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Old 06-27-2012, 06:01 PM
shazbot shazbot is offline
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Default degenerative spinal disease...help need advice

We're taking my girl Chiana (GSD) to the vet again because her hind legs are showing signs of degenerative spinal disease. The vet had mentioned it while we there last and said that she definitely has symptoms. They have gotten worse in a very short amount of time.

Can anyone tell me about this disease? From what I've read they eventually become paralyzed in the hind end as it progresses.

Regardless of the diagnosis we're wanting to get her a wheelchair to help keep her mobile. She still wants to try to chase her toys and even has been caught trying to pounce on the other dogs...any one know of any good wheel chairs out there or have any experience with them?
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:15 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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I think you mean DM. You have my sympathies if that is the case.

Start working on accepting the wheelchair sooner rather than later and try to get into water therapy if you can. Most DM dogs can swim well into the knuckle walking stage and swimming will slow the diseases progress.

There are a few drugs and supplements that are said to slow the disease's progress. We got several more good years out of our dog with DM we think by using joint pills and anti inflammatory drugs.

DM is such a heart breaker - I'm so glad there is a test for it now.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:48 AM
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Thank you for the info, I'm worried sick about her. What kind of test is it? We found a vet that will help us fit her for a wheel chair, so we'll be doing that as soon as we can get an appt. Hopefully next week. We figure even if it turns out that it's not DM she'll still get a wheel chair as she's having a hard time walking. We had her in about a week ago for vestibular disease, and the vet made mention of DM then.

She's already dragging her back paws (new as of this week), nothing too severe yet, but it's noticable. Not sure how often they drag their paws in the knucle walking stage though. I read that dogs who've gone under anethesia tend to progress more quickly...now that I think about it, her back end has gotten a lot worse since she had a dental a few weeks ago.

Did your dog end up with full paralisis? What about incontinence, was that a problem with your dog?
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:37 AM
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i've never had any experience with wheel chairs, but I'd email Cindy at leerburg.com. I know they had a couple older dogs with degenerative disease (neither GSD's btw) and had carts for them. I think they went thru a couple to find a good one. I'd ask her about her experience.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazbot View Post
Thank you for the info, I'm worried sick about her. What kind of test is it? We found a vet that will help us fit her for a wheel chair, so we'll be doing that as soon as we can get an appt. Hopefully next week. We figure even if it turns out that it's not DM she'll still get a wheel chair as she's having a hard time walking. We had her in about a week ago for vestibular disease, and the vet made mention of DM then.

She's already dragging her back paws (new as of this week), nothing too severe yet, but it's noticable. Not sure how often they drag their paws in the knucle walking stage though. I read that dogs who've gone under anethesia tend to progress more quickly...now that I think about it, her back end has gotten a lot worse since she had a dental a few weeks ago.

Did your dog end up with full paralisis? What about incontinence, was that a problem with your dog?
Sam never ended up with full paralysis - he died of an unrelated issue prior to that point. He could no longer stand unassisted, was a little fearful of the dark, and on occasion would fall. Basically we had to start him up in the morning and he did the rest - he walked very post legged, and dragged pretty badly uphill but he was still able to function. We also never had incontinence issues with him. Sometimes the first signs of DM are uneven nail wear - now there is also a gene test for DM so in theory no one producing GSDs or corgis should not know about the potential of producing a DM afflicted dog.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:30 PM
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i don't think the DM test is very reliable, not a test I'd be basing breeding decisions on anyway
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