• Akita association of Ireland first championship show 20 June 2015

    A lovely day  was had by all at the  Akita Association Of Ireland’s first championship show. Congratulations  to all the winners.  We are delighted that our first championship show was such a success and thank you to all who supported the show and special thanks to  Dave Killilea of Redwitch Akitas for judging.


  • Akita Association of Ireland Club Show 2014

    The Akita Association of Ireland Breed Club Show was held on Sunday 19 October 2014  Thank you  Mr Ross Delmar our Judge and thanks to our sponsor Petsolutions UK Eire and of course to all the people who help on the day and all that came along to  make the day a great success.   […]


  • 2015 Calendar

    The Akita Association of Ireland  are now taking orders for  adverts for their 2015 calender. Any member wishing to take out an advert can do so by emailing a photograph of their dog or dogs to  bob.modelvill@gmail.com. The cost is €50 per advert and the photograph must be over 1200 pixels.


  • Dog Friendly B&B

    Please take your membership card along with you when staying at any of the following as you may be asked for it. The Akita Association of Ireland have negotiated a 20% discount for all members at the dog friendly Rockville House B&B in Cashell, Co Tipperrary. This applies to all bookings made direct with Rockville House.  Akita Association members […]


  • St Patrick’s Day Pet Expo 2014

    The association were pleased to be at the IKC St Patrick’d Day pet expo 2014 Thanks are due to all who gave up their weekend…human and dogs to promote the breeds and make it another  great success for the Association.  Huge thank you to all the visitors to the stand who came to see and learn a little […]



Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome (VKH Syndrome) is an autoimmune disease in humans where one’s own defence against infection, the T-cells, attack the melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) in the body. Melanin is what gives colour, or pigment, to our hair, skin and parts of our eyes. Since we don’t yet understand how this occurs in dogs, it is most often called VKH-Like Syndrome, or given an altogether different name, Uveodermatological Syndrome (UDS). It is a disease that can be found in a wide range of canine breeds.

The first symptoms occur in the eyes of the dog. A condition called Uveitis, or inflammation of the eye. This inflammation is very painful due to pressure and bulging of the eye. Very bloodshot-looking eyes sometimes can be seen. It may eventually cause partial blindness or total blindness in most dogs, but not all. This happens as a result of the retina becoming detached or other eye complications developing such as cataracts or glaucoma. If caught early enough, the eyes can be treated with proper medication and blindness may be prevented. The next symptom to appear is the whitening of the hair or coat. It is auto-immune related, with hereditary implications. It is felt that any type of stress can trigger the disease. Symptoms are depigmentation, hair loss, and blindness. Sometimes there are no warnings, sometimes there are, like the depigmentation and conjunctivitis (whites of the eye). Conjunctivitis will often be followed by a detached retina, which shows as a milky blue surface on the eye ball. Without treatment, blindness will follow. The dog suffers great pain.

It has also been reported that dogs have been known to lose their nails. The disease affects mucous membrane areas such as the eyelids, mouth, anus, vulva and sometime the pads of the dog’s feet. There is a definite visible loss of pigmentation in these areas, often started by crustiness or blisters. The severities of the symptoms vary from dog to dog. An interesting point to note is that many dogs are often stricken at 18 to 20 months.

A Shiloh Shepherd who was once entirely black, aside from his paws, has turned almost completely snow white due to VKH/UDS

There is no cure for VKH-like syndrome, or UDS. It is believed to be a flaw in the genes. But there are treatments used simply to make the patient more comfortable and obtain a better quality of life. They are mostly focused on the eye symptoms since that can result in blindness. The pigment changes, like the hair turning white, are generally only cosmetic. Steroid drugs are often used as treatment.