Ellie inherited one copy of the variant we tested for Degenerative Myelopathy, DM
This result should not impact Ellie’s health but it could have consequences for siblings or other related dogs if they inherited two copies of the variant. We recommend discussing this result with their owners or breeders if you are in contact.
Your dog carries this variant and will pass it on to ~50% of her offspring.
The dog equivalent of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, DM is a progressive degenerative disorder of the spinal cord. Because the nerves that control the hind limbs are the first to degenerate, the most common clinical signs are back muscle wasting and gait abnormalities.
Affected dogs do not usually show signs of DM until they are at least 8 years old.
Definitive diagnosis requires microscopic analysis of the spinal cord after death. However, veterinarians use clues such as genetic testing, breed, age, and other diagnostics to determine if DM is the most likely cause of your dog’s clinical signs.
As dogs are seniors at the time of onset, the treatment for DM is aimed towards increasing their comfort through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and physical therapy.
- Giving your dog the best quality of life for as long as possible is all you can do after receiving this diagnosis.