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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Peters

What is Degenerative Myelopathy And How Does It Impact My Dog?

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs. It is an incurable condition, typically affecting senior and geriatric dogs, but it can affect middle-aged canines as well.

The cause of degenerative myelopathy remains unknown, though genetics are thought to play a role in its development.

The first signs of degenerative myelopathy usually appear when a dog begins to lose coordination in their hind legs.

This loss of strength and balance can make walking difficult for the animal, and they may begin to drag their back legs or stumble more frequently than usual.

As the disease progresses, affected dogs may exhibit symptoms such as shaking limbs, knuckling feet, and difficulty rising.

The progression of degenerative myelopathy can vary on a case-by-case basis, but the condition typically progresses over time and leads to paralysis in the affected limbs.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disorder, and treatment options are limited; however, and rehabilitation can help slow the progression of the disease.

Additionally, some medications may be able to provide short periods of symptom relief for afflicted animals.

Although degenerative myelopathy is an incurable disorder, owners of affected dogs still have a few options available to them for managing their pet's health.

Proper nutrition and exercise can help keep muscles strong and promote overall wellness. Additionally, getting regular checkups from a veterinarian may allow pet owners to catch any progression of the disease at an early stage.

How Can Canine Rehab Help Your Pup

Canine Rehabilitation is an increasingly popular approach that can help to improve the quality of life for dogs suffering from degenerative myelopathy.

This condition causes progressive muscle weakness and loss of coordination, leading to decreased mobility and difficulty with activities that once came easily.

Rehabilitation techniques used to treat degenerative myelopathy may include underwater treadmill walking, therapeutic laser treatments, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, joint mobilization, massage rehab, and range-of-motion exercises.

Therapeutic laser treatments act as a non-invasive analgesic and anti-inflammatory, providing pain relief and allowing for easier movement. Acupuncture stimulates certain points in the body to regulate energy flow; this helps reduce pain and promote improved mobility.

Chiropractic adjustments assist with joint alignment to help manage discomfort and range-of-motion deficits. Massage rehab helps restore the normal function of muscles by increasing blood circulation and improving flexibility while range-of-motion exercises allow for improved strength, coordination, balance, agility, and overall rehabilitation of motor skills.

Canine Rehabilitation is beneficial in helping dogs suffering from degenerative myelopathy because it offers an alternative to medication or surgery that can significantly increase the quality of life for these animals.

Although it is not a cure, the use of rehabilitation techniques can delay the progression of the condition and help manage its symptoms by providing pain relief and improved mobility. By improving your dog’s strength and coordination, you may be able to help them retain their quality of life for longer than expected.

If Your Dog Is Struggling Because of Degenerative Myelopathy, Then Book A Time For Us to Come See You

Starting the process of finding treatment for your dog is simple and with our offer of a Free Phone Consultation, we can begin to discuss the concerns that you might have about your pup and the treatment process. If you want to start that process, give us a call at (321) 319-4008.

No matter what kind of signs your dog is presenting, don’t waste any time getting in touch with your vet to explore the matter more thoroughly. And, if rehab is needed, be sure to reach out to Happy Paws Rehabilitation and Wellness right away to make your first appointment.

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