degenerative myelopathy

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Hi again, got another couple of questions for you. Do you know anything about degenerative myelopathy, or can you suggest and good information sources? Thinking about the carrier again do you know anywhere that hires them out? X

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Hi Shona, yes I did mean the cart that Holly used. Megs vet is the lead vet at our local veterinary hospital and is the orthopaedic consultant, and very supportive. We visited again last night at his request, after talking to him on the phone. We also were able to take him some video he had requested, as like most dogs it’s hard to get a true picture of her movments whilst she’s under stress at vets. He did lots of checks and is sure that is no pain being felt. Her proreceptors are not working so it looks like it’s neurological and degenerative. His advice was that he was happy to see us any time or to answer any concerns by phone or email but to give her lots of love, gentle exercise and be led by her really. He didn’t think any more invasive tests were advisable with her age. We discussed when and how we would know when we had to take that finally decision because i definitely don’t want to take it when it’s really later than it should have been and she’s in distress, much rather take it a little too soon whilst she’s happy in her world and it can be done at home. ( I felt I neede to discuss it with him while we weren’t at that stage yet as then we all know what we want to happen)

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Hi Jane,

Have a full neurological examination and any further diagnostics been carried out to make you suspect degenerative myelopathy over other conditions? The signs she is showing could be caused by a number of things, and the exact best treatment for her will be guided by an accurate diagnosis.

Being of an ideal body weight will help her, and you, immensely.

Does she scuff her hind feet as she walks, as Kathryn mentioned? Is she still able to toilet normally?

Help em up harness can be of great benefit in my experience. I would recommend seeking out a good ACPAT(A) registered physiotherapist who will work closely with your vet.

It is great that you are aware of her quality of life as a priority, and important that you are well supported by your vet and other professionals.

When asking about a carrier, do you mean a cart such as the one Hannah used with Holly on The Big Walk?

Warm wishes, Shona

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Hi, she was fairly steady unless knocked of balance by walking backwards to turn say. But we’ve noticed over the last week her back legs give way more and she appears to be like a drunk.. she’s fully alert and eating well, still trying to bring her ball to play just having trouble making back legs do what she wants. I have just received the help em up harness that I ordered so I’m hoping that will help us. She is 13 now so realistically I’m looking for quality of life rather than quantity. She has been on previcox for a couple of years now due to arthritis in her spine. We’ve tried hydrotherapy but it exhausted her but she has enjoyed the odd canine massage. She is very lumpy and bumpy with fatty lumps. Also her weight is good a steady 26 kgs for a Labrador retriever is something my vet is pleased with, we are back to see him today as he’s a little concerned that she didn’t take to the amantadine we tried and the speed with which she is altering.

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Hi Jane. Degenerative myelopathy is caused by breakdown of the sheath around the nerves in the spinal column. Good news it that it’s not in itself painful, just causes them to walk oddly and can lead to use of loss of back leg function. It is unfortunately a progressive disease.

One of the big things to watch for are injuries around the feet (from dragging or stumbling) and pressure sores.

O good orthopaedic mattress would almost certainly be of benefit to your dog.

Can you tell us a little more about him please. How is is mobility currently?

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