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Degenerative myelopathy and dragging paws

(15 Posts)
doineedhelp Sun 17-Apr-16 18:53:17

Hi all

Wondering if any has experience of DM. My poor boy has recently been diagnosed and I noticed on today's walk that because of increased knuckling and dragging that one of his nails on his back leg was bleeding sad I'm thinking about getting him some boots to wear on walks but getting mixed messages from Internet search, some say not to use if dog has DM. Anyone here used them for this, if so did it help?

So sad to see him like this and although he's only allowed a 10min walk he still loves going out so want to keep it going for as long as I can for him...

Thanks flowers

AnUtterIdiot Sun 17-Apr-16 21:17:15

My GSD had this. She knuckled too. It was very hard to watch but she loved her walks even though they ended up only being 10 mins of sniffing the lamp post at the end of the garden.

I don't know about boots - my vet didn't recommend them. The big danger is infection through cuts so I guess just keep an eye on them and try to keep them clean?

flowers I found watching my girl walking like this SO hard, but she was continent and loved her food and her tiny walks and cuddles so I knew she was basically content and that made it much easier.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 17-Apr-16 21:20:13

Try to walk him on grass if you can.

Maybe drive him to a nice park whenever you can so he can walk on something soft?

doineedhelp Sun 17-Apr-16 21:31:12

Thanks both 😊 it's heartbreaking isn't it as he is so young at heart and alert and wanting to go out (even though he is 10 now) I have a ramp for the car so yes chardonnay walking him on grass is a good plan I hadn't thought of.

utter can I ask how long your girl lasted for after diagnosis? Our vet said 6 months but I'm hoping he'll be with us longer than that. Such a cruel disease sad xx

AnUtterIdiot Sun 17-Apr-16 21:43:33

We were told 6 months too, and the vet hinted that he thought she should be PTS earlier than that, but I think we had her longer than that (can't remember how much longer, it was less than a year) and she went of natural causes in her sleep. I was vigilant for signs that she'd had enough but she never tipped me the wink, as it were. Fabulous dog. DM is awful. I really feel for you, OP sad

AnUtterIdiot Sun 17-Apr-16 21:45:43

I would say very short walks on soft surfaces and let any cuts heal before walking again.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 17-Apr-16 21:46:44

The silver lining is that the back and the hind legs are not painful because the nerve endings go.
But yes, it's heartbreaking.

AnUtterIdiot Sun 17-Apr-16 21:53:52

Our vet told us she wasn't in pain and I had to keep reminding myselfof that because it looks so strange and awful to see them walking like that. But yes, I would say that actually the condition made very little difference to my girl's sense of well-being day to day.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 17-Apr-16 22:09:13

My vet suggested a band that goes around his back and tummy to help coordinate his movement.
It's hard to explain, ask or a vet physio.

doineedhelp Mon 18-Apr-16 06:15:17

Thanks everyone, yes I get very upset seeing him like this, my big strong lad is wasting away sad the vets said he's not in pain and I guess that's a blessing. I will do as you say utter and keep my eye out for signs of him having had enough, it doesn't help that he is so big (gsd cross) so difficult to help him when he starts to get worse.
Not heard about the band thing, I'll have a Google / ask the vet flowers

Spanielcrackers Mon 18-Apr-16 17:44:07

When my retriever was diagnosed with DM, the vet said it would be time to PTS if he started to drag his feet. She told me not to google contraptions to "help" the DM and if I asked for help with these devices she would again recommend PTS. I came downstairs one morning and his back end had given up. He had never knuckled over or dragged his feet. I had to have him PTS that day. It's a horrible condition. At least my dog had made it to nearly 14.

LimeJellyHead Mon 18-Apr-16 19:41:29

We used rubbery bands. I think it was called MSD Band or something like that. Get two pieces (cut to about an inch wide) and attach each end to each leg (in a comfortable loop at the ankle) and the other end to the dog's harness. Make it the right length to they can walk unhindered but so that they get feedback from the elastics as they move.

Our dog wore boots indoors because we have tiled floors and he was slipping. He loved them. It gave him more confidence.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Mon 18-Apr-16 20:18:03

I would disagree with your vet, Spaniel, we tried plenty of contraptions and treatments and they gave my boy a better quality of life.
He wasn't ready to go yet.

JBH316 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:31:26

I just lost one of mine to this 2 weeks ago. I did use boots intermittently for him when walking on grass wasn't possible as he would make his toes bleed. Got a pack of 4 from Zooplus - they were fab and really hardwearing. We also got a rear end support harness for him in the latter months but he didn't really take to it. There is a homeopathic treatment called causticum that has helped slow things down in some cases - the earlier it is started the more effective it seems to be. My boy was 9 when he first started showing signs and was 13 when we had to let him go after his back legs became totally paralysed.

Bloody awful disease :-(

doineedhelp Mon 18-Apr-16 21:54:11

Thanks everyone for the advice and flowers for all those who have gone through it sad spent ages looking at boots on Internet, will check out zooplus, thanks.

Don't think I'd get him in a harness, he'd never let me put a xmas hat on long enough to take a photo grin

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