Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs

Degenerative myelopathy of dogs is a slowly progressive, non-inflammatory degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord.  See earlier post about Canine DM here.

Symptoms

Early stages: 

  • Progressive weakness of the hind limbs 
  • Worn nails 
  • Difficulty rising 
  • Stumbling 
  • Knuckling of the toes 
  • Scuffing hind feet 
  • Wearing of the inner digits of the rear paws 
  • Loss of muscle in the rear legs 
  • Tremors of the rear legs
Late stages: 
  • Persistent early stages 
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence 
  • Eventual front leg weakness from compensatory strain 
  • Mental stress anxiety 
  • Pressure sores on boney prominences 
  • Inability to rise 
  • Muscle atrophy 
  • Poor hygiene- soiled appearance 
  • Pneumonia 
  • Depression 
  • Infection/sepsis 
  • Constipation 
  • Organ failure

Immediate veterinary assistance needed:
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Prolonged seizures 
  • Uncontrollable vomiting/diarrhea 
  • Sudden collapse 
  • Profuse bleeding – internal or external 

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