Miroslav Hornak, Ph.D.
Genetics and Reproduction
Veterinary Research Institute
Hudcova 70
621 00 Brno
Czech Republic
tel.:     +420 776 850 577
 Jazyk / Language

Genetic test for Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative Myelopathy is a neuromuscular disease causing a gradual muscle weakness on the hindlimb and back, which is manifested by poor coordination of movements, cramped and asymmetric walking, or incontinence. The disease affects a wide range of dog breeds (described in more than 100 breeds) and start to develope at middle / upper age, approximately from 8 years of age and above. Unfortunately, the disease is untreatable, it is gradually deteriorating, and after 3-5 years from the first manifestation of the disease, a death occurs due to the general weakness and paralysis of the respiratory muscles.

Degenerative Myelopathy in dogs is caused by the mutation in the superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1 gene), the mutation c.118G>A causes lack of normal and functional protein. The inheritance is autosomal recessive, so the presence of a mutation on both copies of the SOD1 gene in the dog is required for a manifestation of the disease.

The advantage of genetic testing is to avoid the risk of disease in a litter, if dam or sire is mutation free. In breeding of two carriers (both dog and bitch) there is a statistical risk 25% for the disease manifestation for each puppy in a litter.

The test can be performed from 0,5-1ml collected blood or buccal swab.
If you are interested in this genetic test you can find all the information in the section order a test.

The test is performed in a partner laboratory outside the European Union.