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  #1  
Old June 27th, 2008, 10:50 PM
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Big Dog Mom Big Dog Mom is offline
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Degenerative Myelopathy

My 12 year old Great Pyrenees has recently been diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy. I'm interested in getting some information from other members who have had experience with this disease. I've read everything I can get my hands on, and taken My Girl, Maggie, to a specialist. But there's nothing like hearing the stories of those of you who have lived through this disease, and hearing what worked for you and what didn't.

Anything any of you know and can provide is greatly appreciated. I want to do everything I can to provide Maggie with as much support as is humanly possible.
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  #2  
Old June 28th, 2008, 12:25 AM
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rainbow rainbow is offline
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I'm very sorry to hear about Maggie. :sad:

I don't have any experience with Degenerative Myelopathy but hopefully some of the members here will be able to help you.

Have you joined the forum at Yahoo for DM? ....

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/d...yelopathylist/
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  #3  
Old June 28th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Sabine Sabine is offline
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I lost my Great Dane last year to DCM. It's a devastating disease and I hope your dog was diagnosed early on and can be put on the right medications.
When they reach the point where they lose their appetite it's time to let them go. The quality of life goes rather quickly. My dane lived for exactly six weeks after first diagnosing the disease. It was horrible.

Keep his diet low sodium as long as the dog will have his appetite. There will be a time when they totally lose their appetite and that's when pretty much "anything goes". My dane refused steak at the end....... Also check his breathing and the coughing. They get to the point when lying down is not comfortable anymore because of all the fluids in their lungs. Don't get upset when your dog all in a sudden prefers to sleep on the hard floor rather than his dog bed because soft cushions make breathing harder. There's also a whole regimen of natural supplements you can/should give. Taurine being one of them.



These are fairly standard supplements for DCM dogs:

Coenzyme Q-10 1 mg per pound body weight, 2 times per
day)

Vitamin E (400 iu per day)
Selenium (200 mcg per day)
Give these two together, either at night or in the
morning.


B-100 complex (1 tablet/day)

Ester C (1000 mg, 2 x per day)

You can get all of these at Walmart, Costco, or any
supplement store.

.....and more:

This is a really good article about familial DCM in
Danes & supplementing with l-carnatine. I started
on 250 mg BID. Guesstimate it will cost about
$20/month.

http://www.unipr.it/arpa/facvet/anna...uintavalla.htm

Here's the quick & dirty summary:

According to available statistical survey, at least
40% of dogs with heart failure secondary to DCM seems
to have also a L-carnitine deficiency in association
to other congenital or acquired defects. Probably, the
most part of these dogs could take advantage from
L-carnitine supplementation.

It is difficult to state if L-carnitine
supplementation could be useful in all dogs
with DCM or if this should be considered an isolated
case. However, according to our observations, even in
lack of diagnostic confirmation of endomyocardial
carnitine deficiency, oral L-carnitine therapy could
be reccomended in young dogs with familial CDM and
with highly motivated clients who wish to pursue every
treatment avenue.

I also checked my "archives" and found some good information you may want to pass on:
http://www.ginnie.com/gdlinks4.htm

Scroll all the way down to "Cardiomyopathy" and there is a whole bunch of useful information to be found.

If you order Pimobendan from the UK it's about half the price.

I ordered mine here: http://www.mastersmarketing.com/
It's a devestating disease and my heart goes out to you and your dog and I hope the diagnosis was made early on in the disease and can be brought under control somewhat so you have a lot of quality time still to spend together.
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Greetings,

Sabine and the Furgang
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  #4  
Old June 28th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Cardio -vs- Spinal Degenerative Myelopathy

I didn't realize there was a degenerative cardio myelopathy; Miss Maggie has degenerative spinal myelopathy. Some call it the equivalent of multiple sclerosis for dogs.

Sabine, is that what you were talking about regarding your Dane, or did your Dane have the cardio myelopathy?
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  #5  
Old June 28th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Oooooooooooops. I apologize. I'm in a daze this morning.......... I was reading DCM. My sincere apologies. Here I did all that research for you on an entirely different disease.
I'm embarrassed ! ! Now, after the tenth cup of coffee things seem a little clearer. Again - I'm sorry.

A friend of mine's shepherd hat DM and from what I remember it was very important to supplement with Vitamin B complex to improve the condition. Sorry, that I can't provide more useful information, but I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find a way to make your dog as comfortable as possible. (i.e. provide lots of carpeting; take her swimming.........etc.)
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Greetings,

Sabine and the Furgang

Last edited by Sabine; June 28th, 2008 at 09:58 AM.
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  #6  
Old June 28th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Big Dog Mom Big Dog Mom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabine View Post
Oooooooooooops. I apologize. I'm in a daze this morning.......... I was reading DCM. My sincere apologies. Here I did all that research for you on an entirely different disease.
I'm embarrassed ! ! Now, after the tenth cup of coffee things seem a little clearer. Again - I'm sorry.

A friend of mine's shepherd hat DM and from what I remember it was very important to supplement with Vitamin B complex to improve the condition. Sorry, that I can't provide more useful information, but I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find a way to make your dog as comfortable as possible. (i.e. provide lots of carpeting; take her swimming.........etc.)

Thank you, Sabine. I am taking Maggie to a specialist in Northern Colorado every other week now. This doctor is amazing, and is on the cutting edge in canine pain management and 'outside the box' therapies.

Maggie is getting hydrotherapy in a tub with a tread mill in it. Keeps the muscles remembering what they're supposed to do. She is also starting acupuncture and laser therapy.

Diet wise, I transitioned her to J/D, and she is also getting 800 IUs of Vitamin E a day. This is the first I heard about the Vitamin B complex, and I will ask her doctor about that this week. Thank you very much.

Luckily, everyone seems to think Maggie is not in pain. This is good part of this disease. But everything else sucks.

Do any of you have any other recommendations or experiences that I might be able to take something from?
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  #7  
Old June 28th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Sabine Sabine is offline
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Wonderful - you are already doing a lot of good things for your four legged friend. As far as the Vit. B complex goes, my friend claims that it basically helped over night to improve the dog's condition. Her shepherd lived with it for at least four years after diagnosis and she always emphasized that light exercise was crucial in fighting a rapid deterioration.

You may find some additional information here: ***click***
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Greetings,

Sabine and the Furgang
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  #8  
Old June 28th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Big Dog Mom Big Dog Mom is offline
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Vitamin B

I just came back from the drugstore, and there are so many different "kinds" of Vitamin B I left totally confused.

Sabine, do you know what your friend had, exactly, and the dosage?
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  #9  
Old June 28th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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satchelp satchelp is offline
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Big Dog Mom,

I have a good friend in the Boulder CO area that is certified in canine massage and works out of a canine rehab centre there. If you think that might help and want her contact information, please send me a private message.
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  #10  
Old June 28th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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Big Dog Mom Big Dog Mom is offline
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Satchelp, LOL, I can't figure out how to send you a PM... :-(

But yes, I would like the information, please.
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  #11  
Old June 28th, 2008, 10:08 PM
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satchelp satchelp is offline
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Hi Big Dog Mom,

No problem. I've created a temporary email account that you can use to reach me. Email me at djdawg222@gmail.com

She told me that they have several dogs in their practice with this condition. They do physiotherapy and swimming therapy in addition to massage. In any case, I can give you her phone number when you contact me.
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  #12  
Old June 28th, 2008, 10:27 PM
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Big Dog Mom Big Dog Mom is offline
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Satchelp, check your email. Thanks for the referral in advance. Right now, I'm traveling clear up to Windsor, Colorado, which is about an hour from me. Boulder is right next door.
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  #13  
Old June 28th, 2008, 10:50 PM
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satchelp satchelp is offline
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You're welcome. Hope this will work out for you and Maggie
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  #14  
Old June 28th, 2008, 11:17 PM
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rainbow rainbow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dog Mom View Post
I just came back from the drugstore, and there are so many different "kinds" of Vitamin B I left totally confused.

Sabine, do you know what your friend had, exactly, and the dosage?

This website says to use Vitamin B Complex and, because dogs with DM do not absorb B vitamins very well, to use B-50 or B-100.

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/dm3.htm


Did you check out the yahoo group to see what has helped other owners of DM dogs?

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/d...yelopathylist/
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  #15  
Old June 29th, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Big Dog Mom Big Dog Mom is offline
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Rainbow, yes, I did join the DM group on yahoo. Thank you. I'm still trying to figure out their interface and message boards - counter intuitive, IMO.

Thank you for the Vitamin B information. I'm gonna go buy some today for Miss Maggie, whose nickname right now is "Buglet". Don't ask why - no rhyme or reason.
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