We're pretty convinced Sadie has DM. It's been over 5 months since the 1st sign of symptoms, which was the very subtle limp in the rear. That progressed to some occassional toe dragging on her left side, to what we have now which is full time toe dragging, knuckling over a step or two sometimes (meaning actually walking on knuckles--this is not full time yet), routinely stopping/standing on knuckles for a moment or two before correcting.
She now has no control of her rear on on our laminate floor...we have purchased throw rugs and have placed one every 2 feet which helps her get around the house. She fell on the deck, scrambling and falling again and again the other morning due to some light snow dusting. I know it scared her, but she never yelped or cried or showed signs of being hurt by it...I thought for sure she hurt herself by the way she her legs splayed out. I had to carry her back inside after that because she wouldn't try to come back across the deck, but that's not something I can do routinely!
Now, she is afraid to try if it even looks wet, so for now she goes out in the front yard with us if it's raining or glazed over on the deck out back. I don't know how we will handle full on winter snow and ice since she's too heavy for me to carry! She is confined mostly to one level of our home. She falls down the steps routinely, so we've had to gate them off.
Through all this, she shows zero sign of pain and has remained her happy self. No yelping, no stiffness, no sensitivity to being poked or prodded or touched in any certain place. She eats well (you'd think she is starving all the time LOL)....she wants to play, she wants to wrestle with the cats. She wants to steal scraps from the 2 year old. She wants to go outside every 10 minutes as usual.
If not for how unpleasant it looks to watch her walk around, you wouldn't know anything was wrong with her at all. The vet had said after they tried anti-inflammatories that were no help, there wasn't really anything they could do for a degenerative nerve condition. I haven't taken her back to the vet since the end of July because of the symptoms being so subtle for awhile and the lack of pain, and how she continued to be her happy self, like nothing was wrong.
Since the symptoms have progressed further in the last couple weeks, I'm planning to go ahead and take her back in, although frankly, I dont want to put her through all kinds of tests just to be told there's nothing they can do. And, we can't afford the expensive treatment Dr. Clemmons recommends....which based on my reasearch is not widely accepted by most vets anyway. In fact, there seems to be lots of disagreement and inconclusiveness among vets regarding DM.
We also are not set up to transition her to a cart...our house and yard just aren't compatible with that type of situation, so when things get to that point, we will know it is time.
Sorry to be so lengthy! I guess my only real point to this post is to vent a bit. I'm sad that I'm watching a 7 year old dog slowly decline physically, but still seem like a puppy in many ways. This was the first forum I found when we brought Sadie home 7 years ago! So much has changed, but not her. She's still her same rotten, goofy self she was back then...just a lot more gray on her face now.
Thanks for listening