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My German Shepherd Dog has Degenerative Myelopathy. What Should I Do?

My German Shepherd Dog has Degenerative Myelopathy. What Should I Do?

German Shepherds are the most common dog breed known to be diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy. Degenerative Myelopathy is a medical condition which is fatal, and currently has no prevention. It often starts by making your German Shepherd's paws curl and knuckle. 

If you think your German Shepherd has Degenerative Myelopathy, take your dog immediately to the vet for a firm diagnosis. Your vet will examine your dog and will rule out spinal conditions such as: dog IVDD; dog spine problems or weakness; hip dysplasia; or severe arthritis.

Get a gene test to diagnose Degenerative Myelopathy

Your vet can also undertake a gene test on your German Shepherd to be 100% sure your dog has Degenerative Myelopathy. 

You can submit a blood sample for gene testing, and if it comes back positive for the SOD-1 mutation, then it's very likely that your dog has Degenerative Myelopathy.

Degenerative Myelopathy is, very sadly, a terminal illness. Currently there is no cure or prevention, as it is a genetic medical condition.

This means your next steps are best spent trying to make sure your German Shepherd is as active and comfortable as possible.

You can help your German Shepherd by:

  • Getting rubber dog boots for their hind paws. Rubber dog boots are best as they won’t break when your dog drags their paws. Boots also mean your dog will stop damaging their paw skin and nails if they're knuckling and paw dragging. See knuckling boots here:
  • Getting your dog a dog wheelchair. Owners say this can transform their German Shepherd's life, as the dog wheelchair takes the weight of your dog at its rear end and allows them to exercise. Getting out and about will lift your dog's mood and ensures they're staying as fit and strong for as long as possible. See how other German Shepherd owners have helped their dog with a dog wheelchair here:
  • A knuckling brace can help realign your dog's rear paw, so the paw is flat to the floor again, helping them to move forward, distribute weight evenly, and exercise. See the Maximus Paw Knuckling brace here:

You can read more about Degenerative Myelopathy here

You can read more about Degenerative Myelopathy here - Causes, Prevention and How To Help 

Read more about dog wheelchairs here

Read how other German Shepherd owners use a dog wheelchair to help their dog live an active life

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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