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Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs
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Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs

My 10 1/2 yr old Boxer began exhibiting signs of DM 2 weeks after gum surgery.  U of Missouri DNA test for DM came back positive.  We have been taking him 3x/wk for phys therapy including water treadmill, laser, & yoga ball strengthening.  I have been following Clemmons vitamins & minerals, however, I have been administering 1000 iu/day of Vit E.  I know Clemmons recommends 2000 iu/day in dogs w/DM but my vet is wary of this dosage.  What do you think?  Will it hurt him or cause any other conditions?  He weighs 70lbs.  I was told by a vet nutritionist that it can affect his vit K absorption and cause a coagulation problem.  Also, I am wondering what you think about the 2 drugs that Clemmons recommends from WestLab:  EACA & NAC?  Have they worked on any dogs?  I was reluctant to try them because our boxer always had a sensitive stomach.  But now that it has been 7 months since his symptoms began, his ataxia is getting worse.  I just got the Hold me Up Harness but am having difficulty deciding what wheelchair to order for him.  Any suggestions?  Eddie's Wheels seems to be good, but the chairs are cumbersome and heavy.  I liked the fact that the chair from Walking Wheels folds down and is adjustable, but I don't know if it is comfortable for the dog.  The harness looks like his weight is really hanging by the straps.  I am confused.  Anyone with experience with these carts would be greatly appreciated.  Should I start him on the 2 drugs from WestLab?
Thank you for any advice.
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This is a good question to post in the Ask A Vet expert forum.  It looks like you have a lot of medical details in your posting and I think the docs in the Ask a Vet section could handle this question best.

Good luck!
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
First I am SO sorry your great dog has DM.  It is a terrible disease and they never recover.  You will eventually have to make the hard decision to put him down.

But who knows when that will be?  I've seen stats the average life post diagnosis is 6 months.  You've past that.  

My own Corgie "Penny" had DM.  MANY Corgies have DM and the breeders are working hard on an answer as it is hurting their breed.  I used the Univ. of Fl (Clemmons) meds but not all of his other ancillary treatments.  I can say I though the two main formulations from WestLab did help her - and I'd say gave her an extra year and slowed the progression of the disease.  

I do not know about the Vit E dose.  It can be toxic, but my guess is he is looking more for short term relief as these dogs have limited life spans.  

I like Eddies Wheels and DogKarts.com.  Get him used to it now before he is totally dependent on it.  Yes they to eventually hand in the sling.  At first they can use and partially walk in it, but eventually will hang.  

Large dogs like yours are more difficult because of the practicality of taking him outside for 'business' and getting him in and out in the house.  

I wish you luck and I'm very sorry your great boy has this horrible disease.  
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