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Canine Degenerative Myleopathy

(5 Posts)
AllGoodDogs Fri 20-Oct-17 22:07:48

Does anyone have any experience with this? My 12 year old Lab has it (so thinks our vet). He's been prescribed Metacam daily for life (alongside 6 monthly blood and urine tests to check kidney function) and hydrotherapy. I know what Google tells me, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has first hand knowledge?

Booboostwo Sat 21-Oct-17 10:26:37

Hi. My GSD had it 4 years ago.

Unfortunately it is very common in some breeds and while there is a genetic test, it's not been widely adopted by breeders yet.

Firstly I would advise you to get a second opinion from a specialist orthopaedic vet. DM is usually diagnosed by eliminating everything else, by the fact that it is a painless condition and by the fact that it degenerates. i am not sure why Metacam would help if it is DM but perhaps I am wrong.

There is also a genetic test which is worth doing, it's cheap and you just sent a saliva sample to the US. It is not conclusive but if both alleles are negative then you know it can't be DM (if one or both are positive them you still only know it might be DM).

There is also a vitamin supplementation diet that is supposed to offer some support. It I shall not a treatment, but some owners have found it helps. Unfortunately it didn't help my dog, but the rate of progression is completely different for each dog so you never know how things will develop.

Swimming is a great idea as it will keep the muscles working for as long as possible. My dog also had a wheelchair for about 3 months which allowed him to be walked when his back legs could not work any more.

AllGoodDogs Sat 21-Oct-17 10:40:37

Thanks for your reply, I'm sorry about your GSD sad. Metacam was prescribed for his arthritis and he does seem brighter in himself the last few weeks he's been on it so we'll keep him on it. The vet mentioned CDM on his hydrotherapy referral form but hadn't really said anything else to us about it. I only saw it after our appointment when they emailed me over the form. His only real symptom of it that I've mentioned to the vet is the crossing over of the back legs, and falling over as he turns around. He does have muscle wastage on his back legs and doesn't always right his back paws if you bend them over. He also has started to scuff them as he walks. I'm not sure what we'd gain through further tests if there's no cure or specific treatment? He was neutered young and never bred from so won't have passed the gene on. Given his age I don't think we'd put him through surgery etc to fix anything else...

I'll look in to that diet though, thanks 👍

Shambolical1 Sat 21-Oct-17 13:23:58

You say he has arthritis? Could it be that he has arthritis or spondylosis in his spine? That would produce very similar symptoms to CDM. This could be easily checked with an x-ray.

Just asking, as if it is spondylosis then hydrotherapy isn't a good idea. If your vet hasn't already x-rayed him I personally would have this done before swimming him.

Booboostwo Sun 22-Oct-17 21:35:48

There are other conditions with similar symptoms that are very much treatable. A herniated disc, for example, responds very well to surgery. Or there may be conditions, like arthritis, that can be alleviated with medication. I'd get an orthopaedic vet second opinion, but see how you feel about it.

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