RCND is a rare, naturally occurring inherited cancer syndrome observed in dogs characterised by a combination of abnormal growths in the skin and in the kidneys in both males and females, and also in the uterus in female dogs.
Skin abnormalities are usually noticed first, as small, firm 'lumps and bumps' under the skin, more commonly on the limbs and the head. The kidney tumours often form nodular masses and cysts that can cause the kidneys to become enlarged, abnormally shaped and scarred. Affected dogs may seem depressed and lose their appetite, resulting in weight loss. However, as the kidneys disease progresses, there is a substantial increase in the animal's water intake and urination.Due to kidney disease, blood can be seen in the urine. The dog can become anaemic due to loss of blood and may become lethargic and lack appetite. The disease typically presents over the age of 5, and tumours may not develop until the dog is 9 to 11 old. Affected dogs die around the age of 9 (average) due kidney failure or metastatic disease. Puppies with two copies of the mutation are most likely die very early in gestation.