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Possible degnerative myelopathy.

Species: Dog
Breed: chesapeake Bay retri
Age: 11-15 years
My 12 year old Chesapeake Bay Retreiver has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease although reading the symptoms I think it is myopathy. She drags her rear legs, can hardly get up the step but thank God doesn't appear to be in any pain. It is getting harder and harder for her to get around. Would a cart benefit her? Is she too big a dog for this? I would really appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
Kathie Chipouras


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that Selttiks is having these problems. I believe that what you are describing is something called degnerative myelopathy. This is much more common in German Shepherds but can affect any breed of dog.

In degenerative myelopathy there is usually no pain but the dog slowly loses nerve function in the back legs.

It still is possible however that this is degenerative disc disease. It is important to distinguish between the two because disc disease is indeed painful (although the dogs don't always readily show symptoms). If it is a degenerative disease then she would benefit greatly from anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your vet.

In either case, a cart may be a good idea for your girl. There are several companies that make them. You can find more info at:

http://www.askavetquestion.com/spinal_injury.php

I hope she does ok.

Dr. Marie

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.