Dermatomyositis (DMS) | Animal Genetics



New Canine Test

Cocoa/French Bulldog Chocolate
Please see: Cocoa

New Equine Test

New test available for Quarter Horses and related breeds.
Please see: Immune-Mediated Myositis (IMM)

Equine Test

Equine Speed and Distance
Please see: Performance Testing

Dermatomyositis (DMS)


Dermatomyositis (DMS) is an autoimmune disease affecting the skin and muscle that is often diagnosed in different degrees in Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies. In most case skin lesions involving hair loss and crusty scabs in areas such as the face, ear tips, legs and feet, and the tip of the tail. The disease can develop in puppies as early as 3 months of age or develop later in mature dogs. In some cases, an affected puppy’s symptoms may or may not diminish as it matures. 

In Collies DMS may affect more than just the skin. Often DMS symptoms include muscle wasting resulting in difficulty eating, drinking, and swallowing as well as an altered high-stepping gait. In Shelties muscle wasting is uncommon.

DMS is a complex or multi factorial immune disease where both genetic and environmental factors play a role in its development.  A dog with an elevated genetic risk for DMS can develop the disease following stress associated with infectious disease, vaccination or other physical or emotional stress related factors.


Animal Genetics offers testing developed by researchers from Clemson University. A set of genetic mutations are combined to create a haplotype measuring the risk factors for DMS. These results are combined into one genetic risk assessment. 


Locus A=PAN2 gene on chr 10
Locus B=MAP3K7CL gene on chr 31
Locus C=DLA-DRB1 (Dog Leukocyte Antigen) on chr 12 

Acceptable Sample Types:

Animal Genetics accepts buccal swab, blood, and dewclaw samples for testing. Complimentary sample collection kits are available and can be ordered at Canine Test Now.

This Test Is Relevant For the Following Breeds:

  • Rough Collies
  • Smooth Collies
  • Shetland Sheepdogs


Animal Genetics offers DNA testing for DMS. The genetic test verifies the DMS genotype and presents results as one of the following:


Detailed explanation of testing and test results from American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA)