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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

A friend of a friend is having to move overseas (due to being in the military) and cannot take their german shepherd with them and I was asked if I could take him in. He just turned 4 years old. I was told he has CDRM (chronic degenerative redicular myopathy). And was told he will not live a full life. Apparently in the fall he was not doing so well but seems to be fine now. He is apparently losing hair and scratching and looking kind of ratty in his back end now, but is still loving going for walks and chasing balls ect.

I need as much information from you guys as possible, I would love to take this guy in but also dont want this dog to suffer (and myself as I know I will get attached fairly easily). Is this disease treatable? Is it possible for him to live a fairly normal life? He gets along great with other dogs and is very smart and is trained really well. Should I take this guy in? I added a picture of him, his name is Como.
 

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Is CDRM another name for degenerative mylopathy?? I had a GSD Genesis that came down with it when he turned 10. It's not painful but he eventually won't walk on his rear legs. Genesis adapted well. I eventually got him a dog cart when he was about to lose full ability to walk. It took around 8-9 months for that to happen. Had him for another year after he could no longer walk at all....

For comparison I recently had to put my Kaos down. He hips were completely shot. He also developed elbow arthritis. Then the last stage med pred. made him hungry, thirsty. Not be able to sleep and made him pant. Finally it gave him bloody stools. Without the pred he would lose all leg function I would say in a couple days. With the pred and no bloody stools it was a couple weeks at best. Along with that Kaos was on heavy doses of Tramadol. In my circumstance and its just my situation and I never would have believed it. Kaos problems were worse the Genesis. If Kaos had DM he would still be around. Not saying not being able to walk is great but he would have been pain free.....

This is a link to the best expert Dr Clemmons on DM and his treatments. Also a pharmancy that can get the meds. Then a DM info site......

Degenerative Myelopathy of German Shepherds



Westlab Pharmacy - Veterinary Patients - Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative Myelopathy Support Group - Jack Flash's Homepage
 

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Discussion Starter #4
can DM be causing him to itch and lose his fur in his back end?
 

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^^^2 late to edit my other post^^^

I should >>>add<<< if I had my choice of either DM or hip problems on my 5 month old puppy Havoc I would choose the hip problems >>>every time over DM<<< as it has a cure. Its just in the one case Kaos would have been better off with DM the way it all played out. I spent thousands trying to help the hips but didn't have the 12-13 thousand $$ for THR's. Kaos might have been to far gone anyway. Vet was shocked at the progression in the last few months......
 

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can DM be causing him to itch and lose his fur in his back end?
I don't know. But if you or someone else can't take him in. Please don't let whoever put to sleep. This place will take him in and provide a lifetime of care if it can't find him a home.......

Best Friends Animal Society
 

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can DM be causing him to itch and lose his fur in his back end?
No. and I think it's pretty uncommon in a young dog. I would look for a second opinion. DM is a degenerative disease that affects the spinal cord.
 

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My husbands family dog(GSD mix) had DM and he lived to a ripe old age... He was only put to sleep because he could no longer control his bladder or bowls and they wanted him to still have some dignity when he left. My husband walked him daily throughout, he never ended up needing a wheel chair. If it is DM then it's not a death sentence but it is a rather large commitment to take on.

As far as the itching and losing fur, to me that sounds like bad allergies though I'm not an expert.
 

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this stuff is all scary ...I am reading all this after getting my Roxy and wondering which disease we are going to wind up with...I wouldn't give her up for the world now ..but NOW after the fact of getting her I read all of this stuff that can happen with a german shepherd. :(
 

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Are you sure the DM isn't demotic mange? That would explain the hair loss and itchiness.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am going to see Como tomorrow afternoon and if he and I get along well then I will run home and grab Penny to make sure they also get along. If everyone gets along well I will call the vet on Monday to have him evaluated and get her opinion on him and whether or not he has DM or not (not sure how they diagnose it? I just got off the phone with the gentlemen selling him and he said he would help pay for these tests as he was unable to do so and the vet told him that it was "most likely" DM. So I guess it hasnt really been properly diagnosed, and I would also assume the itching and hair loss would have been from allergies and I hope that it is not mange or something of that magnitude.... I dont want to bite off more than I can chew and all I really want is for this dog to live a happy fairly normal life.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Are you sure the DM isn't demotic mange? That would explain the hair loss and itchiness.
Im thinking the itching and hair loss is either from allergies or Demotic Mange. But was told he had some mobility issues that was caused from degenerative mylopathy and that he was apparently worse last year but seems to be a little better now with mobility and can run and walk ok. But was told he could go downhill anytime.

I will also add the man finding him a new home is not asking for any money for his dog, he just wants him to go to a good home.
 

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I think you should save him then. He obviously thinks highly of you to ask this. :thumbup:
 

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This is my favorite DM site. http://www.mzjf.com/main.htm

FWIW Marjorie, the woman who owned Jack Flash, had another GSD, Missie T, who was diagnosed with DM at about 4 years of age. Marjorie followed Dr. Clemmons protocal and Missie T lived to a fairly ripe old age for a GSD with the disease. No, I can't say that your friend's dog will live as long as Missie T did, but if it were me I'd give it a shot (I lost my first WGSD to DM ... it's a hearbreaking disease because the dog is mentally sound with a fading body). The one blessing with DM is that it's supposed to be a pain free disease.

Also there are special aids to help with dogs with DM like special harnesses and canine wheelchairs.

I agree that the hair loss and itching have nothing to do with DM ... have they had her thyroid checked?

GOOD LUCK WITH WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I went to see Como yesterday and although I fell in love with him I had to decline taking him :( He did not get along very well with Penny and I wont put that stress on my pup or on him... So it was with a sad heart I had to pass, I feel horrible and I hope that this lovely boy will find another great loving home.
 

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Arycrest, do you know anyone see that has followed those procedures on a dog with DM that had good results?

Rocky, I think you'll get more answers if you start your own thread.... Some of these threads are 3-4 years old and many participants are long gone.
 

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that seems very young for this diagnosis .
I would get a second opinion -- proper testing so that you can give proper support to the animal to give him better quality and length of life.

At just less than 4 years I would look into chiropractic , nerve impigned , herniated disc , which would give a prickly itchy sensation .

hope he does find a good home.
 
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