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Degenerative Myelopathy is a debilitating disease that causes gradual paralysis in many dog breeds. It is caused by a degeneration of the spinal cord that onsets typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It presents first with the loss of coordination of the hind legs. It will typically worsen over six months to a year, resulting in paralysis of the hind legs. If signs progress for a longer period of time, loss of urinary and fecal continence may occur and eventually, weakness will develop in the front limbs. Testing for the genetic mutation that causes this disease is recommended for all borzoi who maybe used in breeding programmes.  A dog may be Clear N/N (no copies of the gene), Carrier A/N (1 copy of the gene), or Affected A/A (2 copies of the gene).  Thank you to owners who have submitted the DM test results for inclusion in the DM DATABASE.  


The BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme 

The BVA/KC/International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) Eye Scheme offers breeders the opportunity of screening for inherited eye disease by examination of the eye. Examination under the eye scheme is not restricted to the identification of inherited eye disease, but also includes general assessment of the health of the eye and adnexa (eyelids, tear ducts and other parts around the eye ball).


Borzoi have noted heart conditions, some congenital, some possibly genetic.  There is ongoing studies in the USA and Europe.  It is recommended to at the very least heart screen with a BVA Cardiologist and at many Championship shows auscultation is available for a nominal cost, in addition there are clinical days and breed club heart testing days around the UK where all breeds are accepted, this may also include Echo which is recommended for borzoi in addition to auscultation.  Early detection of any cardiac abnormality can be further investigated, appropriate treatment given and with intervention further deterioration such as advanced DCM can be prevented and in some cases reverted to normal levels.


Karen Arden OR. Linda Thomas


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