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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get a DM test done on Wiva.
Which company did you go with? Why? How was your experience with the company? I am having trouble deciding due to the controversy over the efficacy of the available genetic tests.

Here are the two I am considering:
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
DNA Test for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) (I would like to go with this company if anyone has positive feedback about them - they throw in additional tests for only 20$!)

Thanks :)
 

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My vet sent it in to the University of Missouri direct and I think the OFA test does as well - they did blood but I gather same test just have to be careful to get a proper saliva sample. Grim came back as carrier but I am not convinced..some days I think he is in early stages.

The controversey is U of Missouri (like ALS) vs U of Fla (like MS)- do you know which test these folks use? The "accepted" one is the U of M test but there are enough negative and carrier dogs who were diagnosed with DM on necropsy to make me wonder about that one.
 

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I had a very quick and professional service from them . When there were any questions I could speak directly to the Senior Scientist . Three animals were done for DM. Two 0/0 , one with 0/1. I plan to do some others .

You can buy the kit on line prepaid by your credit card and that gives you a bit of a saving. They sent the kit quickly. The kit includes four swabs for each animal being assessed. You need to be careful how you handle the bio-material if you are doing more than one animal because you do not want cross contamination. Wash hands between if you are . You take the return package and put all the identification on the envelope. Then take two samples of the left cheek , two samples of the right cheek of each animal . Twirl it around a bit to get some of the epithelium . There are extra swabs provided in case you drop one (that is a smart idea) Put in to envelope , seal, place in larger return envelope and send. You will get a response from the lab when the material arrives at the lab. You will get a response within 10 days via email giving you the results and a hard copy signed document through the mail which takes a little longer.

The price was reasonable . Would recommend and will use again for myself.

Carmen
 

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Thanks Carmen, I'm going to do this. I've had a little interest from other people wanting to use one of my dogs and it seems the DM testing is all the rage! I know one of the females is normal so I guess there is no risk but given the severity of the disease and the reasonable cost I'm happy to participate so they have more data for their research.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Carmen. Your experience seems to be the norm and people seem to generally like their service. I'm curious to know if she carries coat because her sire does not, but the dam does so I think I'll throw in the coat length in for fun along with the DM.

There seems to be at least some variability in the results depending on which lab tests the dog. I saw on a pdb thread that one person had OFA rate the dog as a carrier, while DDC rated the dog as A/A. The dog ended up having full DM and was diagnosed as such clinically. There is also some interesting info on DM carriers displaying disease symptoms. Then again there is also info questioning the predictive value of the test itself. I am sure she will test clear, but just something interesting to consider.
 

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I have been curious about this myself. I prefer to do any testing I can directly through people, not sending and paying someone else to send it off to the actual company, ya know? The less handling/time the better in my opinion.

Also... just curious, but did the prices recently change? OFA is showing $65, but on my cost layout for each dog, I have it listed quite a bit lower. I did not think they had it listed at that cost? At that rate, I might as well use one of the others anyhow!
 

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I used the OFA test. They received my Kaos DNA sample on 2-11-2013 and I got the results on 2-15-2013 by clicking the e mail link you get. Kaos came back normal, clear. Then about a week later you get a certificate from the OFA with a sheet explaining everything. I was shocked that about half the GSD's they tested were a carrier. Forget the number at risk....

My former GS Genesis had DM. I got scared because Kaos was starting to scrape his nails. Has tremors in his hips at night. Told my vet of the results. He's pretty sure the symptoms are a result of his really bad hips. He's 9 and a half. The weird thing was my Genesis never had any tremors. Didn't really scrape his nails at the beginning. He would lose his balance. Then his rear end would just go off to the side. When he could walk I used to have to use my hand to keep his rear going in a straight line. Horrid, horrible disease. Within 8 months he couldn't walk......
 

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I think the OFA test goes to U of M
The test has some controversy - I know one dog owner (a SAR person, not Marjorie from Jack Flash page) whose GSD was N/N on the test and necropsied positive for DM.

I know when I got Grim's results back (the vet sent directly to U of M not through OFA-He came back as A/N) it was returned with a disclaimer:

Hello Jocoy,
Thank you for participating in the ongoing research and testing for DM – we appreciate your participation. Following is the DM test result for your dog. Attached to this email report is a certificate (in PDF format) for you to print for your records.

Grim tested CARRIER
Brief explanation of results;
NORMAL dogs are not at risk for developing DM and can safely be bred to a dog with any test result.

CARRIER are far less likely to develop DM, but we have confirmed DM in a few carrier dogs. They may be used carefully in breeding programs to keep their good qualities while reducing risk of DM in future generations.

AFFECTED dogs are AT RISK for developing DM at some point in their lifetime. Not all AFFECTED/AT RISK dogs develop observable clinical symptoms. At present we do not a way to predict when clinical symptoms may appear. Additional research is underway to help determine these details.

Dogs testing NORMAL or CARRIER who exhibit symptoms suggestive of DM should have additional diagnostics done to determine the possible underlying cause of observed symptoms.

Additional information and discussion of results and breeding considerations can be found in the DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY section of our website, www.CanineGeneticDiseases.net<http://www.CanineGeneticDiseases.net>.

If you would like to have these results recorded with OFA On their public database, you may mail or fax a copy of the certificate attached to this report along with the “Application for DNA-Based Genetic Database” form (http://www.offa.org/pdf/dnaapp_bw.pdf) and appropriate fee to OFA. Their website is www.OFFA.org<http://www.OFFA.org>, fax number is 573-875-5073, phone is 573-442-0418.

If you have questions about the test results please contact us; if you have questions about the OFA application, please contact OFA.
 

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I used DDC Vet to test my dogs. No complaints whatsoever.
Their kit was very easy to use and it came with swabs, envelopes, etc.
I also got my results fairly quickly and was told by a friend (who used the OFA to test some of her dogs) that if I had went with them (the OFA) it would have a been longer wait.
Also, the cost of the test is with DDC Vet $58 versus $65 for the OFA.

Oh and all my dogs tested clear. :)
 

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Used the DDC test - had no problems with the previous ones. Kit arrived promptly and test results were communicated by email as soon as they became available. This time around, they charged my card for the amount, but never sent the testing kit. Waited 2 weeks, emailed a complaint, and got an apology - said they will send it asap. We'll see :)
 

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I think the OFA test goes to U of M
The test has some controversy - I know one dog owner (a SAR person, not Marjorie from Jack Flash page) whose GSD was N/N on the test and necropsied positive for DM.

I know when I got Grim's results back (the vet sent directly to U of M not through OFA-He came back as A/N) it was returned with a disclaimer:

Hello Jocoy,
Thank you for participating in the ongoing research and testing for DM – we appreciate your participation. Following is the DM test result for your dog. Attached to this email report is a certificate (in PDF format) for you to print for your records.

Grim tested CARRIER
Brief explanation of results;
NORMAL dogs are not at risk for developing DM and can safely be bred to a dog with any test result.

CARRIER are far less likely to develop DM, but we have confirmed DM in a few carrier dogs. They may be used carefully in breeding programs to keep their good qualities while reducing risk of DM in future generations.

AFFECTED dogs are AT RISK for developing DM at some point in their lifetime. Not all AFFECTED/AT RISK dogs develop observable clinical symptoms. At present we do not a way to predict when clinical symptoms may appear. Additional research is underway to help determine these details.

Dogs testing NORMAL or CARRIER who exhibit symptoms suggestive of DM should have additional diagnostics done to determine the possible underlying cause of observed symptoms.

Additional information and discussion of results and breeding considerations can be found in the DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY section of our website, www.CanineGeneticDiseases.net<http://www.CanineGeneticDiseases.net>.

If you would like to have these results recorded with OFA On their public database, you may mail or fax a copy of the certificate attached to this report along with the “Application for DNA-Based Genetic Database” form (http://www.offa.org/pdf/dnaapp_bw.pdf) and appropriate fee to OFA. Their website is www.OFFA.org<http://www.OFFA.org>, fax number is 573-875-5073, phone is 573-442-0418.

If you have questions about the test results please contact us; if you have questions about the OFA application, please contact OFA.

Yep sorry for the confusion in my post. Worded it wrong. It does go to the University of Missouri. The OFA sent me the test. Then you sent it to the UM. OFA have the e-mail link when the results get sent to them so you can check it. Then a few days later OFA sends the certificate and explanation letter....

Kaos came back normal (N/N). Explanation of results. Norman (N/N). This dog is homozygous N/N for the mutation that is the most common cause of DM, with two normal copies of the gene. Among the hundreds of dogs studied so far at the University of Missouri, only two dogs with test results of N/N (normal) have been confirmed to have DM. This dog can only transmit the normal gene to its offspring, and it is unlikely that this dog or it's offspring will ever develop DM.

My vet is pretty sure it's Kaos hips. He said quote "they are so bad". Right now Kaos just had his 1st acupuncture treatment. I sent for the test to try and get some piece of mind since the horror of my last GSD having it will never ever leave me. I was at times making myself sick thinking about another dog with DM. Eventually Kaos hip problems will prevent him from walking (hoping at least a couple years but it will prob. be sooner then that). But it won't kill him. Or cause him b-room problems etc.....If I had the money (from the University of Penn $5500 a hip plus another $1000) I would risk trying getting both hips replaced. Kaos had stem cell treatment last April $3000 with the x rays & complications on his hips that did not help at all. I did bank some cells but I called and was told there is only enough to do both hips one more time. Even though it didn't work I will try it again at some point......
 

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Ah..the SAR dog must have been the "2nd" N/N dog but how many people actually necropsy their dog and send in a definitive diagnosis. Precious few I would think. Necropsy is the ONLY definitive diagnosis.

I know the controversy centers around the University of Florida (Dr Clemmons) vs the University of Mo testing and the comparison to ALS (U of M) and MS (U of F). It does concern me that breeding choices may be excluding dogs from the gene pool (or inlcuding them) without adequate evidence as there is not a whole lot data to support either test and the U of F testing is, I believe, not available anymore. [clemmons lost the funding wars]

I do not want to link to other forums but if you google "DM Flash Test" you will find discussions on both tests and the gene which is looked at.
 

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This is a good discussion on, of all things, a Malamute page-we believe that Linus who died at 15 in 2000 had DM because of the progression and he had that characteristic hoarse bark they talk about here.

http://omalmalamutes.com/omal/DM.htm
 
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