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Moobli
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23-05-2016, 09:37 PM

DM testing in the German Shepherd Dog

What are GSD owners thoughts on the accuracy of the test for DM for potential breeding stock in the German shepherd? I have had my own male dog tested and armed with that information - and the fact he is a carrier - means I would only be happy for him to be used by DM-free bitches. However, looking on a wider scale - how big a problem is DM in the breed in any case, and would a test that is not as yet known to be 100% accurate mean potentially good dogs with great genes being taken out of the gene pool - only to find out later down the line that the test is flawed (if indeed that is the case)?

http://www.laboklin.co.uk/laboklin/s...p?testID=8158D

I believe there have been a handful of cases of dogs who were tested as carriers, and at least one who tested clear, who developed DM and it was proven via necropsy. According to the claims, only A/A dogs are supposed to be affected by it but that appears to not be the case. Surely that calls into question the validity of the test at all?

Also, from my understanding of it, the DM that affects the GSD is not the same as the strain that affects other breeds. If anyone has any further information I would be very interested.
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tawneywolf
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23-05-2016, 10:05 PM
I wouldn't agree with using a carrier with a non carrier as that would mean 50% of the litter would also be carriers. Only needs one of the puppy owners to breed from them to an untested dog which turned out to be a carrier and you have full blown DM on your hands. Due to the above mentioned scenario I would suspect DM is becoming a big problem in GSD's, many cases go unreported due to lack of knowledge on the owner's part in the main, and not only that breed, but lots of others. Most people still won't put their hands in their pockets to hip and elbow score, let alone eye test and genetic test. Laboklim are a very helpful reputable company and they can advise you on what tests are relevant to your breed, and also the different strains applicable to which breed.
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Moobli
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23-05-2016, 10:17 PM
If carrier is bred to clear then the puppies would also be tested and any that were found to be carriers would have their pedigrees endorsed not for breeding (unless bred to clear).

I believe a diverse gene pool is very important in all pedigree dogs and so wouldn't want to see a dog taken out of that gene pool - especially a dog with much to offer (ie excellent temperament, hips/elbows, working ability etc) for the sake of one test. Breeding imo is about looking at the whole package and not just one or two tests. That is not to say that testing is not important and that all the results should be taken into consideration when breeding.

Unfortunately DM is not being widely tested for by many GSD breeders at the moment as there is the worry that the test is not accurate. Especially as DM can only be diagnosed by necropsy and many other conditions can have the same clinical signs as DM.

I am no expert in this area at all, and so am doing as much reading and research as possible - as is the bitch's owner (who wishes to use my dog) and she is a veterinarian.
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Moobli
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23-05-2016, 10:19 PM
What concerns me is that if your dog tests negative for the DM mutation, both the breeder and buyer can be lulled into a false sense of security, because the data that is reported is neither universal nor accurate. Normal tested dogs can get DM, carriers can get DM, and DM carriers or dogs tested at risk may never develop the disease. This is the problem as I see it.

Also the DM exhibited by the German Shepherd may be a mutation relevant to the German Shepherd. We will not know until years of testing including live dogs and necropsies on affected dogs that have previously been tested show any kind of consistency with the DM test as it exists today. The advice I have had and read is NOT to exclude a dog or bitch from a breeding program just because it is a carrier but it will take several generations of testing for DM on both affected and normal dogs for enough data to substantiate the accuracy and applicability of this test.
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NickyAnn
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24-05-2016, 12:36 AM
Originally Posted by Moobli View Post
What are GSD owners thoughts on the accuracy of the test for DM for potential breeding stock in the German shepherd? I have had my own male dog tested and armed with that information - and the fact he is a carrier - means I would only be happy for him to be used by DM-free bitches. However, looking on a wider scale - how big a problem is DM in the breed in any case, and would a test that is not as yet known to be 100% accurate mean potentially good dogs with great genes being taken out of the gene pool - only to find out later down the line that the test is flawed (if indeed that is the case)?

http://www.laboklin.co.uk/laboklin/s...p?testID=8158D

I believe there have been a handful of cases of dogs who were tested as carriers, and at least one who tested clear, who developed DM and it was proven via necropsy. According to the claims, only A/A dogs are supposed to be affected by it but that appears to not be the case. Surely that calls into question the validity of the test at all?

Also, from my understanding of it, the DM that affects the GSD is not the same as the strain that affects other breeds. If anyone has any further information I would be very interested.
All carriers should be neutered or spayed, then the disease disappears over time. Your dog should not spread disease, the German shepherd is a beautiful breed, but I saw a 10 month old last week that was displaying dysplasia already, very sad.
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Moobli
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24-05-2016, 07:37 AM
Originally Posted by NickyAnn View Post
All carriers should be neutered or spayed, then the disease disappears over time. Your dog should not spread disease, the German shepherd is a beautiful breed, but I saw a 10 month old last week that was displaying dysplasia already, very sad.
Shows what little you know about this condition in GSDs. DM has nothing to do with dysplasia.
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Lynn
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24-05-2016, 07:50 AM
Check out some of her other posts Kirsty. Think she is spoiling for a fight which she won't get or is just ignorant about dogs in any way shape or form.
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Moobli
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24-05-2016, 09:01 AM
Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
Check out some of her other posts Kirsty. Think she is spoiling for a fight which she won't get or is just ignorant about dogs in any way shape or form.
Thanks Lynn - I have just been reading a few other posts by this person and you are 100% right.
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tawneywolf
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24-05-2016, 09:31 AM
I still think it very irresponsible to breed from a dog that has tested positive for DM carrier, on the off chance it will be fine. Appalled the owner of the bitch is a vet but is still prepared and willing to breed when there surely must be decent GSDs with good health tests that aren't carriers. Better to be safe than sorry in my opinion
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Moobli
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24-05-2016, 09:58 AM
Originally Posted by tawneywolf View Post
I still think it very irresponsible to breed from a dog that has tested positive for DM carrier, on the off chance it will be fine. Appalled the owner of the bitch is a vet but is still prepared and willing to breed when there surely must be decent GSDs with good health tests that aren't carriers. Better to be safe than sorry in my opinion
I don't see how it is irresponsible when there is a general question mark over the efficacy of the test itself. As I said, we will not know until years of testing, including live dogs and necropsies on affected dogs that have previously been tested, show any kind of consistency with the DM test as it exists today.

The advice I have had is NOT to exclude a dog or bitch from a breeding program just because it is a carrier (carrier is NOT affected) but it will take several generations of testing for DM on both affected and normal dogs for enough data to substantiate the accuracy and applicability of this test.

A test is only as good as its accuracy level, surely?

Also, don't forget that carriers (if the test is right) will never produce "affected" puppies but only clear and more carriers. If only clear and carrier pups were bred then in the future DM should be eradicated from the breed, whilst keeping a healthy gene pool. However, it is never as simple as that.

In personal terms, my dog is likely to be used at stud once to the veterinarian's WL bitch who has tested clear. We will keep a puppy each, and the other pups from the litter will be sold to equally responsible GSD owners/trainers who have the breed's welfare at heart.

I actually spoke to the GSD Breed Council of UK Health Coordinator and she affirmed that breeding carrier to clear is fine, as pups can then be tested too.

Out of interest, do your dogs (who obviously have GSD in their make-up) suffer from DM and are breeders testing for it? Did you do all the health tests required for all breeds in your types make-up prior to breeding?
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