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Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, SOD1A

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a progressive disease of the spinal cord with symptoms typically appearing between 8 and 14 years of age. Symptoms include loss of coordination (ataxia) in the limbs and eventually difficulty standing and walking. Symptoms progress over about a year before dogs become paraplegic. Although any dog can be tested for DM, it is possible that the genetic background that predominates in some breeds prevents the development of symptoms even in dogs testing affected.

Reading Your Results


These dogs have two copies of the normal gene and will neither develop Degenerative Myelopathy nor pass this mutation to their offspring.


These dogs have one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the mutation associated with this disease. They will likely not develop Degenerative Myelopathy but will, if bred, pass the mutation to 50% of its offspring, on average.


These dogs have two copies of the mutation and will likely develop Degenerative Myelopathy during their lifetime.

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Additional Details


Autosomal Recessive

Affected gene



Ch. 31




Awano T, Johnson GS, Wade CM, Katz ML, Johnson GC, Taylor JF, Perloski M, Biagi T, Baranowska I, Long S, March PA, Olby NJ, Shelton GD, Khan S, O’Brien DP, Lindblad-Toh K, Coates JR. Genome-wide association analysis reveals a SOD1 mutation in canine degenerative myelopathy that resembles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 24; 106(8):2794-9. [PubMed: 19276068]