My Dog Has Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Now What?

My Dog Has Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Now What?

If you are told that your dog has Degenerative Myelopathy - DM for short - you must be distraught. You are looking for information, how, what, why? Unfortunately, there is still little information available about DM and certainly not much about good treatments for DM. Sometimes DM is compared with MS (multiple sclerosis) and/or with ALS (Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Briefly, Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a progressive neurological disorder of the spinal cord. The course of this disease also depends on the physical condition of your dog.

This disease cannot (yet) be cured with medication. But by keeping your dog mobile for as long as possible, you can ensure that your dog has a good quality life. And studies show that keeping your dog moving for as long as possible with aids and physical therapy is beneficial for the further course of the disease.

Early stage

The early stage of the disease is characterized by weakness in the hind legs . Usually the first sign is to start dragging the toes on the ground. In the beginning this is harmless, but over time wounds arise from dragging. It is important during this phase to ensure that no too large wounds occur. The rubber bones are an aid to this. These ensure that the toes are protected if they drag on the ground. If the drag problem gets worse and you see your dog tripping over its hind legs, you can also use a TEEN-up aid . In this way the leg is actively raised again and dragging is prevented.


Between stage

Over time there will also be a loss of coordination in the hind legs . You will notice that while walking, your dog is unsteady on its legs and starts to waddle. Getting up becomes more difficult, you can now assist him in getting up and walking with a STAND-up aid . This can make your dog feel more stable.

Later, as the paralysis worsens, your dog will fall over more. The coordination of the hind legs is (almost) completely lost and walking becomes increasingly difficult. At that moment you can give your dog more comfort with a standard wheelchair . This allows you to take walks together. Usually it is not necessary to hang the hind legs in the beginning, but your dog can actively use his hind legs.


Final stage

As a final stage, your dog will completely lose the muscling in the hind legs because they are no longer innervated. Your dog can no longer exert force with its hind legs. Standing is no longer possible and a wheelchair is always needed when walking. The STA-op help is also becoming more and more useful. It is now important that you hang the hind legs in two brackets of the wheelchair. Now it is also appropriate to switch to an individually adapted wheelchair. With this wheelchair you can bring the axle of the rear wheels more forward. This provides more comfort when walking because the front legs are better relieved.

At a late stage, the clinical picture is also characterized by weakening of the forelimbs . At this stage we can also add front wheels to the rear wheel wheelchair. This keeps your dog mobile for as long as possible. And you can continue to enjoy together as long as possible.

Would you like a consultation about the optimal support for your dog?


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