Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) is a metabolic storage disorder caused by the deficiency of any lysosomal enzyme required for the breakdown of glycosaminoglycans. A 15-month-old Boston Terrier presented with clinical signs consistent with lysosomal storage disease including corneal opacities, multifocal central nervous system disease and progressively worsening clinical course. Diagnosis was confirmed at necropsy based on histopathologic evaluation of multiple organs demonstrating accumulation of mucopolysaccharides. Whole genome sequencing was used to uncover a frame-shift insertion affecting the alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA) gene (c.19_20insCGGCCCCC), a mutation confirmed in another Boston Terrier presented 2 years later with a similar clinical picture. Both dogs were homozygous for the IDUA mutation and shared coat colors not recognized as normal for the breed by the American Kennel Club. In contrast, the mutation was not detected in 120 unrelated Boston Terriers as well as 202 dogs from other breeds. Recent inbreeding to select for recessive and unusual coat colors may have concentrated this relatively rare allele in the breed. The identification of the variant enables ante-mortem diagnosis of similar cases and selective breeding to avoid the spread of this disease in the breed. Boston Terriers carrying this variant represent a promising model for MPS I with neurological abnormalities in humans.
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