Little is known about canine degenerative myelopathy as a disease in comparison other dog condition’s, but what is known and the authorities on the subject will be highlighted in this article
Degenerative myelopathy in dogs was only really diagnosed as a seperate condition in the 1970’s and this is because of its similiarity in symptoms to other conditions such as arthritis.
The disease most commonly develops in German Shephards leading many to believe that they may have a genetic predisposition to developing the disease.
The disease in short is a auto-immune disease, meaning that your dogs own immune system will slowly breakdown vital elements within your dogs spinal chord, and in most cases the disease will start from the dogs tail and work its way up to the brain stem. That is why it is often associated with paralysis in dogs
Unfortunately currently there are no cures and definite treatments to stop the development of the disease, but there are steps that you can take to make your dogs life more comfortable and to also lengthen their life expectancy. One of the authorities on Degenerative Myelopathy in dogs is Dr Roger Clemmons the Associate Professor at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. He has a detailed explaination about condition and treatments, which can be on the University of Florida’s website here. Admittedly some of the language he uses is hard to understand so another resource that will be of help is a detailed article on about.com submitted by a ladie called Marjorie Zimmerman, who unfortunately had a pet German Shephard that passed because of the disease. But she outlines in this article how the information provided by Dr Roger Clemmons helped to prolong the life of her dog. You can view that article on canine Degenerative myelopathy here.
It will undoubtedly be a sad time if your beloved dog has been recently diagnosed with this cruel disease, but I sincerely hope the resources outlined in this article will be of help, and potentially prolong the life of your dog.