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(This information is to be credited directly to the Kennel Club)

Details about the disease

This disease is a result of the deterioration of structures in the spinal cord that are responsible for transmission of nerve impulses. Although the changes may be found anywhere in the spinal cord, they are most severe in the lower back.

Clinical signs

The disease has an onset typically between 7 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The disease is chronic and progressive, resulting in paralysis.

How it is inherited?

The disease is believed to be an autosomal-recessive condition. This means that dogs that inherit two copies of an DM gene mutation (one from its mother and one from its father) will have an increased risk of developing the condition.

This disease is not fully understood and it is believed that environmental factors or other genetic influences can also contribute to whether a dog becomes affected. Having other factors that influence whether or not a dog is affected by this condition means that having two copies of the recessive mutant gene does not necessarily always result in clinical disease and similarly an absence of the gene is not a guarantee that the condition will not occur.

About this test

Since other factors can influence whether a dog becomes affected by this condition, unlike most other DNA tests, this test evaluates a dog’s risk of developing the disease, rather than giving a definitive result.

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