Between 1989 and 1992, 22 Bernese mountain dogs (18 females and four males) aged between two and seven years, which had been suffering for some weeks from weight loss, anorexia, apathy, vomiting, polydipsia and polyuria, were examined. All of them had high blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine concentrations, and many had hyperphosphataemia, hypercholesterolaemia, hypoproteinaemia and nonregenerative anaemia. All the dogs had very high protein: creatinine ratios in the urine, and macroproteinuria was identified by sodium dodecyl sulphate gel electrophoresis. The immunofluorescent titres against Borrelia burgdorferi, measured in 19 of the dogs, ranged between 256 and 32,768. In all cases, membrano-proliferative glomerulonephritis with concomitant interstitial nephritis was diagnosed. From an analysis of the dogs' pedigree it was concluded that the glomerulonephritis of these Bernese mountain dogs was inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and that its expression was influenced by a second gene locus with a sex-linked dominance exchange.