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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9
    1. #1
      nodan7's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 2015
      boynton beach, florida
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      Question Degenerative Myelopathy?

      Our 13 year old yellow lab is exhibiting unusual symptoms which, having researched online, we think may be the early stages of Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). While being walked, Crockett will suddenly collapse with his hind legs giving out first. He will lie prone and will unintentionally poop while in this position. He is unable to stand during these episodes. This started about three weeks ago and occurs about once a day. We have also noticed heavy panting just prior to one of these 'attacks'. Crockett was diagnosed with cancer in the chest region and operated on about two months ago. At that time the doctor was unable to remove all the cancer because it was wrapped around arteries. The oncologist advised that since Crockett is a geriatric dog and, at that time, showed no signs of being uncomfortable, should be left alone and let nature takes its course. We do not believe that the current symptoms are related to the cancer but we may be wrong.
      Has any one had a similar experience with their beloved pet?
      Thank you for your input.

    2. #2
      nodan7's Avatar
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      Sep 2015
      boynton beach, florida
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      Oh! I forgot to mention that during these 'episodes' the underside of Crockett's ears are red inflamed red. Otherwise, his ears are soft pink. He does not show any signs of pain, no whimpering, etc. Thank you!

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
      Maxx&Emma's Avatar
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      May 2014
      SE, PA
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      First of all, welcome. I am sorry something so sad has brought you here.

      The little bit I know about DM it does sound very possible. However, I am hardly a veterinary professional and I have never had a dog with this. There are some very knowledgeable members here, I am sure one of them will be able to give you better guidance than I could. Have you talked to your vet about this? That would definitely be my first step.

      Sending good thought for your sweet boy.
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      Ozzy - 10/2002 - 06/2011 - Rest well my sweet boy. You are forever remembered, forever missed, forever in my heart.

    4. #4
      Senior Dog
      SunDance's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Ellicott City, MD
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      The panting could also be from the fear experienced just prior to a seizure...petit mal in your case. Losing ability to stand, bowel/bladder incontinence, are also aspects of seizure. Red ears could indicate heat generated by fear...but internal overheating is also one of the causes of seizure. If your boy is experiencing any pain due to his condition, he could easily be overheating/fearful and triggering seizures. (been there with two yellows myself)

      If you're feeding him kibble, you might want to try canned/home cooked, using cool/neutral protein sources (Google Traditional Chinese Medicine food temperature values) because kibble and warm sources contribute heavily to internal overheating.

      Good thoughts go out to you.

      And I just noticed that you're in Florida...that doesn't help any. Keep him cool outside to the extent possible...limiting walks in duration and time of day. The reason my first Lab was rehomed was because his owner was moving to Florida and knew Brutus couldn't handle it. Bru was my first yellow to have the problem and his first seizure occurred on a short walk when it was relatively cooler on a Summer day.
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    5. #5
      Chief Pooper Scooper
      JenC's Avatar
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      May 2014
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      DM is not that common in labs, though it can happen. You maybe be seeing some form of hind end weakness from larengeal paralysis instead. The LP can cause lots of panting. I know with Hudler it did. Trouble breathing, trouble drinking.

    6. #6
      Senior Dog
      Annette47's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Central NJ
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      My neighbor’s lab had DM, but if I remember correctly the weakness etc came on more gradually. As Jen C said, it could be from LP or as Barb suggested even a seizure, although I would guess if so it would be more from the cancer having spread to his brain than from over heating. We lost Mulder to what we think was a brain tumor, and most of his seizures looked more like a bad muscle spasm in his back than anything else - he only rarely did the typical feet kicking thing. Your best bet is to talk to your vet - perhaps if you can video one of the “episodes” it would be helpful in figuring out what is going on. Hoping it is something that can be treated to give you more time with your baby.

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, CD, BN) 6/4/2015
      Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition, CD, BN) 6/4/2015

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    7. #7
      Best Friend Retriever
      outrag's Avatar
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      Mar 2015
      Mass and NH
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      I would concur with the LP diagnosis with rear end Polyneuropathy. It's very common in Labs and the two don't have to go together and they can take a while to progress. My late Lab had the breathing problems for a couple years I would say without too much impact on his daily life. The rear end condition however, folding over of the rear paws, was the start of the real problem. It does mimic DM, which is very common in German Shepards. PT may help build up the rear end, along with medications, etc. Good Luck to you. Many of us have been there.
      Griffin growing up!

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      Yukon My Wonderful Yellow Lab 11/20/06 - 03/12/19 Will cherish the memories!!!!
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    8. #8
      Real Retriever
      Moby and Barley's Mom's Avatar
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      Jul 2014
      Napa, California
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      Oh gosh - I totally sympathize. At this point - my Moby is sort of falling apart bit by bit. I thought I was going to have to put him down a month ago due to a reaccurance of a cancerous growth that had gotten enormous and bleeding all the time. Prednisone did the trick - and he turns 14 tomorrow. Panting may be a sign of pain - and I think at this age - their hind legs start to get really weak. Even though Moby still goes to the large dog park we have here in Napa almost every day - and makes it up hills, etc. the muscles are just degenerating - and it is hard for him to get up now. I do not know anything about the disease you mentioned - but I do not that it has got to be enormously distressful to watch it while it happens. I am so sorry.
      Forever in my heart - Sweet gentle Moby - lover of belly rubs, bacon, and Barbara 9-10-2001 to 11-2-2015

    9. #9
      House Broken
      bearbuddymarie's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Thanked: 59
      My 14 yr old yellow boy Buddy was diagnosed with LP a few years back.
      There is the panting and pacing, especially in hot weather, stressful situations
      and evening/middle of night.
      He also has had hind end weakness for a few years too. He has been doing PT
      on a underwater treadmill and chiropractic adjustments which have helped
      I also walk him every day to stave off the muscle loss.
      He is on gabapentin for nerve pain and meloxicam for anti inflammatory.
      I also have him on many supplements.
      He puts his rear legs in the strangest position where he cant get up, I
      recently bought this harness, and it has helped immensely with me helping
      him get up. I bought a cheaper one first and he would just freeze, wouldnt
      move. He also poops without knowing it, usually laying down, sometimes
      while he is walking.
      Help Em Up Dog Harness | Hip Dsysplasia | Dog Carrier

      He also has Canine cognitive dysfunction, which I give Cholidin, and am
      looking into melatonin to help his middle of the night anxiety sessions
      where he paces and pants and wanders into the bathroom where he cant
      stand since it is ceramic tile. He was prescribed Xanax but doesnt seem to
      I know this hasnt answered your questions, just adding my experience with
      my old guy.
      Its hard to see

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