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Old 06-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DM Tests Inaccurate for GSDs?

I was speaking with a breeder about the test for degenerative myelopathy, and she told me that she didn't test her dogs because the test wasn't accurate.
At first I thought it was BS and just an excuse to cut corners and save money.
However, I decided to look into it a little further, and from what I found, it appears to be true.

Here are a few links that I found/were shown to me (from another board).

Degenerative Myelopathy - Testing

Canine DM - Wikipedia

New Knowledge of GSD DM

Now, I understand the point of wanting to avoid every possible ailment that may strike your dogs and the puppies produced. But if this test is as inaccurate as not knowing, then what's the point of doing it?
If some dogs that tested N/N were forced to be euthanized, and it was determined to be DM after a necropsy was done... why waste the money?
The test isn't looking for the strain that affects GSDs; rather, other breeds. A breeder could be unknowingly breed two at-risk dogs because a test said they were normal.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I gather the controversy is the answsre is NOT completely clear and that is the issue. Why waste them money, I guess is to gather enough data over time to clear it up. IMO that should be a long term study and not a profit thing for OFA and U of M. until they are sure...it does seem that there is something missing in the total picture.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Recently there have been a handful of cases of dogs who were tested as carriers, and I believe at least one who tested clear, who developed DM and it was proven via necropsy. According to the claims, only A/A dogs are supposed to be able to come down with it, but that appears to not be the case. And that of course calls into question the validity of the test at all.

We've tested our breeding dogs in the past. I'm not sure if we'll continue to do so or not. But my feeling on it is that while it can possibly be some good information to have, how much stock should be put in it is questionnable, and I wouldn't base breeding decisions on the results of the test.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wild View Post
Recently there have been a handful of cases of dogs who were tested as carriers, and I believe at least one who tested clear, who developed DM and it was proven via necropsy. According to the claims, only A/A dogs are supposed to be able to come down with it, but that appears to not be the case.
Do you know if this is only with GSDs, or all breeds that the test is for? (Just wondering... only been looking at it for GSDs).

From my understanding, the DM that affects other breeds isn't the same as the strain that affects GSDs, so the test is basically looking at the wrong strands of DNA.

It'd be awesome if they did more GSD specific tests for DM.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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All GSDs.
The idea that GSDs have a unique kind of DM, that unlike other breeds is not a form of ALS has long been a hypothesis, but is not proven to be true. Though the inaccuracies of the OFA test that have recently come to light would definitely indicate there may be some truth to that.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm wondering - how many GSDs need to prove that the test is inaccurate before any serious studies are performed to find exactly what genes are affecting GSDs?
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Regardless, any of these studies need to show a link between their "No DM, Positive for DM, carries DM" and necropsy. Last time I looked the U of M test, which is now the one that got funded and popular - the results for the GSD examined by necropsy left a bunch of questions.

The test *may* be accurate for other breeds. I was only interested in GSD results. Look at the actual data. If a dog tests positive and only 50% actually have it (I'm not saying that these were the specific results) what good is the test?

I'll quote U of F, which studied GSD DM specifically - and admittedly they had (at one time) an alternate test:
Quote:
Dr. R. M. Clemmons, neurology professor at University of Florida’s veterinary school, feels that the peculiar syndrome seen in our breed is also seen only (and even then rarely) in the Belgian Shepherd and the Old English Sheepdog, and he has believed that what is seen in other breeds may well be a different disorder.
Again, it comes down to "show me the data" - and prove via necropsy that your test is accurate.
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konotashi View Post
I'm wondering - how many GSDs need to prove that the test is inaccurate before any serious studies are performed to find exactly what genes are affecting GSDs?
It's not about proving that it's inaccurate, just the opposite, you need to prove that it's accurate before offering to "sell" the tests to the public, OFA, or AKC. Again, I'd suggest that before anyone spend money on the test - make sure that they've looked at the GSD for accuracy. If they don't use any GSDs as test subjects or if GSD results are not accurate, it's not a good test for our breed.

If there is no data (by breed) - be suspicious.

Here's a related petition, but again, ask to see the data if you have questions yourself:


http://www.change.org/petitions/ofa-...t-designations
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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guess we need a study is to determine the accuracy of the test.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When my dog was dx with DM by ruling out everything else, my vet seemed to think that there were environmental factors at play. As with RA in humans something needs to trigger for the DM to show up.
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