There is now another new health test available for GSD's. It is in it's infancy and hopefully will be successful. Kaiah's father "Merlot" has been tested and he does not carry the gene suspected to cause the mutation that causes DM (Or as it was previously known - CDRM)
When Joe Bloggs says he had an "Alsatian" and it's back end went, they presume and usually say the breed has bad hips. It is not bad hips that make the breed become paralysed at the back end it's this condition, DM. A test proving progeny will not be affected by the gene can only be helpful to the future health of the puppies we breed.
"Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive, incurable, disease of the nerves of the spinal cord which causes gradual loss of mobility and loss of feeling in the limbs. Affected dogs become paralysed first in the hind limbs and then in the forelimbs. The condition, which appears to be quite common in German Shepherd dogs, does not cause pain but they are unable to behave or function normally which is likely to have a detrimental impact on their welfare."
Those of you who remember Blade will remember that he had DM .. Now I look back I know I was blessed that he was taken from me with a cardiac collapse before he lost significant mobility. Blade thank fully was never bred from. Finlay also had DM, but was in the early stages so it never really affected him that much. But I remember my vet saying, "walk him as far as you think you should, and then a little bit more, keep him moving to try and retain muscle." We did and it helped!Hopefully in future many less dogs will suffer with this crippling condition, and many less owners will be spared the pain of watching their dogs become paralysed from the back end up!