OFA /University of Missouri DNA DM Test Designations
There have been no long term studies conducted of the OFA/University of Missouri DM DNA Test to validate the designated status of tested dogs or the validity of the test, itself! Dogs declared *Clear* by the test have been found to have Degenerative Myelopathy (aka DM) upon necropsy, as well as *Carriers*, who are not supposed to develop DM, but possibly pass it on to the next generation.
The type of DM this test is researching does not involve sensory loss. The type of Degenerative Myelopathy developed by German Shepherd Dogs involves total sensory loss. This research has thrown the German Shepherd Dog Breed under the bus, as no research money is going towards German Shepherd Dog Myelopathy, but funneled to the ONE project being promoted by the OFA. Diagnostic test results for the different types of DM between various breeds are polar opposites, and sadly, those facts are simply being ignored. Different diseases cannot be lumped into one category and called the same disease, for convenience, when they are in fact, very different diseases in both course and presentation.
- The Orthopedic Foundation of America and the University of Missouri
We, the undersigned, object to the promotion of the OFA/University of Missouri DM DNA Test for the purpose of rating a dog *Clear*, *Carrier*, or *At Risk* for carrying the gene that the present test claims is responsible for a dog developing Degenerative Myelopathy. There have been no long term studies to show if these designations are, in fact, accurate. We also object to awarding an automatic *Clear* to the progeny of breedings in which sire and dam have both received a *Clear* designation. There has been no generational follow up to prove this is accurate and that progeny of *Clear* tested dogs will never develop DM over the course of their lifetime. A study would need to take place for many generations to validate such claims. Therefore, the claims being made by the OFA and University of Missouri are premature, and very possibly misleading, especially in the light of evidence to the contrary of that which the test is claiming.
There have been dogs declared *Clear* that have been euthanized for Degenerative Myelopathy, despite testing *Clear* on the OFA/University of Missouri DM DNA test! This has been confirmed upon necropsy by 2 of Dr Joan Coates pathologists. It has been stated that another form of the disease *may* be more common in a particular breed so it is not even clear that they are testing for breed specific types of Degenerative Myelopathy (such as German Shepherd Dog Myelopathy, which involves complete sensory loss)! At the present time, there is no way to determine that a particular dog will or will not develop DM. The OFA/University of Missouri advertises that the test detects the genetic cause for "the most common form of the disease". *Clear* dogs that succumbed to DM were diagnosed with DM but were not homozygous for the SOD1 mutation detected by the UM test. Therefore, we know that the University of Missouri test, being promoted by your organizations, does not cover all forms of Degenerative Myelopathy. Additionally, according to the OFA website, there have been carriers who are not supposed to develop DM that have also developed Degenerative Myelopathy. Therefore it is apparent that the University of Missouri test does not cover all forms of DM!
In the light of the aforementioned information, we believe it is, as stated, premature to award an automatic *Clear* to the progeny of *Clear* DM breedings. This will only serve to allow unscrupulous breeders to advertise DM free lines, preying upon people who have suffered through DM with their previous dogs, when, in fact, there is no way to determine, at this time, if a line is truly DM free! There is no mention of the *Clear* dogs that were euthanized, due to DM, upon the U of Missouri website, nor is there any mention of the *Carriers* who developed DM.
We urge you to change your policies in regards to this DM DNA Test, which is serving only to give a false sense of security to breeders and puppy buyers. Furthermore, with all the resources and dollars being diverted to this specific test, the end result is the lack of funding for breed specific Degenerative Myelopathy Research. One * size* does not fit all. Last, but certainly not least, one cannot deny or ignore the existence of the influences of RNA upon the development of genetic diseases.
Today: marjorie is counting on you
marjorie zimmerman needs your help with “OFA /University of Missouri DNA DM Test Designations”. Join marjorie and 544 supporters today.