Sunday, August 21, 2011

Name That Disease #7

Can you name this disease?

This is degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease that causes loss of function of the hind limbs, and then eventually the front limbs as well. Progression is usually six months to a year before the hind limbs are fully paralyzed. It is caused by degeneration of spinal tissue, including loss of axons and the insulating myelin sheaths that allow for nerve transmission. It affects a number of breeds, and there has recently been the discovery of a gene that makes the risk of DM increase greatly. DNA testing is available, though more research is needed.

There is no known cure for this disease, and eventually dogs will require assistance to have continued mobility, often in the form of a cart. Though numerous suggestions for treatment of these dogs exist, there is no evidence that they are effective. Dogs with this condition can continue to have a good quality of life, especially if well cared for.

Below is the same dog, five months earlier. Since the above video, she has been provided with a cart to help her get around.
Source is the Canine Genetic Diseases Network.

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