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My Dog has Degenerative Myelopathy. What Should I Do?

My Dog has Degenerative Myelopathy. What Should I Do?

What is Degenerative Myelopathy in my dog

Degenerative Myelopathy is a cruel disease, and it is very sadly often fatal in dogs.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), also sometimes known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), is a progressive neurological disease in dogs. This means over time, it will get worse.

Degenerative Myelopathy is the gradual degeneration of the spinal cord. It typically begins in the hind paws and limbs, and progresses throughout the body over time. This is because neurons in the spinal cord aren’t able to communicate with the brain. 

Early Signs of Degenerative Myelopathy in my Dog: 

  • Weakness and unsteadiness when walking
  • Scuffed Toenails
  • The paw curls over, making the paw skin bleed or nails get shorter. 
  • There’s a gradual breakdown of the nerves which control the hind limbs 
  • Swaying
  • Falling
  • Paw Scaping
  • Difficulty Standing

Read more about Paw Knuckling here: 

As Degenerative Myelopathy progresses, full paralysis is, unfortunately, inevitable. Degenerative Myelopathy is most commonly observed in certain breeds, for example, German Shepherds, and its onset is typically in the later stages of a dog's life. This means it can sometimes be misdiagnosed for arthritis, or other age-related conditions with similar symptoms.

Next step, take your dog to the vet

If there is any chance you think your dog has Degenerative Myelopathy you should take them to the vet for a firm diagnosis. It is possible you will be referred to a neurology department. You can Test for Degenerative Myelopathy, which is strongly recommended.

Read more about DM here 

Read more about Degenerative Myelopathy - Causes, Prevention and How To Help

Read more about dog wheelchairs

Read how a dog wheelchair can help your dog live an active life with Degenerative Myelopathy 

Previous article Viva, the dog, had a Bleed on the Spine

Read more about Degenerative Myelopathy:  Causes, Prevention and How to Help

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