Q. Can you test for degenerative myelopathy before performing a spinal tap? We have a 11 year old pembroke welsh corgi who is showing signs.
A. There is a genetic test for the DM gene but generally, the diagnosis is made after all other conditions are eliminated. The Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (http://www.offa.org/index.html) has a complete list of DNA tests that can be submitted through your veterinarian.
DR. ANDREA M. BRODIE, DVM
A. There is a genetic test now that can determine if your dog has the gene ( one or two copies) for DM. However, since there are many diseases that need to be ruled out before a definitive diagnosis of DM can be made, a spinal tap still is one of the more common diagnostics that are very helpful in doing so. You may want to ask your vet whether a genetic test makes sense at this stage. The test is quite simple and non-invasive.