Animal DNA Testing

DDC Veterinary 1-800-625-0874

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Test

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a devastating degenerative disease of the spinal cord that can progress rapidly and cause weakness in the hind limbs and eventually paraplegia among genotypically affected dogs.

This test is available for all dog breeds. Initially, this inherited recessive disorder was thought to only affect German Shepherd Dogs; however, degenerative myelopathy has been recently diagnosed in several other dog breeds.

The DNA test is an accurate, convenient, and affordable tool to help breeders avoid producing DM at risk offspring and significantly reduce the gene frequency in future generations. DDC Veterinary's DNA test reveals one of the 3 possible genotypes for degenerative myelopathy:

  • CLEAR (those having 2 copies of the normal allele and appear to be normal).
  • CARRIER (those having 1 copy of the normal allele and 1 copy of the mutation and most appear to be normal).
  • AT RISK (those having 2 copies of the mutation and will likely show clinical signs.)

It is important to note that although carriers usually will not show clinical signs for the disease, if used for breeding, they will pass on the mutation about 50% of the time, therefore a carrier x carrier mating will likely result in producing at risk pups in 25% of the offspring.

Highlights regarding this new test include:

  • DNA samples can be collected easily at home using buccal (cheek) swabs.
  • Dogs can be DNA tested at ANY age.
  • The cost for testing is $58 (US) per canine with a $10 discount per test for 5 or more samples submitted at the same time.
  • DNA results are emailed within 5 business days of receipt of the samples.

Canine DNA frequently asked questions

For more information about how these test results can be used for registration, contact the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC).

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