I've shared my life with dogs with HD (hip dysplasia) and DM (degenerative myelopathy). Fortunately, my HD (GSD) dog did well, with medication and lived to the ripe old age of 12 before I made the decision to let her go. My (GSD) with DM was absolutely the sweetest dog ever and at the time, nothing could be found wrong. Carts were really heavy and cumbersome and not an option for me. living in a rural area. After spending thousands on trying to diagnose something, I finally put her to rest at age 11. Their demise from genetic disorders was one of the reasons I began to look and eventually fell in love with the PWC.
As a concerned PWC owner, I was wondering how many breeders here on MyCorgi genetically test the sires and dams of potential new litters for DM? Being a member of the Corgi-L list, I've been monitoring the discussions regarding this terrible disease. I know that breeders routinely do OFA or Penn hip testing for hip dysplasia, CERF testing for eye problems, and for Von Willebrand's. With DM genetic testing dogs are listed as At Risk, At Risk, Affected, Carrier, or Clear. So far (not a fair representation) most dogs are showing up as "At Risk" or "Carrier". Knowing that the dog feels little pain with this disease is little consolation to the great financial expenses involved in diagnosing the disease as anyone knows. It is a process of eliminating all other potential causes. Only after a dog has died and a necropsy done can a true diagnosis be had.
I know and am aware that no one can guarantee a 100% healthy pup, but when genetic testing is now available, I feel it's really unfair to not inform owners of the "potential" of the disease. I know that NOT all "At Risk" pups will develop the disease, but knowing it is a possibility would keep me from buying that pup. This is one of the reasons, I've begun to look at a cardigan as my next pup/dog. I'm aware that DM has shown up in cardigans as well, but not anything like it's incidence in Pems.
Here's my dilemma and questions: As a potential buyer would it be prudent to ask for OFA cert for DM on both the sire and dam? Would a breeder object to a potential buyer requesting the genetic test be done (paid by me) on a puppy?