Our previous shepherd had DM. We first noticed it when he was about 8 and his back end started stumbling when being walked. In retrospect, I realized that he hadn't been moving/wagging his tail for at least 6 months, so it had probably been building for at least that long. He lived to 10 (1999- 2010). He was able to stand and take a few steps without falling on his own up until the end, but he needed me to support his rear end with a hip sling going up stairs and on walks (we were told keeping him active was important to slowing the progression) as over time it got to the point where he would stumble and sit every few steps without the support. I don't know if 2.5 years counts as a "slow" progression and I don't know if the various medicines the Univ of Florida (Gainsville) researchers suggested might help (and provided by mail by a Florida pharmacy) actually helped or not. We were told it would likely progress to his lungs and he would would have to put him down then or he would drown. Mercifully (for me anyways), one night, after his evening walk and dog biscuit treat, he simply keeled over and died because his heart gave out. His last gift to us was sparing us the decision to have to put him down.
Last edited by michaelr; 05-03-2019 at 12:46 PM.