- The Silent Killer of
need your help...
Not only is it our
obligation for the betterment of the breed to do this
SIMPLE SALIVA INEXPENSIVE DNA
test, its a necessity, or it will spread like a cancer through all
our dogs and destroy our breed.
Ck these OFA Stats!
and look at the stats for the Pembroke Wells Corgi, the breed MOST
affected by DM. (92%) That can and will happen to the German
Shepherd dog if you don't DEMAND this testing from the breeders, or
simply tell them you will not purchase a dog from them!
German Shepherd Dog stats
tested dogs 644
Understanding the DNA
Test for Degenerative Myelopathy
Here the very well explained graph of results from
VETDNACENTER when all progeny is tested from one litter of a certain
combination, thus even when an At Risk parent is bred to a
Carrier Parent, the result can still be 50% or half of the pups born are
clear (fortunately) However, the other half will be at risk and not
worth the chance to take for any caring and careful breeder.
On the other hand, if a breeder has a top rated male
or female which tested AT RISK, (do not panic) then when bred to a
NORMAL mate only, this combination will only produce CARRIER offspring,
thus this offspring can then be bred to a NORMAL mate, test ALL
offspring and choose pups which tested NORMAL only for furthering the
breeding program and thereby the breeder can quickly breed out DM in its
50% Clear, 50% Carrier
50% Clear 50% Carrier
25% Clear, 50% Carrier,
25% at Risk
50% at Risk
50% Clear, 50%
Begrijp de Degenerative Myelopathy in het Nederlands
(geschreven door: Breeder,
Comprendre le test
de Myelopathy Dégénératives en Français
DNA-Test für Degenerative Myelopathie, die Erklärung
– The DM test is available for any breed, and is
specifically recommended for Chesapeake Bay
Retrievers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Boxers, Standard
Poodles, German Shepherds, Cardigan Welsh Corgis,
and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. For information on
DM testing other breeds, please click on the link at
the bottom of this writing.
certificate is extended by the OFA (orthopedic foundation for
animals) only when a dog is NOT AT RISK. When a dog is tested
AT RISK, a letter is send to the owner of the dog. It is
my objective to exclude any future breeding to a dog who is 'at
risk' and to submit the certificate hereby shown below to potential
buyers. Thus far 16 Kerschberger dogs were tested,
AT RISK which dog was taken out of the breeding program in time. (Stella
since deceased due to DM April 22nd 2009)
Click the images below to see the certificates of which dogs are
approved for breeding.
(VA Dian vom Baronenwald was not tested but also deceased due to DM)
dog is retired from breeding or †
This dog is homozygous N/N, with two normal
copies of the gene. In the seven breeds studied at the University of
Missouri in depth so far, dogs with test results of N/N (Normal)
have never been confirmed to have DM. This dog can only transmit the
normal gene to its offspring, and it is unlikely that this dog or
its offspring will ever develop DM.
This dog is heterozygous A/N, with one
mutated copy of the gene and one normal copy of the gene, and is
classified as a carrier. In the seven breeds studied at the
University of Missouri in depth so far, dogs with test results of
A/N have never been confirmed to have DM. While it is highly
unlikely this dog will ever develop DM, this dog can transmit either
the normal gene or the mutated gene to its offspring.
This dog is homozygous A/A, with two mutated copies
of the gene, and is at risk for developing Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). The
research has shown that all dogs in the research study with confirmed DM
have had A/A DNA test results, however, not all dogs testing as A/A have
shown clinical signs of DM. DM is typically a late onset disease, and dogs
testing as A/A that are clinically normal may still begin to show signs of
the disease as they age. Some dogs testing A/A did not begin to show
clinical signs of DM until they were 15 years of age. Research is ongoing to
estimate what percentage of dogs testing as A/A will develop DM within their
lifespan. At this point, the mutation can only be interpreted as being at
risk of developing DM within the animal’s life. For dogs showing clinical
signs with a presumptive diagnosis of DM, affected (A/A) test results can be
used as an additional tool to aid in the diagnosis of DM. Dogs testing
At-Risk (A/A) can only pass the mutated gene on to their offspring.
An Equivocal test result indicates that the test
results were inconclusive. This is typically the result of poor sample
collection. When the test yields an equivocal result, a second punch will be
taken from the FTA card and the test rerun. If the second test is still
equivocal, the owner will be contacted and asked to submit a new sample.
Joan R. Coates, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM-Neurology
We have discovered a gene which is a major risk factor for
degenerative myelopathy (DM). In that gene, the DNA occurs in two
possible forms (or alleles). The "G" allele is the predominant form
in dog breeds in which DM seldom or never occurs; you can think of
it as the "Good" allele. The "A" allele is more frequent in
dog breeds for which DM is a common problem; you can think of it as
the "Affected" allele.
Summary: "A" allele is associated with DM; "G" allele
is not associated with DM.
Since an individual dog inherits two alleles (one from the sire and
one from the dam) there are three possible test results: two "A"
alleles; one "A" and one "G" allele; and, two "G"
Summary: Test results can be A/A, A/G, or G/G.
In the five breeds we studied so far (Boxer, Chesapeake Bay
Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and
Rhodesian Ridgeback), dogs with test results of A/G and
G/G have never been confirmed to have DM. Essentially all dogs
with DM have the A/A test result. Nonetheless, many of the
dogs with an A/A test result have not shown symptoms of DM.
Dogs with DM can begin showing signs of disease at
years of age, but some do not show symptoms until they are as old as
15 years of age. Thus, some of the dogs who have tested A/A
and are now normal may still develop signs of DM as they age. We
have, however, found a few 15-year-old dogs that tested A/A
and are not showing the clinical symptoms of DM. Unfortunately, at
this point we do not have a good estimate of what percent of the
dogs with the A/A test result will develop DM within their
Summary: Dogs that test A/G or G/G are very unlikely
to develop DM. Dogs that test A/A are much more likely to
develop DM. Our research will now focus on how many A/A dogs can
survive to old age without developing DM and why.
The "A" allele is very common in some breeds. In these
breeds, an overly aggressive breeding program to eliminate the dogs
testing A/A or A/G might be devastating to the breed as a whole
because it would eliminate a large fraction of the high quality dogs
that would otherwise contribute desirable qualities to the breed.
Nonetheless, DM should be taken seriously. It is a fatal disease
with devastating consequences for the dogs and a very unpleasant
experience for the owners who care for them. Thus, a realistic
approach when considering which dogs to select for breeding would be
to consider dogs with the A/A or A/G test result to
have a fault, just as a poor top-line or imperfect gait would be
considered faults. Dogs that test A/A should be considered to
have a worse fault than those that test A/G. Dog breeders
could then continue to do what conscientious breeders have always
done: make their selections for breeding stock in light of all of
the dogs’ good points and all of the dogs’ faults. Using this
approach over many generations should substantially reduce the
prevalence of DM while continuing to maintain or improve those
qualities that have contributed to the various dog breeds.
Summary: We recommend that dog breeders take into consideration the
DM test results as they plan their breeding programs; however, they
should not over-emphasize this test result. Instead, the test result
is one factor among many in a balanced breeding program.
Joan R. Coates, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM-Neurology
Associate Professor Veterinary Neurology/Neurosurgery
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
900 E. Campus Dr., VMTH-Clydesdale Hall
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
For more information on DM, please visit the University of
Click here for more information on DM for other breeds
A free DNA test for DM is available for some dogs. Click here
Explanation of DM DNA Test Results
Breeder Guidelines for dogs who test DM Carrier (N/A) or DM At
DM Test Result Statistics