Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs. It’s caused by a genetic mutation in the SOD1 gene, which leads to the degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord.
Symptoms of Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
Symptoms of DM include:
- Difficulty walking
- Hind legs weakness
- Loss of coordination – Muscle wasting
- Loss of sensation in their hind legs
- Incontinence / Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Stages of Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
The disease typically begins with an initial period of stiffness and difficulty walking, followed by a gradual decline in mobility. As the disease progresses, dogs may experience muscle wasting, loss of sensation in their hind legs, and eventually paralysis.
Diagnosing Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
Diagnosis of DM is made through a combination of physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies such as MRI or CT scans.
Treatment for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
Treatment for DM is limited to supportive care such as physical therapy and medications to reduce inflammation and pain. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian about the best course of treatment for your pet.
Living with Degenerative Dog Myelopathy DM is a progressive disease, meaning that it will continue to worsen over time. Unfortunately, there is no cure for DM, but with proper care and management, dogs can still lead happy and active lives. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian about the best course of treatment for your pet. Additionally, there are several organizations dedicated to helping owners of dogs with DM manage their condition.
Prevention of Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent DM as it is caused by a genetic mutation. However, responsible breeding practices can help reduce the incidence of this disorder in dogs.