Degenerative Myelopathy? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-08-2014, 12:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
New Member
 
ion1545's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Vermont
Posts: 4
Default Degenerative Myelopathy?

I'm new to this site and would like some help.
I adopted Nadine March 17, 2012 from a rescue kennel. They received her from an animal shelter where she had been picked up as a stray. They listed her age as 8 years old so she is almost 11 now.
About 6 months ago she started to show her age; not as insistent on long walks and no longer jumping on my bed. I gave her Cosuquin DS and within a few days she was jumping on my bed again. A few days later she stopped.
Suddenly, 6 weeks ago, she developed extreme weakness in her hind legs. She was staggering and tipping over easily. Again, this was sudden.
I took her to an emergency vet clinic where they did a physical exam only and prescribed tramadol. They thought she may have ligament damage to her right knee.
I then took her to my vet days later and X-rays were taken which did not show any injuries or anything unusual. She was put on Rimadyl and that has helped a lot. She's much more energetic and is bright-eyed and happy.
However she still walks like she's drunk and tips over fairly easily. She doesn't drag her hind feet. In fact, it seems to me she's making a conscious effort to "prance" and keep her hind feet high off the ground. She still wags her tail as much as ever.
A couple of more things. Nadine tested positive for Lyme disease 2 years ago, was treated and does not test positive for it now. Also, I put Nadine on a grain free 2 years ago to try to alleviate her constant scratching. It worked but she gained 20 pounds (of muscle in my opinion). She's now on a diet.
I'm worried that Nadine has DM but from what I read on the subject it doesn't appear suddenly.
Does anyone have any advice for us? If you have a dog with DM can you tell me what has worked for you?
Thank you
ion1545 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
"I like Daffy" Moderator
 
Andaka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Douglas, IL ( near St. Louis)
Posts: 3,271
Default

There are several conditions in the back of a GSD that can cause that. Did you x-ray her spine?
__________________
Daphne and the Gang at Andaka
Where Beauty and Brains Come Together
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/sear...n_shepherd_dog
Home of Ch Doll; U-CDx Jag CDX GN RE NAP NJP OA AXJ(ch ptd); and Ch. Fisher (Mr. Evil)
At the Bridge: Ch Kahla CD; Ch Keno UD HSAs OA; Ch Kizzy HSAs RE; Ch Tag CD RAE2; Ch Pharra; Bee PT; Ch Natty; Ch Red the Dachshund
Andaka is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-08-2014, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
New Member
 
ion1545's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Vermont
Posts: 4
Default

Hi,
Nadine had 2 x-rays of her back. One of them while she was on her back (radiograph - digital, radiograph - digital additional - per my paperwork.) The vet didn't see anything. She described the x-rays as dense - Nadine may weigh 118 pounds, big boned and muscular. She weighed either 88 or 98 pounds when I 1st got her and once weighed 88 and 98 pounds on the same vet visit.
Nadine staggers most when 1st standing - almost as if she's crampy or her legs are asleep. If she tries to run she looks like she has a muscle pull. She doesn't drag her hind feet but if you curl her hind foot behind her she will not uncurl it.
ion1545 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-08-2014, 01:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
brightspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 165
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ion1545 View Post
if you curl her hind foot behind her she will not uncurl it.
That's a sure sign of something wrong with her back. It could be DM or slipped disk. Can you get a referral to a neurologist?
brightspot is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2014, 02:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 3
Unhappy

My half GSD, 9 years old, has DM--confirmed by genetic testing. It has been 10 months now. The vet recommended fish oil pills and I give her one cod liver oil pill per day. Vet said exercise was very important to keep the muscle mass up. Lacy always walked alot--we go out twice a day. It got so she dragged her paws and wore them down and the pads bled. When we saw that, we got her boots and the heavy duty ones are best. She does wear them out quickly but she has to have them. Just recently, she has slowed down on walks and is stumbling much more in the house. We had to put a gate up by the stairs and I hate it that she can't come up any more. Luckily, walking straight away is not so bad, so we have kept up the twice daily walks but recently shortened them. Rimadyl never helped her, by the way. This has been a very gradual process in our 9 year old dog. I am surprised your dog had it come on suddenly. Have you thought of genetic testing? We found a place on-line and it was about $75. I just had to know. I think she is half GS, half Rottweiler. Really bad luck to get it from both parents. This is a horrid experience!
Meminger is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2014, 09:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
The Rescues Rule Administrator
 
JeanKBBMMMAAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,877
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ion1545 View Post
I'm new to this site and would like some help.
I adopted Nadine March 17, 2012 from a rescue kennel. They received her from an animal shelter where she had been picked up as a stray. They listed her age as 8 years old so she is almost 11 now.
About 6 months ago she started to show her age; not as insistent on long walks and no longer jumping on my bed. I gave her Cosuquin DS and within a few days she was jumping on my bed again. A few days later she stopped.
Suddenly, 6 weeks ago, she developed extreme weakness in her hind legs. She was staggering and tipping over easily. Again, this was sudden.
I took her to an emergency vet clinic where they did a physical exam only and prescribed tramadol. They thought she may have ligament damage to her right knee.
I then took her to my vet days later and X-rays were taken which did not show any injuries or anything unusual. She was put on Rimadyl and that has helped a lot. She's much more energetic and is bright-eyed and happy.
However she still walks like she's drunk and tips over fairly easily. She doesn't drag her hind feet. In fact, it seems to me she's making a conscious effort to "prance" and keep her hind feet high off the ground. She still wags her tail as much as ever.
A couple of more things. Nadine tested positive for Lyme disease 2 years ago, was treated and does not test positive for it now. Also, I put Nadine on a grain free 2 years ago to try to alleviate her constant scratching. It worked but she gained 20 pounds (of muscle in my opinion). She's now on a diet.
I'm worried that Nadine has DM but from what I read on the subject it doesn't appear suddenly.
Does anyone have any advice for us? If you have a dog with DM can you tell me what has worked for you?
Thank you
I thought my dog was done when he hurt his back - he was goose stepping and in a lot of pain. He had felt so good after a round of acupuncture and chiropractic, that he jumped off the deck stairs and took a tumble.

I did 2 weeks of crate rest. He was resistant - your dog is really big, and he was under 60#, but he was still in a very large kennel, in the kitchen so he could see everything, with a mattress in it. I am thinking a huge x-pen with with a quality dog mattress, or a crib mattress, could help. I didn't want him in a crate that he had to try to bend his back in to turn around.

We did this with the Metacam which we weaned off asap.

Peak Veterinary Referral Center Doctors has a doctor (Wheel) who is a rehab vet. That's where I would go, if it checks out reference wise, to have a consult.

I also had a dog who showed DM like wobbling from an infection so if you have not had blood work done (should before an NSAID) do it.

Weight loss will help. Good luck!
__________________
IMOM is...
JeanKBBMMMAAN is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2014, 09:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
Zombie Queen Moderator
 
jocoyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 14,668
Default

Crate rest, possible acupuncture, cold laser.......all those really helped my Grim

The first thing they did was try a round of steroids as that will help some issues recover. So many things can cause it.
__________________
Nancy
www.scsarda.org

Beau -NAPWDA Certified Cadaver Dog
Waiting at the Bridge (italics=GSDs) (hemangiosarcoma=blue):Grim , Cyra, Toby, Rainbow, Linus, Oscar, Arlo & Waggles
jocoyn is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2014, 09:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
The Rescues Rule Administrator
 
JeanKBBMMMAAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,877
Default

And no steroids at the same time as a NSAIDs ever (Metacam, Rimadyl, Deramaxx, etc). Just a caution! Plus washout time.
__________________
IMOM is...
JeanKBBMMMAAN is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2014, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
New Member
 
ion1545's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Vermont
Posts: 4
Default

Thank you all for your responses.
Nadine is doing well today. We went for 3 walks in the woods yesterday - about 20 minutes each. Usually we go for 2 walks and I keep her outside as much as possible when I'm home. She's walking fairly normally this morning.
I am going to go to the vet for more complete blood tests. I'm also going to try cod liver oil pills. Does anyone have strong opinions about glucosamine and chondroitin? I hate to keep throwing pills and additives at her. The rimadyl does seen to help but Nadine is so stoic I can't be sure.
One odd thing yesterday. I gave her a bath - she's getting over a skin infection. When I scrubbed under her tail head she fell to the ground fast. I guess I'll have to take a closer look. Nadine had her tail amputated before I adopted her - described as a wound on her rescue papers. It's probably nothing.
Two more things and then I'll shut up.
The vet recommended Hills prescription diet W/D to help her lose weight. This isn't grain free but Nadine hasn't been scratching and normally anything with grain will have her scratching quickly. I'm surprised.
Lastly, I attached rubber mats to the 4 front wooden steps and Nadine is going up and down them more confidently. Something for others to consider.
Thanks again to all of you.
ion1545 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-10-2014, 02:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
SuperG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,035
Default

Doesn't sound like my experience with my last GSD's DM. I am posting my opinion based on one experience with a GSD with DM.

In my last GSD's battle with DM, it started very subtly with my first indication of a bit of rear paw ( tips of nails ) dragging/scuffing on the carpet which after a few months evolved into a noticeable dragging of the hind paws...her nails showed the wear and tear. It progressed from there to much more obvious indications.

You posted " Suddenly, 6 weeks ago, she developed extreme weakness in her hind legs. She was staggering and tipping over easily. Again, this was sudden." This suddenness you cite makes me wonder if it is something other than DM....I hope it is. You obviously have done a bit of research as well and seem to challenge the "suddenness" as well.

I wish I could tell you what worked for her but the DM ultimately consumed her....slowly but surely it spread from her hind paws up her hind quarters and forward from there. I did make a few adjustments to keep her more comfortable....such as the leather booties I fashioned for her so her rear toes wouldn't bleed from the dragging during the walks she so enjoyed.

I wish I could point you in a direction as to what is ailing Nadine but I applaud your concern and seeking a solution via the vet and other resources.

Dogs are tough and make do with physical hardships much much better than the average human....

Let us know how it goes and I wish you and Nadine the very best.


SuperG
SuperG is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:01 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Retriever Breeds Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum