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Old July 26th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Thumpy Thumpy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Innisfil, Ontario
Posts: 14
Degenerative Disc Disease


I made a thread previously that talked about the symptoms my dog showed. At that time I was not sure what she had but she shows the following.
- Some times loses balance and falls while walking (usually when tired).
- Back feet and nails or worn off because of her dragging her toes against the pavement when walking.
- Some loss of appetite, although she still asks for my food.

These are the symptoms, she did grow some bumps on her body in here lifetime, but we got them removed. Some new bumps have appeared recently and getting them removed is getting very costly and we've spent thousands and the past few months taking care of her different problems. It's sad to admit it, but she is getting old (turning 11 in December). Her name is Angel and she is certainly one. By the way, she's a German shepherd.

The problem began a few months ago after having her surgery on her belly to get an ugly bump removed. This was April, but we were getting worried sometime in June. We had her visit a wonderful vet, and she told us right away that it must be degenerative disc disease. It makes me cry since I knew some people who had dogs with the same problem.

I don't want this problem to get worse, and people keep telling me it will get worse. I pray for a miracle so that things get better. So please people, if you have any tips, let me know. I hate to keep her confined in a small area, but if that's really going to help then please let me know. Should I be walking her at all? The vet gave us medicine and supplements to help treat the problem but I need all the ideas I can get. Thank you everyone.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 01:09 PM
rainbow's Avatar
rainbow rainbow is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Beautiful BC's Kootenay Country
Posts: 34,757
I posted this in your other thread last night ...

I do not have any experience with degenerative disc disease either but here's some info .....


I agree with the advice the other posters have given you. As far as the glucosamine supplements I would get a reputable brand that also includes chondroitin and msm. I have a 95 lb yellow lab that gets 2 capsules twice a day with both his morning and evening meals.

Salmon oil is another good supplement to add. If the brand doesn't include vitamin e in it them you need to supplement that a few times a week as well.

The link TeriM gave you ( http://www.dogaware.com/kidney.html#protein ) has excellent information. I would definitely switch your dog to a grain free kibble and recommend Orijen ( http://www.orijen.ca/orijen/products/ ) or Acana Provincial ( http://www.championpetfoods.com/acana/products.php ).

Good luck and please keep us posted.

I know there are members here that have experience with DDD and will be able to give you more information.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 02:50 PM
Thumpy Thumpy is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Innisfil, Ontario
Posts: 14
Yes, I checked the links. Right now I'm feeding her Natural Balance, the Sweet Potato and Fish Formula. It's not cheap food, 85$ for a bag at Pet Valu. The Natural Balance website said that the Sweet Potato and Fish Formula is one of their grain free dog foods. She is on supplements and anti-inflammatories.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 10:42 PM
SnowDancer SnowDancer is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,900
A sling - or the Bottoms Up Leash to help hold up hind end. Keep away from stairs unless you carry pup up - same with bed/sofa etc. At this point a ramp won't help too much - you will have to do the heavy lifting. When you are not at home, it is possible to allow a bigger area of space because I suspect Angel will not try to move around too much - different when you are there. And of course a lot depends on the will of the dog - in the 2 cases I lived through - slightly different - Dachshund disc disease - both of my dogs were much younger, had the horrible surgery - but were very Alpha and determined to get from A to B to supervise me. A friend of mine has a very large breed dog with DDD and she manages much as I have suggested - careful with walks - just out to do business, take in the breeze, helps with rear end - just takes it a day at a time. Some physio but that depends on the dog. Be very careful to keep weight at low end. You will most definitely know if Angel starts to experience any sort of pressure on her spinal nerves - should that happen, please get her to the vet immediately - the longer you wait the harder it will be - on Angel and you. Best of luck. I know exactly how you feel.
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