Why test your dog for degenerative myelopathy?

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a serious condition that affects a dog’s spinal cord, which results in the degeneration and eventual paralysis of the animal’s hind limbs. This neurological condition is inherited and has been found out to be caused by a dog inherited two copies of the mutated gene, SOD-1. Because of the gene mutation, the cells that send and receive brain signals are affected and gradually break down.

While not every dog that inherits these mutated genes develop degenerative myelopathy, the risk of developing the condition is very high. It’s also important to know if a dog carries the gene because they are likely to pass it on to the offspring.

The symptoms of the disease progress over time. For some dogs, the symptoms manifest when they are around 8-10 years old, though some become affected by the disease earlier.

Here are the symptoms of degenerative myelopathy (DM) among dogs:


  • Unsteady gait and difficulty walking
  • Walking on knuckles
  • Loss of balance and coordination, falling over easily
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Difficulty in getting up from a lying position
  • Inability to use legs and, later, walk

The symptoms of the disease are progressive. They worsen over time, eventually leading to the dog’s paralysis.

The disease remains to be incurable and there are still no effective treatments at present. However, an early diagnosis of degenerative myelopathy will help owners and breeders of dogs create a helpful health plan complete with proper diet, training, and exercise combined with physical therapy.

To improve your dog’s quality of life, get an early and accurate diagnosis of the disease through a reliable Dog Degenerative Myelopathy Test.

What dogs are at risk for degenerative myelopathy?

For a dog to be at risk of suffering from degenerative myelopathy, it needs to have inherited two copies of the genetic mutation, SOD-1. The condition is most common among middle-aged to older dogs between 4-14 years old, although some younger dogs have been reported to suffer from the disease.

Breeds identified to be at risk of developing the disease include the following:


  • German Shepherds
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Collies
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Boxers
  • Miniature Poodles
  • Welsh Corgis
  • Pugs


Our Dog Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test uses the SOD1-A marker and can be carried out on all dog breeds. However, Bernese Mountain Dogs possess an additional marker, SOD1-B, which we are currently not testing.

Cost of the Dog Degenerative Myelopathy test

The Dog Degenerative Myelopathy test is being offered at only €79 for a sample of one dog. There is an option to order more tests for an additional cost.

How the Dog Degenerative Myelopathy test is carried out

Some dogs carry a copy of the gene mutation responsible for degenerative myelopathy and never suffer the condition. Some dogs inherit two copies of the mutation and still live full, healthy lives. However, it is important to know for sure whether your dog carries the SOD-1 genetic mutation to know if they can potentially develop the disease and/or pass it onto their offspring.

With the EasyDNA Dog Degenerative Myelopathy Test, you can know for sure.

The process of our Dog Degenerative Myelopathy test is simple and straightforward. Upon ordering your test, we will send you a sample collection kit that allows you to collect your dog’s cheek swab samples. The kit comes with complete instructions to guide you through the process. Using our kit, there is no need to draw blood or go to the veterinarian for sample collection.

Once you are able to collect your dog’s DNA sample, put the swabs back in the collection envelope provided. Use this envelope to send the samples back to our laboratory for testing.

Your test results

After our laboratory receives your dog’s sample, you can expect to receive your test results via email in 7 working days from receipt of samples at the laboratory. You will receive one of three possible outcomes:


  1. CLEAR result: Your dog has inherited 2 good genes that are free from defects or mutations.
  2. CARRIER result: Your dog has inherited 1 normal copy of the gene and 1 mutated copy. This means that the animal may not develop the condition but will likely pass the gene onto its offspring.
  3. AT RISK result: Your dog has inherited 2 copies of the mutated gene and is highly likely to develop degenerative myelopathy during its lifetime. The animal will also pass on the mutation to its offspring.

EasyDNA uses the latest in DNA testing technology, assuring you that the results of your Degenerative Myelopathy test are highly accurate and reliable. If you need more information regarding this test, please contact our Customer Service.

Other Dog Disease Genetic Tests from EasyDNA

At EasyDNA we offer a range inherited disease screening tests such as Degenerative Myelopathy including the following:



We also offer a comprehensive genetic screening test covering 175+ diseases and traits through our DogCheck Genetic Screening Test. This is one of the most comprehensive tests on the market ideal to manage the health of your dog and for breeders.

Other Dog DNA Tests from EasyDNA

We also offer a wide range of other types of dog DNA tests looking at different personal aspects of your dog such as the Premium Dog Testing Package, an all-in-one testing package that includes our Dog Allergy Test, Dog Breed Test, and Dog Genetic Age Test.

Find out more about your dog and start your journey to a healthier pet!


Dog Multidrug Resistance 1 (MDR1) Test
Dog Exercise Induced Collapse Test
Dog Allergy Test

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