Neutropenia mutation and can pass on a copy of the defective gene to its offspring 50% 0f the time.
n/n Clear Dog tested negative for the Canine Cyclic Neutropenia and will not pass on the defective gene to its offspring.