Golden Retreiver in the woods

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

DNA Test Available for Standard and Giant Schnauzers ONLY

Dilated Cardiomyopathy causes a swelling of one of the heart’s lower chambers, which are called ventricles. The left ventricle is affected more often than the right. This weakens the ability of the heart to pump blood. The heart becomes large and flabby and beats weakly.

A dog may not show outward symptoms for years. Eventually, though, the dog shows signs that all is not well. Those signs can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • Coughing, especially during exercise or excitement
  • Gasping for breath
  • Fainting or collapsing
  • Gradual abdominal swelling

Research Available:

Statistics on testing results

The Test Results

Normal – This dog has tested normal (or clear) for the mutation identified as responsible for development of DCM. It is not at risk for developing this form of DCM. It can only transmit a normal gene to offspring, and current information indicates that dogs with this result can be bred to a dog with any DNA test result without risk of producing affected offspring.

Carrier – This dog has tested as a carrier for the mutation identified as responsible for development of DCM. Carrier individuals are clinically normal, but may transmit either a normal gene or a mutated/affected gene to potential offspring. To avoid risk of producing an affected puppy, these dogs should only be bred to mates which have been DNA-tested normal.

Affected/At-Risk – This dog has 2 mutated copies of the gene identified as responsible for development of DCM and is at risk for developing clinical symptoms of DCM, usually at about 10 months to 2-1/2 years of age. Once clinical signs appear, most affected dogs do not survive very long. Please contact our research team using the contact information below for additional information, and inclusion in ongoing clinical research.

Order DNA Test

Tests are ordered online through the secure area of the OFA website. Payment is accepted by credit card (MasterCard and VISA). The OFA administers all order handling. Upon receipt of an order, the OFA will send out the test kit which will include a Foam-Tipped Applicator card for DNA sample collection, along with sample collection instructions. Using the FTA card technology, owners can safely collect DNA samples at home. The collection process is non-invasive, and no veterinary appointment is necessary.

Samples are then sent to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine where the samples will be processed by the Small Animal Molecular Genetics Lab. Results will be forwarded to the OFA, and the OFA will issue the resulting report to the owner.

The fee for each test includes the test kit, laboratory processing, and subsequent registration in the OFA databases.