ACC / ACCCT Health Project:
Degenerative Myelopathy

What is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)?

DM is a progressive neurological disease resulting in spinal cord tissue destruction, causing affected dogs to loose hind limb mobility, which worsens until they can no longer walk. DM has been diagnosed in many large breed dogs and specifically found to have a genetic link in German Shepherds. Some feel that a growing number of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (CBRs) are being diagnosed with the condition, but this is currently unconfirmed.

Who is involved in the project?

The American Chesapeake Club (ACC) Health Committee and the ACC Charitable Trust (ACCCT) initiated the project in association with the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. The ACCCT will fund the project through donor contributions.

Where can I get more information?

To learn more about DM, readers may refer to the Health Committee insert (four light blue pages) included in the March/April 2007 issue of the ACC Bulletin. It is also available here as a PDF download:

Information on this study will be posted here. The November/December 2005 Bulletin also features articles on this disease.

Research participation forms are available below as PDF downloads.

How can I help?

  • If your dog has been positively diagnosed with DM, or if you suspect your dog may have this disease, refer to the insert material and contact the appropriate ACC Health Committee member. All contacts will remain confidential.
  • Support from the CBR community is critical to the success of this project. All ACC members may participate by donation to ACCCT (see below).


Support Your ACC Charitable Trust!

Donations from ACC dues renewals were up this year and we appreciate your continued support! Thank you!

How can you help further? Your thoughtful donation will ensure the DM study and subsequent health projects benefit both you and your dogs. When contributing, please indicate HEALTH as the fund to be credited.

  • PayPal is now available for donations—go to the ACCCT website and follow instructions. Major credit cards are also accepted through this site.
  • Mail directly to: ACCCT, 9934 Pratt Court, Santee CA 92071-1530
  • Questions about contributions may be sent to