Finding a Cure / Treatments For Degenerative Myelopathy

 Bubba's Buddies Partners with Universities to help fund next clinical trial towards finding treatment for DM. 

May 1, 2022: Bubba's Buddies is excited to announce new partnerships to support university and veterinary health centers to further clinical trials and other DM research!  Project DM is a consortium of veterinarians and researchers committed to finding a cure for canine degenerative myelopathy (DM). The group includes four major universities across the United States where veterinarians and researchers are working together to broaden the impact of DM research and help make leading-edge therapies available to more dogs and their owners. Project DM believes a cooperative effort among researchers is the key to unlocking new treatments that improve the lives of our canine patients.

March 1 2023: Project DM, AKC Canine Health Foundation, and Bubba's Buddie's announcees the launch of the very first DM Canine Treatment Trial! 

A platform trial is a ground-breaking type of clinical trial that has recently been used for studying treatments for human diseases such as breast cancer. Project DM is the first veterinary platform trial in the world.  For DM dogs and their owners to be a part of the clinical trial, it is necessary to ensure the diagnoses is indeed DM and not any other underlying condition. Establishing a definitive diagnosis of DM, and excluding other potential problems that can mimic the disease such as various cancers and disc problems, is vital because these problems have very different clinical courses. Ruling them out helps ensure that the results of the study are accurate, trustworthy, and truly reflect response to treatment in the context of DM . To ensure a dog has DM they must undergo health screenings including an MRI which can be extremely costly for owners. 

Funds raised by Bubba’s Buddies will be used to support owners and pets in performing important health screenings that establish eligibility for the inaugural study using this platform, making this promising treatment available to more pets. You can learn more about the project and the disease, as well as keep tabs on study progress at



There are several ways you can help Bubba's Buddies launch the new DM Clinical trial.  

  1. DONATE!  Any amount donated will go directly to the Project DM platform clinical trial.  
  2. Purchase a Coffee Mug!  We have mugs representing Boxers, German Shepherds, and Corgis.  100% of revenue goes directly to Project DM!
  3. Purchase a Sticker Decal! We had decals representing Boxers, German Shepherds, and Corgis.  100% of revenue goes directly to Project DM!
  4. Hold a social media Fundraiser!  Whether for a birthday (for you or your dog), holiday, to mark a memorial for those lost to DM, or just because.  100% of Facebook fundraiser funds go directly to Project DM!


Past Research

Veterinary researchers found a clue to understanding DM by noting similarities between DM and an equally devastating disease in people – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In the early 1990s, researchers discovered a mutation in the SOD1 gene associated with ALS. Today, researchers know a mutation in the SOD1 gene also is a major factor contributing to the development of DM in many dog breeds. In addition, recent research has identified a unique mutation of the SOD1 gene that seems unique to Bernese mountain dogs.

A screening test for SOD1 is available to identify genetic status of breeding dogs and help reduce disease risk to their offspring. Two mutated copies of SOD1 (one from each parent) increases risk for DM but not all dogs with two copies of the mutation will develop the disease. Experts suggest that other genetic or environmental factors also are critical to the development of the disease.

DM research is likely to aid in research for human ALS. Currently there are no effective treatments for DM or ALS, both diseases are progressive and ultimately fatal. It is essential to conduct further research to understand the underlying mechanisms causing these diseases. The University of Missouri-Columbia, NC State, Tufts, and Ohio State University Veterinary Health Centers are collaboratively working to find ways to follow disease progression in DM.