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I lost my 13 -year-old male to DM so of course testing is something that is crucial for me when selecting a breeder. I had one answer me “After doing research I found that the tests are not accurate enough for me to rely on . I have been breeding for 18 years and never had it come up in my lineage” can this be true and DM testing not reliable ?
 

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no test is 100% perfect....

I have never had it in my litters either....but I test because it is a foundation to build on, and as it is fairly recent, every dog tested and then progeny tested builds an informational base for the future....

all my dogs I use for breeding have tested clear so far....I know there were 2 carriers whose littermates are clear

It is somethign people seem to be afraid of...

Like one person interested in a breeding to my male commented when I said his sire was over 15 when he passed naturally, his dam over 14........"why would anyone want them to live that long? what do you do with them???" I was appalled.


Lee
 

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As far as I know the DNA tests are reliable...showing...whether or not the dog actually has the disease OR whether or not the gene is carried which with breeding would create pups with DM... a disease that will only "show" later in life.....I too had a dog with DM....it still hurts....so it would be VERY important to me also....I'm nobodies expert in DNA... but I know WAY to much about DM.....since many breeders do test for DM...if I was in your shoes....I'd find one of those to make my pup/young dog choice from
 

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DM testing for german shepherds is like Ichthyosis testing in Golden retrievers, it will tell you who is the carrier or effected so you can breed it out of the line. I had a breeder tell me the exact same thing melissa i did not go with her because i also lost a GSD to DM.
 

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I agree with Lee and Shanes' Dad. I don't know if the test is 100% reliable or not, but I personally will not get a puppy from a breeder that doesn't test for DM. My dog Halo is in the late stages of DM right now, and it's been heartbreaking to watch a former athlete (I raced her in flyball for 5 years before retiring her a year ago) become an invalid. Unfortunately, the test was very new around the time she was born and not widely used or trusted. Her sire was later tested as a carrier, so I assume her dam must have been a carrier too, in order for some of the litter to inherit two copies of the abnormal gene like Halo did.

Halo had good longevity on both sides of her pedigree, with her parents and grand-sire all living to the 12-14 year old range, but sadly, she will not make it to 10. She was just a couple of months past her 8th birthday when we first noticed something was wrong and at 9-1/2 she has maybe weeks left at best. :( The only reason she's still here is that we've spent a small fortune over the past year to do swim therapy at a rehab clinic with her twice a week, which she not only loves, but has also slowed down muscle atrophy. She hasn't been able to walk unassisted for months, but she can swim. Just this past week she's begun to not use her rear legs as strongly in the pool as she has been, though, and once she can no longer have her swims to enjoy it will be time to let her go.

Our new puppy is clear by parentage - both the sire and dam are DM clear, so there should be no possibility of Cava ever developing the disease.
 

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no test is 100% perfect....

I have never had it in my litters either....but I test because it is a foundation to build on, and as it is fairly recent, every dog tested and then progeny tested builds an informational base for the future....

all my dogs I use for breeding have tested clear so far....I know there were 2 carriers whose littermates are clear

It is somethign people seem to be afraid of...

Like one person interested in a breeding to my male commented when I said his sire was over 15 when he passed naturally, his dam over 14........"why would anyone want them to live that long? what do you do with them???" I was appalled.

Lee
:mad: I would be too!
 

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Thank you everyone. I don’t want to ever go through that again, so sad to see. Especially since even at 13 he was there mentally and had a will to live but his body was deteriorating. This may be a silly question Is proof just a piece of paper they show me or is there a database that i can verify the testing with (like you can with hips etc) I’m the type of person that likes to verify paperwork. But i guess if the paperwork has the facility that did the testing i can always call them direct and verify the info.
 

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Thank you everyone. I don’t want to ever go through that again, so sad to see. Especially since even at 13 he was there mentally and had a will to live but his body was deteriorating. This may be a silly question Is proof just a piece of paper they show me or is there a database that i can verify the testing with (like you can with hips etc) I’m the type of person that likes to verify paperwork. But i guess if the paperwork has the facility that did the testing i can always call them direct and verify the info.
If they did it through OFA, and the dog was Normal/Normal, it will be searchable on OFA.

If they did it through OFA and checked the box to release ALL results, and the dog tested N/A or A/A, it will be searchable on OFA.

If they did it through OFA and did not check that box, N/A or A/A will not show on the database. A certificate is still mailed to the owner.

If they used another lab, there should be a certificate / lab result sheet.
 

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I lost my 13 -year-old male to DM so of course testing is something that is crucial for me when selecting a breeder. I had one answer me “After doing research I found that the tests are not accurate enough for me to rely on . I have been breeding for 18 years and never had it come up in my lineage” can this be true and DM testing not reliable ?
As others have said, no test is 100%. That said, how would a breeder know that it has never come up without testing? Up until fairly recently the early symptoms of DM were chalked up to old age and arthritis. There is also the fact that its late onset, which means there is a real chance something else will take them down first.
The current DM testing is as accurate as any other medical test, and to me that response from a breeder is irresponsible and uncaring. For all they know all their breeding stock are carriers and they are adding to the issue. As cheap as the test is, any breeder who isn't doing it is selfish.
I lost a dog to DM, so unless a breeder is testing it's a no from me. Period. Nothing would induce me to knowingly bring that into my life again.
 

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I have heard of people getting different results from different labs, and I have also heard of people testing puppies from two clear parents and getting test results stating the dog was a carrier. I can see why some people don’t think it is as accurate as it could be. DM is a horrible thing, and you need to do what you feel most comfortable with when you buy a puppy. If DM testing is very, very important to you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with walking away from a breeder who doesn’t do the test. We all make decisions to our own comfort level regarding many different things when choosing a breeder. The right choices for you may not be the same ones I’d make, and that’s ok.
 

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Like one person interested in a breeding to my male commented when I said his sire was over 15 when he passed naturally, his dam over 14........"why would anyone want them to live that long? what do you do with them???" I was appalled.


Lee

That is AWFUL, Lee. :mad:
 

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yea - IPO person - breeds a ton - imports titled dogs, moves most of them on after a few years.....doesn't like wasting kennel space....

yea - Awful!
 

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I wouldn’t condemn a breeder for not testing. There are confirmed cases of supposed “ DM clear by parentage” dogs that come back as carriers, and dogs tested as carriers in europe who come back clear through OFA, or dogs testing both carrier and clear through the US labs. The test is by no means “perfect” yet, so if the breeder chooses not to, it shouldn’t be something to crucify them over.
 

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I wouldn’t condemn a breeder for not testing. There are confirmed cases of supposed “ DM clear by parentage” dogs that come back as carriers, and dogs tested as carriers in europe who come back clear through OFA, or dogs testing both carrier and clear through the US labs. The test is by no means “perfect” yet, so if the breeder chooses not to, it shouldn’t be something to crucify them over.
No medical test is 100%, that does not mean we should stop using them. Humans still have to collect and mark specimens, and in human testing for most things 10% is the acceptable failure rate. DM testing comes in well under that.
Not to mention that for $60, it's so cheap that it's almost ignorant not to do it. The breeders who refuse do so because it isn't going to impact them until well after breeding and showing careers are over. Breeders doing so on a large scale don't particularly want dogs hanging around until they are 13 or 14 or 15, because why would they?
A pet owner on the other hand gets to lose a beloved family member 3-5 years earlier then they hoped. There are things we can stop and things we can't. We can stop this.
 

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Like one person interested in a breeding to my male commented when I said his sire was over 15 when he passed naturally, his dam over 14........"why would anyone want them to live that long? what do you do with them???" I was appalled.


Lee
Interesting...I often wonder what a 15 year old GSD is like...Quality of life wise. It's like with people...what's the point of living to 100 if you are not physically or mentally with it?

OP, I once asked a breeder (of a different breed) about OFA hips/elbows. Her response was I have been breeding for 25 years and I don't do OFA. I don't have that problem in my lines. She is a huge person in the breed, lots of show winners. Her dogs are in MANY kennels all over the country. She got taken off my list immediately. No test is 100%...but not testing is 100% sure you won't know.
 

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No medical test is 100%, that does not mean we should stop using them. Humans still have to collect and mark specimens, and in human testing for most things 10% is the acceptable failure rate. DM testing comes in well under that.
Not to mention that for $60, it's so cheap that it's almost ignorant not to do it. The breeders who refuse do so because it isn't going to impact them until well after breeding and showing careers are over. Breeders doing so on a large scale don't particularly want dogs hanging around until they are 13 or 14 or 15, because why would they?
A pet owner on the other hand gets to lose a beloved family member 3-5 years earlier then they hoped. There are things we can stop and things we can't. We can stop this.
I don’t know that I agree with everything you are saying. I know plenty of breeders who would love to have their dogs until they were 15. I personally would do the test if I were breeding. It’s just more info to have. But with all the discrepancies I have heard of with the test, I don’t know that I could blame someone for using an untested male, or breeding their bitch that checks all the other boxes. It’s a sad fact that you cannot definitively diagnose DM until necropsy. I think if they could come up with a test that said, “yes, this is definitely DM” or even “your dog will have DM” instead of a test that classifies “at risk”, that would be great. I have complicated feelings about this particular test, and I just wish I thought it was more accurate.
 

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my 14 year old had great quality of life....could get in the truck....liked to go to the farm and out and about....enjoyed her food and friends....until the day she threw a blood clot and lost control of one hind leg - only 1...but was confused and upset....we knew it could happen....she was not going to handle it well and I knew it could happen again...so let her go.... :'( :'( :'(
 

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my 14 year old had great quality of life....could get in the truck....liked to go to the farm and out and about....enjoyed her food and friends....until the day she threw a blood clot and lost control of one hind leg - only 1...but was confused and upset....we knew it could happen....she was not going to handle it well and I knew it could happen again...so let her go.... :'( :'( :'(
Remi's grandmother was 13 when we picked him up 4 years ago. She was great...but you could tell she was old. She had lots of patience for the litter (Remi and his siblings).
 

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I don’t know that I agree with everything you are saying. I know plenty of breeders who would love to have their dogs until they were 15. I personally would do the test if I were breeding. It’s just more info to have. But with all the discrepancies I have heard of with the test, I don’t know that I could blame someone for using an untested male, or breeding their bitch that checks all the other boxes. It’s a sad fact that you cannot definitively diagnose DM until necropsy. I think if they could come up with a test that said, “yes, this is definitely DM” or even “your dog will have DM” instead of a test that classifies “at risk”, that would be great. I have complicated feelings about this particular test, and I just wish I thought it was more accurate.
I also know breeders who want to keep their dogs around, and they are testing. I was referring mostly to the big breeders, large scale, lot's of dogs. And you are correct that active DM can only be diagnosed with a necropsy, but it is a fact that is a dog tested +/+ (at risk) it will develop symptoms IF it lives long enough which is why they use the term at risk. Being that it's late onset other things could get the dog first. It's also a fact that there have been very few inaccurate tests, but for example, the ONE dog that tested clear and was later found to have DM (necropsy) was something like 15 years ago and people keep bringing it up. This gives the impression that it happens all the time. It's also a fact that if breeders would test we could get rid of this disease, not immediately but over generations.

I also agree that it's a personal decision to buy from a specific breeder. And I can almost guarantee that someone who lost a pet to DM will go with a breeder who tests.
If you haven't I sincerely hope you never do, if you have I am so sorry.
 
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