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This website is dedicated to Degenerative Myelopathy (abbr. DM) which is an inherited disease caused by a genetic defect. The nerves of the spinal cord slowly die and cause lameness. The disease occurs in later years of life and in any larger breed and often is mistaken for Cauda Equina or Spondylosis.


Symptoms are mobility problems of the hind legs with ataxy, pulling nails over the ground ending in total immobility. Other than with other diseases of the spinal cord DM does not cause pain.

There is no cure for this disease, however there is a genetic test.

There are three genotypes:

1. N/N (homozygous healthy)

2. N/DM (heterozygous carrier)

3. DM/DM (homozygous affected)

Also with N/DM - carriers - symptoms can occur.


The genetic test is a lot cheaper than putting the dog through CT or MRT when DM is suspected. Especially as the dogs need to go under anaesthetic which can cause problems in Collies and some other breeds affected by the MDR1 genetic defect.

The DM-test is carried out by http://www.offa.org/dnatesting/dm.html  in the USA. There may be laboratories in other countries as well.

For further information:



What is most important for a DM dog is keeping his beginning symptoms as long as possible by putting on muscles with physiotherapy.

I am writing this because I went through the disease with my Collie bitch Jule and had no assistance. I know how difficult it is to cope with this disease.

You are welcome to contact me if you have further questions by email:



Under the button "gestestete Collies" I gladly will include any tested Collie, with our without pedigree, with or without photo, breeder - as you please but do not forget the test result. I will also glady put your experience with DM Collies on this site.

I would love to receive many tested Collies without the genetic defect!