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?

The disease is believed to be an autosomal-recessive condition. This means that dogs that inherit two copies of an DM gene mutation (one from its mother and one from its father) will have an increased risk of developing the condition.

This disease is not fully understood and it is believed that environmental factors or other genetic influences can also contribute to whether a dog becomes affected. Having other factors that influence whether or not a dog is affected by this condition means that having two copies of the recessive mutant gene does not necessarily always result in clinical disease and similarly an absence of the gene is not a guarantee that the condition will not occur.

About this test

Since other factors can influence whether a dog becomes affected by this condition, unlike most other DNA tests, this test evaluates a dog’s risk of developing the disease, rather than giving a definitive result.

Which laboratories test for this condition?

Two lists of laboratories that test for DM can be found below.

Laboratories that send a copy of your dog's results straight to The Kennel Club, so you don't have to.
Laboratories Contact details

Kennel Club CombiBreed (UK)

Available as part of an all-in-one health test package for the:

  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • French Bulldog
  • German Shepherd Dog
Read more about CombiBreed

Animal Genetics (UK)

Email: Animal Genetics

Laboklin (UK) Phone: 0161 282 3066
Email: Laboklin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Pet Genetics Lab (UK) Phone: 01624 679 720
Email: Pet Genetics Lab Web:  

Where will your dog's results be published?

DNA test results from these laboratories are sent directly to The Kennel Club and are recorded on to the dog's record in the registration database, and are published:

Laboratories that do not send a copy of your dog's results to The Kennel Club. You'll need to do this yourself.
Laboratories Contact details
Antagene (France) Email: Anta gene
DDC Veterinary (USA) Email: Vet DNA Center

Genetic Technologies Ltd (Animal Network) - Australia


Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (USA)


Orthopedic Foundation for Animals


Paw Print Genetics (USA) Email: Paw Print Genetics

Van Haeringen (Holland)

Email: Van Haeringen Genetics

VetGen (USA)
Only available for the following breeds:
  • French Bulldog
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Collie (Rough)
  • Collie (Smooth)

Email: Vet Gen


How to submit DNA test results to The Kennel Club

The laboratories listed above do not send your dog's DNA test results to The Kennel Club. To have these results placed on your dog's record please submit them yourself by scanning and emailing them to our health results team.

What we require on the results certificate

Please note that we require at least two forms of identification on the result certificate. These must include the dog's microchip or tattoo number along with either the dog's registered name or registered number. Results without these details cannot be accepted by us.

Where will your dog's results be published once you have submitted them?

DNA test results received by The Kennel Club are recorded on to the dog's record in the registration database, and are published:

Breeding advice and what your dog's results mean

If, once your dog is DNA tested, you would like to find out what their DNA test results mean, or how to select the right mate to avoid producing affected puppies, then please read our breeding advice and DNA testing information.

How to find out if a potential mate has been DNA tested

The Kennel Club’s Health Test Results Finder allows you to find the results of DNA tests carried out as part of The Kennel Club's official DNA testing schemes for any dog on The Kennel Club’s Breed Register.