Spine & Brain Degeneration | Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
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Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs

Definition of Degenerative Myelopathy

Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM), also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy or German Shepherd myelopathy, is a progressive fatal hereditary disease that occurs in dogs. Fibers in the brain, spinal cord and nerves of dogs with DM slowly degenerate due to a genetic mutation similar to that causing Lou Gehrig’s disease in people. Affected dogs develop hind limb weakness, wobbliness, lameness and gradual paralysis, followed by similar but less severe symptoms in the front legs. In later stages, dogs have respiratory and swallowing problems, urinary and fecal incontinence and profound muscle wasting. Eventually, they can’t stand or walk without assistance. DM isn’t curable. Dogs with this illness need meticulous care to keep them clean and comfortable as long as realistically possible. Unfortunately, the long-term prognosis is guarded to grave.

Causes and Prevention of Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs

Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive, rare and usually fatal adult-onset disease that involves the degeneration of nerves in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). For many years, authorities thought that DM was an immune-mediated disorder similar to multiple sclerosis in people. Other experts suspected that toxicity, vitamin deficiency, oxidative stress and/or genetics were possible contributing causes to this disorder. Recently, however, researchers have discovered that degenerative myelopathy in dogs is caused

Symptoms of Canine Degenerative Myelopathy

Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is an uncommon, progressive degenerative disease that causes hind limb weakness and paralysis and eventually affects the front limbs, as well. The symptoms of DM start gradually, usually in adult dogs over 5 years of age. Early in the course of the disease, affected dogs will start to lose muscle coordination and balance in their rear legs (ataxia). They will develop slight or incomplete hind end paralysis (paraparesis), which will progress

Diagnosing Canine Degenerative Myelopathy

Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a fairly uncommon but potentially fatal spinal cord disease that can be difficult to diagnose. A number of other disorders mimic the signs and symptoms of DM, including intervertebral disk disease, myelitis, degenerative lumbosacral stenosis, spinal cord neoplasia (cancer) and hip dysplasia, among others. A veterinarian presented with a dog showing hind limb lameness, lack of coordination, muscle wasting and partial paralysis must first rule out other causes of the

Treatment and Prognosis of Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs

Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is an uncommon disease that primarily affects purebred dogs. DM disrupts the normal communication pathways between the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of coordination and eventual paralysis. There is no cure or current treatment for DM. However, there are things that owners can try to help delay progression of the disease and improve their dog’s quality of life. These are the goals of treating this progressive disease.Meticulous supportive care is

Source: PetWave


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