Just last month researchers at the University of Missouri Vet school and their colleagues at MIT Institute/Harvard discovered the mutated genes that cause degenerative myelopathy in corgis and other breeds.

Soon, there will be a genetic test to screen dogs BEFORE they are bred to see if they are carriers of this incurable disease that causes heartbreaking paralysis in dogs, usually starting about 9 or 10 years old.

Please click on this link to learn more about DM. Corgi owners need to be aware of this disease.

Our 13-year-old PWC Dylan has DM and is probably in his final weeks.
This breakthrough comes too late for him but my hope is it will save other dogs and their owners having to go through this long, sad goodbye.

Dylan's mom
Southern California

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Oh wow. This is wonderful news-- this has been sorely needed. My sympathies on Dylan. Our Max died in November, so I know how heartbreaking it is. Thank you for letting us all know!
I am so sorry to hear about your Max. It is so hard to say goodbye to a member of the family.
And thank you for your sympathies on Dylan.
We sent a sample of Dylan's blood to these researchers for use in the study. So that is the silver lining in all this.
Did Max have DM?
Awesome news indeed! Keep us posted.
Hey Colleen, just read this article on bionic spine inthe daily mail, you think this may apply to corgis as well?
That would be wonderful, Sam. But DM is different.
The way the vets explain it to me is that in DM the spinal cord itself deteriorates for an unknown reason. As a result, it disrupts the messages between the brain and the hind quarters. As the spinal cord deterioration advances, the dogs lose control of their bowels, bladder and front legs. By that point, they have a poor quality of life, although they are not believed to be in pain.
To see a cross section of a normal dog's spine and that of a dog with DM, click on this link.
I too have a senior boy with DM. Deion is 12 1/2 and has just in the last few months started showing symptoms. Try as we might he just seems to have no interest in using his cart. It is heartbreaking to watch the decline but a blessing to know it is painless. It is my greatest hope that breeders use this tool to help in their breeding selections. I also hope that folks considering purchasing a pup realize the importance of breeders that choose to test their breeding stock.
I SO agree with you. Everyone considering purchasing a corgi pup needs to carefully question the breeder about DM in their dogs. And once the genetic test is available, I would only buy a pup whose parents have been tested.
I am so sorry to hear about Deion. It is a blessing that DM is painless. In many ways, my Dylan has adapted to his situation very well.
Like your Deion, Dylan did not take to a cart.
If I may make a suggestion ... We do something Dylan really enjoys. We elevate his back legs (one hand supporting each leg) and he motors around with his front legs.Like kids do when they play wheelbarrow.
Dylan then can urinate normally and he gets some exercise.
But beware. It's a little hard on the human back.
Thanks Colleen. Deion has always been a most soft and sensitive fellow. Seems any physical assistance just causes him to shut down. He does have some mobility but tires easily. It is with more frequency I have to pick him out to take him outside and even more frequently to bring him back in. His smiling eyes show me that inside he feels great but he also will sit and look at me when he just cant get up. He knows I will help and patiently just waits for my assistance. I am in the process of having a custom harness made for him that is most supportive and has handles long enough to help balance him. I hope he will be open to moving when we use it. Thanks for your kind wishes.
Please let me know how the harness works out. I would be interested in that for Dylan.
Best to you and Deion.


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