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5093Re: [MVDincavaliers] Request for information on weak hind legs

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  • Cheryl Gilbert
    14 Jun
      Hi Judith,
      There is a disease known as degenerative myleopathy (DM for short) that is somewhat common in cavaliers.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_degenerative_myelopathy)  It causes progressive weakness and lack of coordination of the rear legs, then the front legs and eventually the respiratory muscles.  It is akin to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease in humans.  I had a sweet cavalier named Daisy who died from it almost a year ago. 
      Daisy originally started walking like a drunken sailor.  Her case progressed fairly slowly.  She had difficulties for about two years and used a wheelchair from Handicapped Pets for the last year of her life.  We had to let her go when her front legs failed her. 
      This disease is more well known in other breeds like boxers but what I found out is that genetically it is fairly common in cavaliers.  Symptoms don't start until later in life, usually after age eight.  It is distinguished from degenerative disk disease by it's relentless, slowly progressive nature and painlessness.
      There is a genetic test which can help clarify things.  It is done by a cheek swab that the owner can send in.  It can be ordered from OFFA (www.offa.org).  The disease is autosomal recessive meaning that if the dog has only one gene they will not be affected but can produce affected puppies if bred to another carrier.  If a dog has both genes, they are considered at risk and if they are of the right age with appropriate symptoms it helps confirm the diagnosis.  Vets often do not consider this disease in cavaliers, in fact, my own vet did not but my research lead to the correct diagnosis.  (I am a family doctor.)
      There are herbal things out on the internet that are touted to be helpful but my research did not show anything to really be helpful other than supportive care. 
      If you need more information feel free to email me privately.
      Sincerely,
      Cheryl Gilbert



      From: "'Judithwm@...' judithwm@... [MVDincavaliers]" <MVDincavaliers@...>
      To: MVDincavaliers@...
      Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:35 AM
      Subject: [MVDincavaliers] Request for information on weak hind legs

       
      Hi Cavalier's Friends and Parents,

      Lately I noticed that my 11 years old Cavalier is uneasy and sometimes "wobbles" on his hind legs. He looks a bit week when he climbs on stairs and I am wondering if anyone experienced this behavior? Is there any supplement that could be useful for mitigating the "week hind legs"? Thank you in advance.

      Best regards,

      Judith W. Mills














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