Characterization of Sensory Neuronal and Muscle Pathology in Canine Degenerative Myelopathy to Identify Targets for Therapeutic Intervention

Breed(s): Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Boxer
Sample Type: Blood Sample, Radiographic Study, Tissue Sample
Study Location: Veterinary Health Center, University of Missouri
CHF-funded Grant: 02658

The purpose of this study is to study the disease progression of degenerative myelopathy in dogs. We will further characterize the disease features in the central (spinal cord and brain) and peripheral nervous systems. DNA will be banked and pedigree data collected from affected dogs and family members while maintaining anonymity so that it will be available for future gene mapping studies.


Dogs with a presumptive diagnosis of DM as established by conventional diagnostic evaluations (myelography / special imaging (MRI) of the spine) at the MU Veterinary Health Center or another referral hospital will be considered for the study.

Your dog’s participation in this study will consist of a necropsy examination (i.e., apostmortem examination of internal organs).

Owner's Responsibilities:

A thorough examination of your dog’s spinal cord, brain and nerves, at the time of death is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of degenerative myelopathy and to identify any co-existing disease. After the necropsy (i.e., visual examination) is completed, your dog will be cremated. If the necropsy is performed at the MU VHC, we can make special arrangements for an individual private cremation. Microscopic examination of tissue samples collected during the necropsy will be done subsequently and you will receive the results of the final diagnosis. Tissues will also be stored appropriately and made available to other laboratories/researchers for additional studies of DM.

Access the client consent form here to learn more about this study,


Contact Information:

Name: Dr. Joan R. Coates
Phone: (573)882-7821

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