Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM)

This is a progressive degenerative disease that results in weakness and paralysis of the limb. The symptoms develop when the white matter of the spinal cord starts to degenerate. This disease is also known as chronic degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (CDRM). Scientists don’t know the exact cause of this disease however, what they do know is that the disease can start with arthritis which can also be resulted within many other conditions. Therefore, the diagnosis of degenerative myelopathy (CDRM) is becomes difficult and various tests must be carried out. The diagnosis in the early stages of this disease is challenging; however, the progressive ataxia and weakness in later stages distinguish this disease from other diseases.

How can you spot CDRM in your dog?

You can observe the following signs in your pet.

· The hind paws of your dog may knuckle, and as a result, your dog tends to walk on his knuckles especially taking turns.

· When your dog stands still, his hindquarter may appear to sway.

· When you push your dog from the side, he may fall over easily.

· The top surface of the hind paw may seem to scrape the ground and becomes hairless.

· Your dog may find it difficult to stand.

It is a degenerative condition, and as time passes, the symptoms become worse and may lead to paralysis.

What are the common ages for degenerative myelopathy to form?

Commonly this disease occurs in the dog in the middle ages and old age. It rarely occurs in young dogs. CDRM is common in some species and rare in other species. Species such as German Shepherd breeds, Bernese Mountain dogs, golden retrievers, Kerry blue terriers, boxers, and miniature poodles are commonly affected by this condition.

What is the cause of this disease?

The exact cause of this disease is not known. However, scientists have seen a genetic difference between normal and affected dogs. The difference is attributes as follows.

· Dogs who are normal have a pair of normal genes.

· Dogs who are carriers have one normal gene and one abnormal gene

· Dogs who are affected have both mutated genes.

What are the treatment and management?

Unfortunately, scientists have not discovered any treatment for this disease. However, treating other associated problems, arthritis or hip dysplasia is possible. The symptomatic treatment provides relief from pain or discomfort. Additionally, physiotherapy is seen effective in this situation. the right exercise can help your dog prolong its quality of life and muscle mass. During the physiotherapy sessions, Quincysdogs mobility dog harnesses can serve as a great help. What would be classed as easy chores such as , walks, in and out of car, walking up stairs, will become very difficult with DM. With the aid of our GenX support harnesses, your dog will still be able to manage these thing with a small bit of assistance from you.

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