My dog was recently diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. Can you tell me more about this condition and what we can expect?
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is thought to be a possible immune disorder of the spinal cord that results in destruction of the neural pathways. This disease is common in German Shepherds and collies, but it’s also seen in other breeds. There is no specific test used to diagnosis the disease; rather, diagnosis is made by ruling out other possible causes of posterior weakness, such as disk disease. Usually the diagnosis is based on findings of hind leg weakness and dragging of the paws, or "knuckling," which results in abnormal wear of the nails.
The disease is incurable, but supportive treatment can help. Supportive treatment includes moderate exercise to keep the muscles strong. Also, vitamin supplementation with high-potency B-complex and Vitamin E seems to slow the disease’s progression in some cases, as can another drug called aminocaproic acid. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not help unless arthritis of the joints is also present.
Please consult your veterinarian for further details on the best treatment options for your dog.If you continue to have problems, consult your veterinarian for advice. Most diabetic pets and their owners become able to deal with the inconvenience of insulin injections, thus adding years more of enjoyable pet-owner companionship.
Note: All content provided on HealthyPet.com, is meant for educational purposes only on health care and medical issues that may affect pets and should never be used to replace professional veterinary care from a licensed veterinarian. This site and its services do not constitute the practice of any veterinary medical health care advice, diagnosis or treatment.