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Lobobear44 02-02-2013 01:18 AM

DM tests
What age does a German shepherd need to be to take a Degenerative Myelopathy test? Lobo's owner told me she doesn't remember hearing anything about genetic testing.

NancyJ 02-02-2013 05:07 AM

There is some controversy surrounding the test, specifically it is not 100% clear that the genetic marker they have identified for DM is the actual marker in GSDs as some dogs have had a diagnosis of DM on necropsy (the only definitive way to diagnose the disease) who have not had the marker or only had one copy (it is recessive and allegedly needs two markers to express itself). Univ of Missouri as well as U of Florida were doing research on the disease and came up with different theories. U of M got the money and the U of F program slowed way down.

I would guess since they are looking at DNA age would not matter.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

Degenerative Myelopathy - Using the DNA test

Lobobear44 04-20-2013 02:36 AM


A while ago I asked Lobo's owner about his DM results cause I have not heard about until I researched it. Lobo's owner said the breeder did not tell her anything about DM. So we are concerned about DM for Lobo.

NancyJ 04-20-2013 07:07 AM

She can do the test herself. It is available through - the sample is a cheek swab.

This is a fairly new test and is not considered "standard" as are the OFA hips and elbows.

She has the dog. DM does not express itself until the dog is older so it is not the kind of thing you should worry about now. It is or isn't and you really can't do anything proactively for the dog.

dcg9381 12-19-2013 04:22 PM

I agree with jocoyn. Look at the actual study results of the genetic test on German Shepherd Dogs. Last time I looked, assuming I read the results right, the correlation to "positive" and necropsy verification were not great in the German Shepherd.

The test MAY be great for other breeds, but again, look at the results for the GSD.

dcg9381 12-27-2013 03:43 PM

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