Want info- as much as you all have

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 7:30pm PST 
Vet is thinking Sabs has DM. I have been reading for two days, some articles claim months to live at best, some say years. I know it will cripple her eventually. But how long? I know some of you have experience with it and knowledge is power. Please tell me everything you can. I can't put her under so testing might be tough but basically her back end kind of sways and she puts her back feet down on top of each other or really close together. Sometimes her back legs just collapse, or she tries to turn but the legs don't follow. This started about a year ago, maybe more. She has HD and mild arthiritis. She is on Glucosomine/Chondroitin/MSM I just want a clearer picture of what I'm looking at.

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 7:42pm PST 
Isn't the test just a cheek swab? There's one on the OFA website that's only $65.

I don't know a whole lot about the disease, but I believe the progression rates vary, which is probably why you're getting conflicting information.

Swimming is good exercise for dogs with HD and DM. You could also look into those 2 wheeled carts if it gets really bad.

Edited by author Sat Aug 18, '12 8:06pm PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 9:53pm PST 
Onyx the cheek swab just shows genetic predisposition. The info is all over the place so I figured maybe this might fill in the gaps. We swim as often as I can but it is super expensive here($65 for 15 mins). I wouldn't let her go to the point of needing a cart. She would hate it. I know some dogs are ok with it, she wouldn't be.


How You Doin'?
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 10:45pm PST 
There are people with DM dogs on the Orthodogs Yahoo group.
It may be worth joining.

We did the cheek swab with Chance and she came back N/N which means she is unlikely to suffer from DM.
They are now saying they've had 2 confirmed DM cases with N/N dogs.
When Chance was tested they had 0.

I'm going to see if any of my current rescue contacts have any 1st hand knowledge.

This group also has discussions about DM.

Edited by author Sat Aug 18, '12 10:55pm PST


The Boy Wonder
Barked: Sat Aug 18, '12 11:34pm PST 
You might want to contact Cindy over at Leerburg. I know they went through this with their corgie not so long ago and it is an issue that plagues the shepherd breed. She does have first hand knowledge. I've seen it in dogs but never Owned one where this was a problem.

I'm sorry for your trials and I hope for the best for you.
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 6:56am PST 
I wish I had some info for you. hughughughughughughughughughughughughughughughug

dog-sitter in- charge.
Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 9:22am PST 
The DM marker test is where I would start. there have been a total of 2 confirmed cases of DM in dogs who tested negative out of (don't have the exact figure on hand) over 10,000 dogs of all sorts of different breeds tested.

If your dog is N/N or DM/N it is really unlikely (close to impossible) for your dog to suffer from DM, and would be a waste of money to continue to diagnostic spinal testing and what ever else.

The latest info out of U of Missouri re the DM testing is that it is not really a test of genetic predisposition. A dog which is DM/DM will one day develop clinical problems associated with DM, if s/he doesn't die from other causes first and has a long enougn lif. The question now is simply the differences in time in regards to progression, not really an 'if' but more a matter of 'when'.

Edited by author Sun Aug 19, '12 9:25am PST


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 11:25am PST 
Not sure this is info, this is my experience with Sassy.

Sassy's vet told me she had DM because she was slow to right a knuckled under back foot when she was something like 8-10 years old. I had noticed uneven wear on her back nails. She left us at the age of 17 years and not because she went down. She never had much trouble negotiating the slippery tile floors as she was careful. She could always get up when she wanted and just look at her profile - that shot of her curled up in a stack of *3* dog beds was when she was 14.5 years old! Her last year we put booties on her feet during walks as she scraped the tops of her feet raw otherwise.

She was lean, leaner than she needed to be, and I stuffed her with as much protein as I could. When she was about 14 years old she got her foot stuck in one of those trenches between sidewalk and lawn and couldn't get out but a year later she pulled her foot out of that same trench as she was getting more protein. The stinker could also jump on the 18" high window seat if she was on her joint supplement. Down was horrible but up was fine and could she remember that down hurt? Nope. DM dogs cannot feel what is going on in the rear but you can try to keep the rear strong with good nutrition.

DM is supposed to be similar to MS in humans and progression is variable. I would have let Sassy go if she went down as that would have been the loss of too much QOL but that wasn't her fate.

How You Doin'?
Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 1:34pm PST 
I've gotten a couple of responses back.
In 2 cases the dogs lost use of the rear legs within 4 months, 1 dog is losing the use of the front legs as well.

Another person is seeing a much slower progression.

Another person had a dog that was diagnosed with DM and it turned out to be Myasthenia Gravis.

Hubby's childhood dog was put down due to DM but he was too young to know anything useful and his mother's problems make it useless to ask her anything about the progression.

Is Sabi on anti-inflammatories?

I agree with Lilith about the DM test. It does not cost much, is easy to do and we got our results back very fast.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun Aug 19, '12 9:09pm PST 
Thank you all.

Maxwell thank you for sharing your experience with Sassy.

Lilith I will go ahead with the test then but I don't really know what else it could be as her hips are only painful when extended by hand. She still has a beautiful trot.

Chance she has been doing this for a year, possibly more. I feel bad for the dogs you mentioned, Not sure I could deal with that.

If I think back she may have started having problems around age 6. But heres the problem, Sabi has had a twisted back leg all her life. When she first arrived I noticed it. The vet shrugged it off and said she might grow out of it as it was pretty minor. As she grew, and grew it turned worse and worse but again no one seemed concerned and the only time it was even noticeable was at a walk, or standing still her one foot was turned in. At 2 the vet opted not to xray her hips as they felt normal and had normal range of motion, it's not like she is breeding stock that I needed the results on and she was a big, strong, active girl. At 3 1/2 when I had her spayed she was xrayed and both hips were almost fully displaced.
For me to say now when she started stumbling and wobbling is impossible and I can't say what is to blame. I do know that in the past year it has gotten noticeable and frequent. And once again I dropped the ball. I knew she had joint issues so I ignored the symptoms because I thought it was just aging.
Now I need to know what we are facing, good or bad. She is happy and bouncy at the moment so maybe thats all that matters, but I like to have a plan.
She is not currently on any meds.
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