What is degenerative myelopathy in dogs?
Myelopathy in dogs is a serious spinal cord disorder that can lead to a variety of motor and sensory problems. This disease affects the nerve pathways in the spinal cord, which are responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the body. Myelopathy can occur in various forms, including degenerative myelopathy, which is more common in older dogs.
Causes of myelopathy
The exact causes of degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs are varied. A genetic predisposition is suspected in degenerative myelopathy, with certain breeds such as the German Shepherd, Collie, Bernese Mountain Dog, Belgian Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Borzoi, as well as Weimaraner and Rhodesian Ridgeback being more affected. Other causes may include traumatic injuries, infections, tumors or impaired blood flow to the spinal cord.
Symptoms of myelopathy
Symptoms of myelopathy vary depending on the area of the spinal cord affected. Common signs include weakness in the hind legs, coordination problems, unsteady gait and, in severe cases, symptoms of paralysis. Behavioral changes and pain reactions may also occur.
Treatment of spinal cord damage
Treatment of myelopathy ranges from drug therapy, physical therapy to surgical procedures. Early diagnosis and specific treatment plans are crucial, but unfortunately the disease has no cure. Dogs with DM can live up to 4 years after the first symptoms appear and with good treatment. A wheelchair or carrying strap is helpful if the disease is advanced and can still offer dogs some quality of life in the company of people.
The importance of B vitamins in myelopathy
B vitamins play an important role in supporting nerve function and may be helpful in treating myelopathy. They contribute to the regeneration and protection of nerve cells and, in conjunction with other therapeutic measures, can alleviate the symptoms and, at best, slow down the progression.
When supporting dogs with myelopathy, we recommend our DOG FIT by PreThis® VITAMIN B complex. This contains a balanced blend of essential B vitamins, which can help support nerve health and improve the dog’s overall well-being.
Caring for a dog with myelopathy requires special attention and dedicated care. A balanced diet, regular exercise for as long as possible and the consideration of specific therapies and nutritional supplements can play an important role in the overall treatment strategy in order to best extend lifespan.
Note: This article is for general information and does not replace a visit to the vet. If myelopathy is suspected, a good veterinarian should always be consulted. Further information here.
Every day we experience the wonders of nature with our dogs. This inspiration is the basis for our lives and our products. In our magazine we share with you our passion for these wonderful animals. Visit our socials and become part of the DOG FIT community.