Degenerative Myelopathy
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  1. #1
    Lilos Mom's Avatar
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    Default Degenerative Myelopathy

    I received this information today and just wanted to share. Our "Toby" goes in tommorrow for his MRI to see if this is what's going on with him.

    http://www.caninege neticdiseases. net/DM/ancmntDM. htm

    Below is from the PDF version of the announcement available for inclusion in newsletters:
    Degenerative Myelopathy
    Test for Degenerative Myelopathy gene NOW AVAILABLE!
    Dr. Gary Johnson at the Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory and Dr. Joan Coates at the Comparative Neurology Program of the University of Missouri and Drs. Claire Wade and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh at the Broad Institute of MIT/Harvard and their colleagues have identified a DNA mutation that is a major risk actor for development of degenerative myelopathy in dogs.
    A DNA test is now available for use by veterinarians, breeders and pet owners. This test is available through the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals - www.OFFA.org) . The test clearly identifies dogs that are clear (have 2 normal copies of the gene), those who are carriers (have one normal copy of the gene and one mutated copy of the gene), and those who are at much higher risk for developing DM (have 2 mutated copies of the gene). However, having two mutated copies of the gene does not necessarily result in disease.
    Dogs that have clinical signs and a confirmed diagnosis of DM have tested as genetically affected. A relatively high percentage of dogs in several breeds (including Boxers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Rhodesian Ridgebacks) have the predisposing mutation. It is important to note that there are a large number of dogs that have tested as genetically affected, but are reported as clinically normal by their owners. It may be that many of these dogs will develop clinical signs as they get older or it is possible that symptoms will never manifest in these dogs. Research is still needed to determine the frequency of the mutation in breeds known to have DM (German Shepherd Dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Boxers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Standard Poodles). In the future, we may identify other risk factors in those dogs that have tested as genetically affected. Wise use of this test can reduce the incidence of dogs at risk for
    DM in the long-term, particularly if other low frequency risk factors are identified that can more easily be reduced. It is likely to take many generations to reduce the frequency of this disease in breeds with higher frequency of the mutation.
    As part of an ongoing collaborative effort by research scientists at the University of Missouri and the Broad Institute, a free DNA test is offered for dogs that have been diagnosed with DM, and for older dogs in selected breeds.
    Complete disease and testing information is available in the Degenerative Myelopathy section of www.CanineGeneticDi seases.net
    This research was funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, American Boxer Charitable Foundation, Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America, Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, French Bulldog Club of America, and French Bulldog Rescue League. To them and the many breeders, pet owners, and veterinarians who assisted, THANK YOU!

    Lilo, Buster & MoJo's Mom (Carol)
    Adoption Coordinator
    Pug Rescue Network
    www.pugrescuenetwork.com

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    FourteenLegs is offline Village Diva
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    Many good wishes for your boy. Hope he's okay.
    Check out the PugVillage Books - buy one from HERE and help rescue.

    Rona and the Principessas Imogen and Pearl. Holding in our hearts forever LouLou and Puck who have been reunited at the Bridge.
    All my babies at the Bridge - LouLou, Puck, Piaff, Donato, Persia, Dragon, Smugs, (Pugs) and Madam and her son Woolfie (horses).

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    One of my friends had two boxers that had this so if you need to talk to anyone about it, please let me know. I would be happy to give you her contact information. Good luck with the mri.
    Leslye, Chyna, Tinker, Ruffy and husband Tim &
    our angels Pugsly and Taz waiting for us in heaven

    Northern Illinois Pug Rescue & Adoption

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    Lilos Mom's Avatar
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    Well Tobys resting in his crate. They said he did great today with the x-rays and mri. We'll get all the results tommorrow. I'm just praying it's somthing we can fix with surgery. Tobys only 4 years old and has so much energy to be like he is, it's just so sad.

    They thought I was the crazy pug lady this morning. When I was getting ready to leave the vet tech was holding him and I said "gimmie some lip" and he gave me a kiss goodbye, she just cracked up.

    I'll update tommorrow when we get his results.

    Lilo, Buster & MoJo's Mom (Carol)
    Adoption Coordinator
    Pug Rescue Network
    www.pugrescuenetwork.com

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    M'Dear Pug's Avatar
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    Has there been any news yet about the test results? Degenerative myelopathy is what the two veterinarians here both say Gumdrop has but we don't have access to any tests like MRI's. I've been reading a lot online and saw a video on some site that left little to the imagination for Gummy - the way the dog was trying to walk was exactly the same.

    Gumdrop is 13-years old though - a much different situation from a young 4-year old pug plus she has other pre-existing health problems. Where Toby is high energy, Gummy is absolutely the opposite and always has been.

    I was reading somewhere that some people believe Vitamin E helps but after going to the health food store and reading several reference books there, I came home to re-check and re-think whether or not I want to pursue that theory. I did find a good "Dry E" - powder in capsule form that could easily be mixed into her food. Tonight I'm going to go back and re-read the information.

    I feel worse for Toby than for Gumdrop - he is so young and it's so hard to think of how a neurological problem could compromise his future, at least as far as mobility.

    It's my understanding (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) that there's not much as far as treatment.

    Ann
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    Lilos Mom's Avatar
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    Yes, we've received the results back I'm sorry I should have posted but I was down about the results. The mri showed that it was either one of two things either a tumor within the spine or (FCE) Fragmented Cartilaginous Embolism. We can't fix him, theres no surgery, the damage to the spinal cord is permanent. He's not even a candidate for physical therapy.

    Right now, I'm dealing with his incontinence issue. Not that I mind in the least cleaning up after him because I don't. The problem I'm having is in the house he drags himself all over and I can't keep his diaper on!! I've tried the diaper with his bellyband to help keep it in place not working. I'm going to try suspenders and see if that will help keep his diaper on. Over the weekend I tried a baby onsie thinking it would help keep the diaper on after about 5 minutes I looked over and the onsie was halfway down his chest I'll figure something out.

    We've got two sets of wheels donated to the rescue. Both were made for Pugs so we're going to take them both in and the physical therapist is going to help us and see if one or the other can be adjusted to Toby. If not, we'll have a set made just for him. Right now, I've just got him on Cosequin DS and Fish Oil daily. I'll tell you what he's going to be hell on wheels when we get him fitted for his cart!! Thanks for thinking of him Ann
    Lilo, Buster & MoJo's Mom (Carol)
    Adoption Coordinator
    Pug Rescue Network
    www.pugrescuenetwork.com

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    M'Dear Pug's Avatar
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    I'm sorry the diagnosis and prognosis weren't encouraging. The only medication Gumdrop is taking is the Cosequin DS - I give her half of one capsule once a day.

    Gumdrop has always been slightly incontinent, then it got to where it was more noticeable when she barked or got excited, now I carry her outside more during the day and that seems to maybe help but the day is quickly coming when she won't be able to squat and then stand back up. What's so ironic with Gummy is she's always been a pug who seemed to enjoy seeking out that one special spot to pee, she wants to sniff and turn around repeatedly and, needless to say, her back legs end-up tangled and she'll fall...but, so far, she can usually manage to right herself.

    When Paul asked the second veterinarian we saw about a cart, the doctor said he didn't think Gumdrop would live that long. That news made my heart stop but I've now rather come to the conclusion that I don't believe he was correct - other than how problematic her back legs are, Gummy seems content, comfortable, has a great appetite and sleeps about as soundly as she ever has.

    I may be wrong about Gumdrop but I'm with her almost 24/7, I know her pretty well, and I tend to believe she/we will manage for some time to come. She, unlike Toby, is not an active pug - her idea of a good day is simply staying as close to me as possible using the least amount of energy possible!

    It's really sad though, particularly for a busy little guy like I know Toby wants to be.

    Ann
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    Those we have held in our arms for a little while,
    we hold in our hearts forever.



  8. #8
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    Carol,

    I'm sorry to hear about the diagnosis. I know that Debbie (Pugsleigh) had trouble with Katie Jo keeping on panties so you might want to check with her about what she used. Also, do you know how to express his bladder? That might help with his having accidents in the house. My Chyna has disc disease, but right now she is only fecal incontinent. That makes it a bit easier.
    Leslye, Chyna, Tinker, Ruffy and husband Tim &
    our angels Pugsly and Taz waiting for us in heaven

    Northern Illinois Pug Rescue & Adoption

    www.northernillinoispugrescue.org

    http://www.dogster.com/family/766626

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    So sorry to hear about Toby's diagnosis. I have 2 pugs here with spinal/disc problems - my Pugsy who is believed to be about 14-15 years old and Yoda, a NIPRA foster who is around 9. Both have had neuro. consults but it was unsure whether surgery would help either of them. Most likely, irreversible nerve damage has already been done. Pugsy has been getting progressively worse as she gets older but Yoda still gets around pretty well. Both are incontinent. There is supposed to be an article about invertebral disc disease in an upcoming issue of The Whole Dog Journal that I am looking forward to reading. I believe that NIPRA has at least 2 other pugs in foster care with this condition right now as well and we've had a couple of others in the past. It certainly seems to be more and more common in the breed these days.

    Best of luck to you & Toby. If you want to share thoughts, ideas, etc. - please feel free to PM me.
    Last edited by PugLady3; 05-30-2009 at 11:14 AM.
    Brenda, Bella, Duke, Yoda (hospice), Mae (hospice), Zoe (foster) and
    our angels Pugsy, Buster, & Bud waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge

    Northern Illinois Pug Rescue & Adoption (NIPRA)

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