Degenerative Myelopathy Test

A health screening test for your dog to determine if it carries the SOD1-A gene associated with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM).

Only £55 with results in 7 working days

Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Testing is a fast and effective way of determining whether or not your dog has the potential to develop Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), or pass it on to any offspring.

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What is Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Testing?

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a distressing inherited neurological condition which affects a dog’s spinal cord. When a dog inherits two copies of the mutated SOD1 gene from its parents, cells that send and receive brain signals begin to break down, which results in Degenerative Myelopathy symptoms. These include difficulty walking, with an unsteady gait usually presenting as the initial sign of the disease. Over time, the condition causes the dog’s hind legs to become weak, and it may render the dog unable to walk at all. Eventually the disease progresses, causing loss of bladder control and an inability to use the front legs.

Degenerative Myelopathy occurs when a dog inherits copies of abnormal genes from both parents, although this does not inevitably lead to the dog developing the condition. However, a dog that inherits abnormal genes is very likely to go on to develop the condition over time, and is almost certain to pass on the abnormal genes to any offspring.

There is no fixed pattern associated with Degenerative Myelopathy, and the condition is not believed to cause the dog any pain, but the loss of limb function is extremely distressing for both pet and owner. The symptoms do not usually present until the dog is around 8-10 years old, although some dogs are affected at an earlier age.

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Which Breeds are Affected by Degenerative Myelopathy?

When the disease was first identified, it was believed to exclusively affect German Shepherd dogs. However, it is now understood that any breed can be affected, although some breeds are more prone to the condition than others.

This Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test, which uses the SOD1-A marker, can be carried out on all breeds.

Please note: We do not test for the SOD1-B marker found in Bernese Mountain Dogs. It has been known for several years that the Bernese have this additional marker, or risk factor, that is generally restricted to the breed. This is not to say that this marker is the sole cause of Degenerative Myelopathy in that breed, or that the SOD1-A mutation is irrelevant as a risk factor in the breed.

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What will Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Testing Results Tell You?

For just £55, AffinityDNA will test whether your dog carries the genes associated with Degenerative Myelopathy. Using a simple swab from the inner cheek of your dog, we will ascertain whether or not your dog carries the genetic mutation that is likely to develop into the condition. We will also inform you whether or not your dog is a carrier of the mutation, which allows you to make an informed choice as to whether or not to breed from the dog.

This Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test, which uses the SOD1-A marker, can be carried out on all breeds.

Please note: We do not test for the SOD1-B marker found in Bernese Mountain Dogs. It has been known for several years that the Bernese have this additional marker, or risk factor, that is generally restricted to the breed. This is not to say that this marker is the sole cause of Degenerative Myelopathy in that breed, or that the SOD1-A mutation is irrelevant as a risk factor in the breed.

Once we receive the dog’s buccal swabs, we undertake tests that will give one of three possible outcomes:

  1. A CLEAR result shows that the dog has inherited two genes from its parents that are mutation free. The dog will not develop Degenerative Myelopathy and cannot pass faulty genes on to any offspring.
  2. A CARRIER result indicates that the dog has inherited one normal copy of the relevant gene, and one mutation. This means that the dog has a strong likelihood of passing on the condition to offspring, but not of developing the condition itself. Where a potential mate also carries the gene mutation, any offspring will be at high risk of developing the condition and also of passing it on.
  3. An AT RISK result indicates that the dog has inherited two copies of the mutated gene from its parents and is highly likely to develop Degenerative Myelopathy over the course of its lifetime. It will definitely pass on the mutation to any offspring.

Please click on the image below to view our Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test Result Chart:

AffinityDNA Canine Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Testing DM Chart

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More Information and Support for Degenerative Myelopathy

You can read more information about Degenerative Myelopathy, coping with DM and ongoing research at the Finding the Cure for DM Foundation website.

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Other Dog DNA Tests from AffinityDNA

As well as the Degenerative Myelopathy Test we also offer a range of inherited disease screening tests including:

Dog Allergy Testing, Dog Parentage Testing and a choice of dog DNA breed tests which include information about the personality traits and predisposition to diseases for each breed found in your dog’s DNA. Please click on each of the links below for more information:

If you have any questions about Hyperuricosuria DNA Testing for your dog, please do not hesitate to Contact our Customer Service Team who will be happy to help you.

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