Leo had an unfortunate disease of Degenerative Myelopathy. It is a progressive disease of the spinal cord and begins with the loss of coordination in the hind limbs. There is currently no cure for this unfortunate disease and no direct way to diagnose it. Veterinarian’s will perform diagnostic testing to rule out other injuries/illnesses by using testing such as radiographs and MRI’s. There’s no way to test if they’ll get it & no cure. Since there is no cure for this disease the only thing a family can do is keep nurturing the dog’s quality of life (good nursing care, physical rehabilitation, pressure sore prevention, monitoring for urinary infections and ways to increase mobility through the use of carts/harnesses). In Leo’s case it basically paralyzed his back end and initially started with him dragging his paw to having trouble even walking around. Leo started showing signs of Degenerative Myelopathy when he was 8 years old and seemed to worsen every six months or so. Leo’s “mom”, Jessica equated Leo early on in the disease to “walking, but walking like Bifford in a wobbly, ridged movement” and then progressed to dragging himself around until they got the wheelchair. Unfortunately Leo passed away 01/2019, a victim to this unfortunate disease. Jessica & Cody, Leo’s parents were kind enough to pass along Leo’s cart to another family who had a boxer, “Rocky” who was also suffering from Degenerative Myelopathy and they hope to continue on this “paying it forward” by educating families on this disease and helping families better understand the disease and care for their pets!
Thursday, June 17, 2021