Overview

Degenerative myelopathy is a slow, progressive spinal cord disorder of unknown cause that is most commonly seen in aging German shepherds and a few other large breed dogs such as Belgian shepherds, Rhodesian ridgeback, collies and Weimaraners. There is currently no cure for degenerative myelopathy. Most dogs slowly deteriorate over 6 to 12 months becoming progressively weaker and more uncoordinated in the rear legs.

The cause of the condition is unknown, although it is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system begins to attack its own nerve cells. The age of onset is 5 to 14 years, with an average age of 9 years. Males are affected more than females.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Degenerative myelopathy is generally diagnosed by a thorough history and physical examination including a neurologic exam. Sometime x-rays or a spinal tap are recommended.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. There is no specific therapy for dogs with degenerative myelopathy. Some dogs can be helped with steroids, vitamins and other supplements.  Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.

 

What to Watch for*:

  • Difficulty rising
  • Stumbling
  • Knuckling of the toes
  • Loss of muscle in the rear legs
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.

 

Monday through Friday:

Walk Ins start at 10:00am, check-in starts at 9:00am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)

 

Starting Saturday, August 1st

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM

 

24 Hour Emergency Care:

 

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)366-3400

 

AVETS

4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA
(412)373-4200


VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)885-2500


Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue
(412)471-9855
WALK—IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM


North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd
(412)821-5600
WALK-IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

 

 

Contact Us

You have Successfully Subscribed!