Degenerative Myelopathy, or also known as DM, is a severe neurodegenerative disease that appears between 8 and 14 years of age and affects males and females indifferently. It is produced by a degeneration of the axons and melin in the thoracic and sacral parts of the spinal cord, preventing the information transmitted by the nerves from reaching the destination from the brain, so there is no associated pain. It occurs suddenly and slowly worsens. It begins as a weakness in the hind legs and a lack of coordination and balance making it difficult for the animal to move. The disease continues to progress until he cannot walk due to paraplegia. This can occur within six months to a year. If the evolution continues without euthanizing the animal, organ problems will occur, such as the urinary or the respiratory, ultimately causing death. Progress can last up to three years from onset to death.
There is no known treatment that reverses the situation or slows down the disease. The animal can only be kept in the best possible conditions to try to prevent it from appearing and to control its reproduction.
For its control, it is a priority to carry out tests before crossing the individual. A DNA test enables detection. This test can be performed at any age, including newborn puppies, through blood or saliva.
The different genotypes (results that can be obtained) are:
-N / N: individual called "free", does not carry or transmit the mutated gene (dm), "does not develop the disease."
-DM / N: individual called "carrier", carries a mutated gene (dm), transmits the mutated gene to his descendants with a probability of 50%, "does not develop the disease".
-DM / DM: an individual called "with a risk factor", carries both mutated genes, transmits the mutated gene to his descendants with a 100% probability, has many possibilities of developing the disease.
The offspring takes one copy of the mother's gene and another copy of the father, so inheritance occurs as follows:
The club allows the following combinations for breeding:
N / N + N / N, N / N + N / DM, N / N + DM / DM (with limitations)
In all cases one of the parents must be free, thus ensuring that no DM / DM individuals will be born who could develop the disease.
In the following video we can see how this terrible disease is: