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Two factors make SA particularly difficult for breeders to control: the possible late onset of the disease, and the subclinical state of the disease. With late onset, the dog may have already been bred long before it ever shows clinical signs of the disease. In its subclinical state, an owner may be unaware that the animal is affected since it shows no visible signs of the disease.
The challenge in controlling the disorder is in identifying dogs as clear, carriers, or affecteds. DNA testing remains the "gold standard" in terms of identifying a dog's genotype, however, at present there is no DNA test to determine a dog's status with regard to SA. Today's best alternative is the phenotypic evaluation through the skin biopsy. As enough phenotypic information on families of dogs is entered into the database, breeders will be able to make educated assumptions on a dog's genotype. This will allow breeders to apply greater selective pressure in controlling and reducing the incidence of the disease.