The most important thing to focus on are the symptoms. It’s important to be aware that this disease is not painful. See a veterinarian immediately if you believe your dog is in pain. Arthritis is an example of a chronic and painful condition, not degenerative myelopathy which can be misdiagnosed. Unfortunately DM can progress quickly. Usually within six months to a year your dog will become paraplegic. There currently is no known cure.
Early Signs Of Degenerative Myelopathy
- Very difficult to notice – the best way is to look at the nails of your dog’s rear paws for uneven wear.
Mid stage of Degenerative Myelopathy
- Starts to have trouble standing
- Difficulty maintaining balance. This is often when people start to consider a dog wheelchair.
- Scraping nails – listen when you take your dog on a walk because this can be subtle and infrequent.
- Loss of muscle mass in rear legs
- Slow reaction time
- A common test used is to fold your dog’s rear paw under and see how quickly they move it back.
Mid to late stages of Degenerative Myelopathy
- Rear nails begin to scrap until this becomes constant
- May start to have incontinence
- Rear legs may start to cross or go in abnormal positions
- Stumbles and or trips
- Exaggerated movements
- Wags tail less frequently – we know this is sad since you want your dog to be happy, but this is due to the disease.
- Can’t maintain balance especially if trying to squat
Late stage of Degenerative Myelopathy
- Dog cannot stand even if you try to help them up without support
- Incontinence happens
- Hard for your dog to move with their front legs due to front leg weakness. Usually a full support dog wheelchair is needed.
About The Author
Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our Best Friend Mobility Dog Wheelchairs.
A dog wheelchair is also referred to as a handicap dog cart or dog harness with wheels. A dog wheelchair for hip dysplasia is one of the common needs. We offer three different models and have small dog wheelchairs and large dog wheelchairs.
We offer a full support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog wheelchair, a dog wheelchair for back legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only one that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it. This is the best dog wheelchair on the market!