Degenerative myelopathy affects dogs in a major way but initially it may be confused with other conditions or disease processes. By understanding more about this genetic issue, a dog owner that is seeing signs of degenerative myelopathy can be better prepared for how to manage this condition in order to provide the best quality of life possible to their pet.
What is Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs?
Degenerative myelopathy is often abbreviated as DM and is a disease that affects the white matter of the spinal cord. With DM, this part of the spinal cord starts to break down, or degenerate, and results in weakness of the hind limbs that eventually progresses to paralysis. With time the front legs can also be affected. It is similar to some of the forms of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This disease is obviously devastating to a dog owner since it eventually results in the loss of many of a dog's normal activities.