Here is where you will find information about this horrible inherited disease that has crippling affects on our very loved German Shepherds. This horrible disease not only strikes our German Shepherd breed, but also a number of other breeds. They say it is not painful to the dog's, but it is Very painful for the dog's owners to watch their loved family member(s) deteriorate to the point of not being able to walk. This is a progressive disease and there is no cure for it as of yet. A simple DNA test through OFA or other organizations that do the test is all that is needed to know if your much loved family member has this horrible disease or not. We do our tests through OFA for $65 per dog. All it takes is a simple swab inside your dog's cheek to get the DNA for this test. Very simple and worth the cost to know if your dog has the DM disease or not.
At Boeselager German Shepherds we have all of our breeding dog's tested and they have come back as DNA Homozygous N/N CLEAR of this disease. We feel that all breeders should do this test in order to stop this horrible disease from spreading.
If you do not know about Degenerative Myelopthy or known as DM, and would like to read more about it, here are some links.
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Explanations of the results of Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Normal (N/N): This dog is homozgous N/N, with two normal copies of the gene. In the seven breeds studied at the University of Missouri in depth so far, dogs with test results of N/N (Normal) have never been confirmed to have DM. This dog can only transmit the normal gene to it's offspring, and it is unlikely that this dog or it's offspring will ever develop DM.
Carrier (A/N): This dog is heterozygous A/N, with one mutated copy of the gene and one normal copy of the gene, and is classified as a carrier. In the seven breeds studied at the University of Missouri in depth so far, dogs with the test results of A/N have never been confirmed to have DM. While it is highly unlikely this dog will ever develop DM, this dog can transmit either the normal gene or the mutated gene to it's offspring.
At-Risk (A/A): This dog is homozygous A/A, with two mutated copies of the gene, and is at risk for developing Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). The research has shown that all dogs in the research study with confirmed DM have had A/A DNA test results, however, not all dogs testing as A/A have shown clinical signs of DM. DM is typically a late onset disease, and dogs testing as A/A that are clinically normal may still begin to show signs of the disease as they age. Some dogs testing A/A did not begin to show clinical signs of DM until they were 15 years of age. Research is ongoing to estimate what percentage of dogs testing as A/A will develop DM within their lifespan. At this point, the mutation can only be interpreted as being at risk of developing DM within the animal's life. For dogs showing clinical signs with a presumptive diagnosis of DM, affected (A/A) test results can be used as an additional tool to aid in the diagnosis of DM. Dogs testing Affected (A/A) can only pass the mutated gene on to their offspring.
Guidelines for Breeding: Owners with dogs testing as Carriers (A/N), or At-Risk (A/A) are strongly encouraged to share these results with their attending veterinarian and seek genetic counseling when making breeding decisions.
The "A" (Mutated) allele appears to be very common in some breeds. In these breeds, an overly aggressive breeding program to eliminate dogs testing A/A or A/N might be devastating to the breed as a whole because it would eliminate a large fraction of the high quality dogs that would otherwise contribute desireable qualities to the breed. Nonetheless, DM should be taken seriously. It is fatal.
If both parents are Clear (N/N) then all of the puppies will be Clear (N/N).
If one parent is a Carrier (A/N) and one is Clear (N/N) then roughly 50% of the puppies will be Clear (N/N) and 50% will be Carriers (A/N).
If both parents are Carriers (A/N) then roughly 25% will be Clear (N/N), 50% will be Carriers (A/N), and 25% will be At-Risk (A/A).
If one parent is Clear (N/N) and one parent is At-Risk (A/A) then all puppies will be Carriers (A/N).
If one parent is a Carrier (A/N) and one is At-Risk (A/A) then roughly 50% of the puppies will be Carriers (A/N) and 50% will be At-Risk (A/A).
If both parents are At-Risk (A/A) then all puppies will be At-Risk (A/A)