Degenerative Myelopathy research: you can participate even if your dog does NOT have DM.

3/19/14   I just emailed Dr. Joan Coates at U. of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, whose lab published the main DM paper.  They are still collecting posthumous tissue samples from older corgis who were not diagnosed with DM.  "Control" samples are vital, and owners of unaffected dogs may be less interested/motivated to help than owners of stricken dogs, so your dog's contribution could be important.

This requires non-trivial effort on your part and some advance planning -- it is not something you're likely to suddenly decide to do while in the grieving process -- you'll need a vet's exam not too long before death, and a vet to collect the necropsy tissue samples.

Note that this research is pertinent to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in humans, involving mutations in the same gene.

Dr. Coates' email (her attached instructions for the collection "kit" are not included here):


... Thank you for your email.  We are still collecting tissues from older unaffected Corgis.  These are used as control tissues with the varying testing results, e.g. AT RISK unaffected dog versus Normal tested dog.  Many owners want to help degenerative myelopathy research through donating their pet’s tissues.  As long as we have some funds available, we will do our best to make this happen.  The kits/processing, etc… is around $200/dog.  We have a special fund dedicated to DM Research.  All the tissues are archived for use in future research and also to be available for other veterinary and human ALS researchers.
We have much to learn from the tissues.  The dog disease has similarities and differences with ALS as we continue to study canine DM.
Joan R. Coates, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM-Neurology
Professor, Veterinary Neurology & Neurosurgery
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
900 E. Campus Dr., VMTH-Clydesdale Hall
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211


link to my 2010 post:

DM research How you can help

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