Degenerative Myelopathy is a slow, progressive spinal cord disorder of unknown cause that is most commonly seen in aging German Shepherds and a few other large breeds of dogs. The cause of the condition is unknown, although it is believed to be an autoimmune disease – a condition in which the body’s immune system begins to attack its own nerve cells. The age of onset is 5 to 14 years, with an average age of 9 years. Males are affected more than females. The disorder is seen almost exclusively in German shepherds, although it has been diagnosed in a few other large breed dogs, such as Belgian shepherds, Rhodesian ridgebacks, standard poodle, Boxer, Chesapeake Bay retriever, Irish Setter, collies and Weimaraners. Other breeds affected include Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh corgi. {}

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Genetic Testing at OFA

statistics as of 9/2022

CLEAR/NORMAL 294 71.9%
CARRIER 105 25.7%
AT RISK 10 2.4%

Our dbS project cross references the DM DNA test results with the litters produced and notes DM N/N via parentage to applicable litters for the first generation.

Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE)  is a condition involving necrosis (cell death) of a region of the spinal cord secondary to infarction (obstruction) of the blood supply. The infarction is caused by fibrocartilage, which arises from part of the intervertebral disc (the shock absorbing material located between bones in the spinal column) and enters a spinal artery or vein. Cause is unknown –read more at {}

Vestibular Disease is most often due to a disorder affecting the inner ear that can cause some really scary symptoms. –read more by Dr. Becker {here}