Degenerative Myelopathy Sample Submission & Testing
Dogs with Clinical Signs of DM
Dogs exhibiting clinical signs of DM may be DNA tested for the mutation known to cause DM by sending a blood sample to the Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory (AMGL) at the University of Missouri. CLICK HERE for a PDF file with instructions, test request & reporting form, and a DM symptom survey. Information about the dog and symptoms exhibited are required for this testing. Results are reported by email within about 2 weeks of the sample's arrival at the lab. Email address must be supplied for reporting.
Submission form REVISED as of 02-25-11 - please replace any old copy of the form you may have with this new version for all new submissions. Use the link above for the current form. Thank you!
PLEASE NOTE: Beginning January 1, 2011, the testing fee for this service ONLY FOR DOGS WITH CLINICAL SIGNS CONSISTENT WITH DM & SENDING A BLOOD SAMPLE DIRECTLY TO THE LAB is $50, payable in US funds, by check or money order accompanying the sample. Credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover) are also now being accepted. Samples from outside the US may be paid for by credit card for ease of currency exchange. Dogs with no clinical signs of DM, or for whom owners do not wish to send a blood sample, should be tested through OFA - please see below for instructions.
DNA Testing for ALL Dogs
Any dog of any breed, with or without clinical signs of DM can be DNA tested by ordering the test through a partnership with the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). Please CLICK HERE to go to the OFA online store to order test kits. In theory, dogs of any age can be tested, but experience with 2+ years of testing suggests that it can be difficult to get a sufficient sample from very young puppies - we recommend waiting until pups are 4 weeks old or older to collect samples for testing.
When the order is placed through the OFA secure online store, the person ordering the test will recieve a kit consisting of a cheek swab and specially treated, barcoded card to collect the DNA sample, instructions, and a mailing label. After the sample has been collected it is sent to the AMGL, scanned, and tested. Order status can be viewed at any time through the OFA website, using the order confirmation code issued when the test order is placed. Results can be viewed by the owner online as soon as they are available. OFA will issue a report and certificate, and include normal results in an online searchable public database (carrier and affected results require the owner to "opt in" for public reporting). The all-inclusive fee is $65, payable by credit card securely online when the order is placed.
Customer service representatives at OFA can help with any ordering or reporting questions by phoning 573-442-0418 during business hours, or by emailing OFA@OFFA.org.
Laboratories DNA Testing for DM
Please be aware that the discovery of the mutation causing DM in dogs and the subsequent DNA test has been patented by those who discovered the mutation - the University of Missouri and the Broad Institute at Harvard/MIT. The ONLY authorized license to offer this test is the partnership with OFA, described above. Any other laboratory or entity that may be offering the DNA test for DM is in violation of a patent. Accuracy or validity of test results by other independent labs cannot be verified, and will not be recorded by OFA or CHIC on their searchable public database for disease testing results. In addition, any funds received by the Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the University of Missouri that may be in excess of expenses to run the test are used to fund additional research searching for disease-causing mutations in many breeds of dogs. No individual at AMGL or OFA receives personal profit from testing fees received. We appreciate your support and participation in past and ongoing research!