DM...the sucky, unstoppable GSD disease... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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DM...the sucky, unstoppable GSD disease...

Hey gang, sorry I havent been on in a spell...Weve had Mono for almost three years...Definately not long enough, for he is THE sweetest old man GSD, so chill, so loving, anyone would fall in love with him...He healed our hearts when we lost Jazzy to that **** spleenal mass (yet another crappy GSD deal...) We believe he has DM, Im just trying to figure out what "stage" it is...He has the short nails, the crossing of the feet and a bit of stumbling, but seems to do better on carpet (we have ordered several runner rugs to help...) So far he is still able to walk fine (just a bit slower,) and can get up on the sofa...I have heard DM is a slow progress, but in the end its truly heartbreaking...We are looking at our options now, from meds to wheels, and any input or info would be helpful...Maybe a cyber hug from you other GSD parents, I dont want to lose our sweet boy, my heart has barely healed up from losing Jazzy...But I tear up just imagining Mono losing his legs... :'(
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 09:57 PM
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So sorry to hear about Mono. DM is a tough one for sure. It just isn't fair. I'm pulling for you guys.

I've done wheels for my old girl Maddie (HD, etc) and recommend K9Kart (K-9 Cart East - Handicapped Dog Wheelchairs and Senior Pet Products). I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. I'm not as familiar with DM as others on this board, however.

Linus van Pelt Haus Juris CGC. My Sweet Babboo, born March 17, 2014.

Madeline Ronan Heart (Maddie) Dec 1997 -- November 22, 2013 Rescue GSD, Sable
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2014, 10:00 PM
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I'm so sorry. Sounds like Mono is at about the same stage my Rocky is. I know what you're going through and it sucks to watch. I'm just taking it one day at a time. He doesn't need wheels but I'm about to move to a harness to help hold him up when he urinates. He has good days and not-so-good days and I figure my role right now is to keep him as happy and comfortable as possible for as long as I can.


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- 6 years

At the Bridge:
Cash Adopted 2007 - 7/28/2010
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Rocky 4/19/2002 - 1/16/2015 to DM
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 01:08 AM
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So sorry to hear this,my thoughts are with you.
I had put carpet runners all over our hard wood floors for our girl Libby in Her last year,it helped a lot.
If I ever get another GSD I think I would put down carpet again,don't think I would ever buy hard wood floors again.
The stairs were the worst,I would only use carpet if I ever move house.
Give your Boy a Hug
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 02:49 AM
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The progression varies from dog to dog. You will hit plateau's where it seems like it has stopped. Yet another cruel twist to this disease.
The best advice I can give you is know your dog. Sabi would have been mortified by a sling or a cart, she barely tolerated me lifting her in and out of the car. Many owners hold on to the bitter end, and many don't. This disease comes down to what your personal beliefs on dignity and quality of life are.
If you have access to a pool swimming is great, but if he is still mobile on his own I would leave him be as far as assistance goes. Walk a bit slower for him and give him the time he needs to get around. If he has started the swaying while standing, you will next see the falling and that one really tears at you. Sorry but it scared the **** out of me the first time, just wanted to warn you. You can sort of track things by how close their tails get to the ground. As the back legs lose muscle the back end sort of sinks. Eventually they start actually dragging their back legs, most owners report one leg goes first.
Please know that my heart aches for you, I wish you many more happy days.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, guys, for the love, support and advice, I'll keep you posted for sure and will certainly look into all and every option! Its so hard...I tell 'ya, the only downfall if having a pet...they don't live forever...sigh...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 10:35 PM
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Unhappy

it sounds like DM but it may be something else. Don't want to give any false hope but I'd take him to the vet and have them check it out. How old is Mono? My 14 and 9 month old GSD Shasta has a lot of the same symptoms as your Mono but the vet has told me it's just old age; weakness, arthritis. I give her Carprophen for pain on bad days and have been giving her Springtime Inc Longevity formula in her food for several years now, I really think the supplements have helped her keep a better quality of life. Senior GSDs are the best it just sucks so bad that they can't stay around longer. I pray that your guy doesn't have the dreaded DM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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We aren't exactly sure how old he is, we adopted him at a pretty old age tho...if I had to guess I'd say between 10-12...We do know he has arthritis, we've been giving him Carprof and a Gluc suppliment as well...We talked to the vet and she says DM is so frustrating for so many reasons, but keeping his muscles working helps to prolong it...And you bet for as long as he can still walk...We will keep him going! I just dread what's down the road...I KNOW how DM ends...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 08:22 PM
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I am so sorry that you have to deal with this truly crappy disease. I lost the dog of my life to DM many years ago, and it was heartbreaking to watch.

I got booties as soon as the foot dragging started, and eventually a cart so he could still run in the park. As the disease progressed we used a sling to get him in and out of the house to relieve himself. Thunder started showing symptoms at 10 and it was 3 years before his quality of life became so poor that I felt there was no choice left but to let him go.

Managing a large dog with mobility issues is physically and emotionally exhausting. Be good to yourself as well as to your dog and enjoy the time you have. Sending you good thoughts...
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 12:31 AM
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The DM adventure continues. I noticed Rocky wasn't able to fully empty his bowels, so I added some canned pumpkin to his diet. After 2 days of the pumpkin, he wasn't able to stop his bowels and pooped on the floor. (not diarrhea, it was fully formed stool I could pick up with a paper towel.) Poor baby was so embarrassed he didn't even want to walk past the area where he had pooped. Stroked his head and told him he's a good, good dog and I love him so much.


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- 6 years

At the Bridge:
Cash Adopted 2007 - 7/28/2010
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Rocky 4/19/2002 - 1/16/2015 to DM
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