DM Goals – 2014

What can we do to Contribute to the Study of Degenerative Myelopathy?

A lot of dog owners who have seen their dogs or who are still seeing dog suffer from degenerative myelopathy are growing impatient of the lack of development with regards to the research and study of the disease. Even until today, there are still two things which still remain unknown. That is, we don’t know the pathogenesis of the disease, or we don’t really know what causes it, and we don’t have a clear cure for it. It has been decades already since the medical and scientific community has known about it and yet today, many are still shocked to find out about the lack of information and treatment.

So what can we do to help the research move forward? First of all, the very least thing that we can do is to make sure that you will contribute to forums as well as to other places offline or online where we can start to share our experiences with our dog. These groups as well as forums will actually become a pool of information which will be a source of information about various symptoms, about what treatments work, as well as about many other things pertaining to degenerative myelopathy. This can also be a source of data, provided that the background is properly checked, this can be also be the place where the latest news about degenerative myelopathy will be made available.

Another great way to help with the ongoing research is by submitting samples for DNA testing, the DNA testing will benefit you a lot since it can help you identify your dog’s present condition whether he or she is at risk to develop degenerative myelopathy or if he or she is a carrier of the mutated gene. At the same time, it will also help the researchers get much needed facts that can help increase their knowledge and data base about degenerative myelopathy. Answering the survey provided by the University of Missouri and the Broad Institute at Harvard/MIT will also aid greatly as this will help provide enough evidence with regards to the multiple factors associated with degenerative myelopathy.

You can also send in tissue samples, you can send them to the same institutions and they will gladly receive your samples for study. Sending samples after euthanasia is also essential, the data will give clear facts behind their research and it will also tell us how serious the incidence of the disease is. Data collection is very important and since the medical researchers don’t own thousands of dogs with degenerative myelopathy for their study, we as the owners must do our part to help them. It may not be for the betterment of our dogs now, but it can be for the betterment of the dogs that we will own in the future. At the very least, it can be the sole legacy that your dog can leave behind for his future canine generation.