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is vitally important.
In my opinion, if someone wants to test for DM, they should
have BAER/JHC/Trachea/Spine and current CAER, Patella and Cardiac tests completed  rst.
But this is not the case with most breeders testing for DM.  e appeal of yet another “walk to the mailbox test” has sucked in many breeders that have already refused to leave their homes to get the rest of the recommended tests completed. It gives a false sense of security and false bragging rights for now doing multiple tests on their breeding dogs rather than just one. Again, testing for DM does not hurt, but I feel it’s a distraction.
Or does it actually hurt to test? I’ve seen a handful say that their Bostons have tested as carriers. I have not yet seen proof of any in show lines, though there is rumor of one or two in Europe.  ose said to be carriers here in the US are o en from unknown backyard breeding, or dogs
with disqualifying color faults where mixed breeding is o en suspected. In much searching, I have yet to  nd one con rmed case of an a ected and symptomatic Boston with DM. Most are found to be herniated discs or hemivertebrae, not Degenerative Myelopathy. DM is an odd duck, in that even a dog that tests a ected may never be symptomatic.
So back to my thoughts on the breed actually being “hurt” by testing. What if, for all these years, the Boston has always had the occasional carrier or the occasional genetically a ected but for some reason the gene
is present but not activated in our breed? Research has not yet determined all of the factors involved in why it’s active in some dogs and breeds and not others. When JHC plagued our breed and we had no testing, we KNEW that there was an
issue and we KNEW we
needed a solution. With
DM, we are not seeing a problem. We never have.
So why does now having
a test suddenly mean that
what we know to be true
is no longer true?
I saw a beautiful dog
in Europe posted with negative test results for DM proudly displayed with his photo. He is
a gorgeous, well put together dog with a lot going for him. Let me play Devil’s Advocate for a moment and say, “what if ”. What if his test results had said he was a carrier? What if many other extremely nice
and healthy Bostons tested as carriers? Do
we prevent their quality and health from being
added to the gene pool and spay and neuter them all when for well over 100 years we knew there was no problem with DM a ecting our Bostons? Why would we eliminate outstanding dogs from our gene pool now? I’d venture to say that “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” doesn’t quite cover that scenario since DM hasn’t even dirtied the water. It’s like just throwing out a perfectly happy, healthy, clean and dry baby. Period.
E Boston Terriers | E Boston Terriers |

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