Screening Scheme Description

DNA test - DM
Degenerative Myelopathy

Details about the disease

This disease is a result of the deterioration of structures in the spinal cord that are responsible for transmission of nerve impulses. Although the changes may be found anywhere in the spinal cord, they are most severe in the lower back.

Clinical signs

The disease has an onset typically between 7 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The disease is chronic and progressive, resulting in paralysis.

How it is inherited?

DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. A recessive mutation that causes this disease has been identified. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected. Dogs with two copies of this recessive mutation are at much higher risk of developing the disease. However, having two copies of the recessive mutant gene does not necessarily result in clinical disease.

For advice on breeding your dog for health, why not visit our information guide

Which laboratories test for this condition?

A list of laboratories and DNA tests can be found at the following link


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