LOL There is NO BETTER way to learn about DM than going to the website of the University of Missouri where MY WEBSITE STEERS YOU! It is unbiased, pure science by people committed to helping us eradicate an incideous disease. While Wendy's rebuttal is accurate in that no one should breed for a single trait, I find the statement that breeders are testing to be somewhat misleading. By the post, it would be assumed that all or a majority of breeders are DM testing their breeding stock. This simply isn't true. The OFA site will verify that for those who are familiar with personal and kennel names of "accepted reputable" breeders. I've found more interest among the "pet" or "backyard" breeders than the "powers that be". Dogs that test clear WILL BE ON THAT LIST. No choice for privacy is given the submitter. HOWEVER, dogs that test "at risk" (meaning they carry BOTH mutated genes) or "carrier" (carries only one gene) CAN BE OMITTED by the submitters choice. I know of TWO popular sires, one on the west coast and one on the east coast that have been tested but they don't show up on the OFA site themselves. At risk get, however, DO. That means the very best those dogs tested would be is "carrier" meaning they are passing either one clear gene or one mutated gene on to their puppies. If the bitch owner does not test then we have a loaded pistol and, IMO, are playing Russian Roulette with the puppies and the owners who love them! Not something I, personally, am anxious to do.
I don't know of anyone that advocates tunnel vision when breeding; selecting for one trait. Those of us who already do hips, eyes, vWD, cardiac, thyroid (and the list goes on) just add the DM to our list. We already WILL NOT breed a dog that fails any one of those tests (generally speaking) so why would DM be different. I find it a bit amusing that the DNA test for DM is argued "inaccurate" yet those same people live and die by OFA hip results. A DNA test tells you everything you need to know - is the gene present or not. Hip Dysplasia is a "polygenic" trait which means it takes MORE than one gene. Researchers have not been able to isolate the causing genes so hip xrays are no where near conclusive. You can breed two OFA excellents (or PennHip - that's another subject entirely) and produce pups with bad hips. We have NO definitive test for hip dysplasia yet people are more adament about hip xrays than the DNA test for DM! Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, personally.
I hope those people on this IDAHO list have followed the links to learn about DM. On my website there are also links on vWD, eyes, hips, how to find REPUTABLE breeders, training issues and more, so much more. I hope you will peruse the information. It is there for YOU! As I find useful, educational information I add it to the list. The main purpose of my website is to educate those who desire education. http://www.angelfire.com/id/castellpwc
I seldom have puppies so my referring you to my website has no agenda to "rope you in" and sell you a dog. IMO people who breed 5,6,7 litters a year are simply cranking out pups to sell. Their sole agenda is $$$ and they can make it by producing quantity.
I hope if anyone has questions, they won't hesitate to contact me or ask on the list. Usually the answers are good for everyone to hear.
BTW, I hope we can get a "meet up" date going when the weather gets nicer!
I agree with Wendy .. the only results you are seeing on the OFA website are those that A. are clear or
B. have given permission for other results to be listed, giving the option to the submitter to list or not those results that are at risk or carrier, all clears are listed automatically...provided the test has been done with OFA!
The problem I see with this as a definitive database is, the only way to get any results listed is to test thru OFA! a monopoly at the very least and many breeders testing are opting to test thru labs where they can send all or many of the tests they need to one lab..so. I think far more breeders are testing than are listed on the OFA website!.. breeders and pet buyers need to learn about dm , keep abreast of the studies still in infancy, and those purchasing a dog need to take it on themselves to ASK breeders if they test, AND how they use those test results in their breeding decisions....I have personally spoken to several reknowned pem breeders with some 40-50 years of breeding experience in this breed... and have had similar comments...
with that many years of excellence in this breed, and accumulating that kind of history of the dogs they have produced, they have the luxury of knowing their lines and following them closely over decades, which, if any of the dogs they have bred over the years( before testing was even available) have had any neurological problems, and those who have lived into senior years and been shown as veterans etc... have never had any indication of any neurological problems... that said, from the dogs who have been tested now that there is a test, it appears that some 80% or better, of the breed is affected by this genetic structure either as carriers or at risk....
bottom line, research into what causes some dogs to develop the disease and some with identical gene structure to never develop onset or symptoms is unknown....
those breeders who have not been breeding these dogs over decades do not have the luxury of knowing the health and neurological histories of the dogs they produce over long enough periods of time regardless of test results to bank on random breeding without the knowledge that the testing allows them. to consider...... there is no simple answer here folks.... no "good" bad" it must remain case by case and and inspire breeders to strive to protect breed type and use these tests , and calculate risk factors against known history, in their breeding decisions ..If we fly off the handle and begin removing all the dogs affected from the gene pool, rather than carefully considering each breeding match for many health and structural criteria, we may end up in a far worse genetic disaster than dogs that may or may not develop late life onset of neurolical disfunction at which point for many years is the point at which most owners have made the difficult decision to euthanize, the fact that it is now known that in some and I stress SOME cases the cause of this eventual nerological failure and associated paralysis is due to this degenerative myolopathy is great news for the future.. But its research is at best in its infancy... I advocate making use of the testing as in all proper health screenings as awareness of the status as it relates to making the best possible breeding decisions is invaluable, but what the best breeding decision are is dependant on many many factors .... and requires as much in knowing the longterm histories of the dogs we breed as well as simply the status of the dog being considered.....for breeding... until more is known , we should use what we know in careful consideration of the many other characteristics and health considerations that may affect our breed..
and based on results so far of the dogs tested that are confirmed ( after death ) to have DM , they show both copies of the gene, but many many more at risk dogs never ever develop the disease and live long healthy lives and die natural deaths with out ever having dm.. NOT enough is known about what triggers this onset ... DOes this mean you shouldnt test? No, does this mean you should jsut breed regardless of status? No . Does it mean you need to learn how to use these results for the best breeding choices. Yes does it mean you toss the baby out with the bath water? not necessarily!!!!!
it appears what to do about breeding is just not as simple as eliminating by status alone!!! We dont know enough about the operation of the genes involved even to go strictly selecting for "CLEARS" as we do not know what else is or may be associated with that kind of radical selection process... we may select to simply breed ONLY clears dogs and not know what may be lost in the process.... over time if other factors are not carefully considered, and we are not going to know overnight . Those breeders now breeding with this limited knowledge will be pioneers.. if they are fortunate enough to find two dogs that are a good breeding match and likely to produce healthy offspring and improve in ways over the parents that are both clear wonderful... but it should NOT at this point be difinitively excluding any dog soley based on DM status!... and this will be many years in gaining more knowledge along the way:)
How many of those aked about whether their breeders test for DM , have asked breeders about HD, or know what VwD is or any of the many genetic disorders that affect the pembroke breed???? how many of you really know what to ask??? what health screening should you be asking about and how are those results used by your breeders in making their breeding decisions..... how many of those asked about dm ( excluding those who breed) know what CERF IS or what it screens for??? there is more to being informed than just DM status:)
your breeder should be glad to discuss these things with you and be happy you are asking ! Any good breeder will happily discuss their health policies and direct you to where you can learn more:)