What does DM mean in puppies?

  • Date: August 12, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

DM, or Degenerative Myelopathy, is a progressive neurological disorder that affects puppies and older dogs. It is a degenerative disease of the spinal cord that causes paralysis and ultimately leads to euthanasia. As a pet owner, it’s important to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment methods of DM in puppies so that you can make an informed decision about the best course of action for your pet if they are diagnosed with the condition. This article will provide an overview of what DM is, its causes, and the treatment options available.

What Does DM Mean in Puppies?

When it comes to selecting a puppy, prospective pet owners have many considerations to keep in mind. Of course, they need to consider the breed, size, and temperament of the puppy, but they should also pay attention to the puppy’s health. One health issue that is particularly important to consider is a condition known as degenerative myelopathy (DM).

What is Degenerative Myelopathy?

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive neurological disease that affects the spinal cord in dogs. It is a degenerative disorder, meaning that it gets worse over time. DM is caused by a mutation in a gene called SOD1. This mutation causes the cells of the spinal cord to break down and affects the dog’s ability to move.

Symptoms of Degenerative Myelopathy

The symptoms of DM vary from dog to dog, but some of the most common signs include loss of coordination, weakness in the hind legs, and loss of sensation in the lower legs. Some dogs may also experience changes in their gait, such as dragging their hind legs or knuckling their paws. In more severe cases, the dog may become incontinent or experience paralysis in the hind legs.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy can be difficult to diagnose in puppies, as the signs and symptoms may not be immediately apparent. To diagnose DM, the veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination and may order blood tests and imaging tests such as x-rays or an MRI.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for DM. However, there are treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for the dog. These treatments include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids.

Breeds Most at Risk for Degenerative Myelopathy

Although any breed of dog can be affected by DM, there are some breeds that are more at risk than others. These breeds include the German Shepherd, Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Boxer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Conclusion

When selecting a puppy, it is important to consider not only the breed and temperament of the puppy, but also its health. One health issue that potential pet owners should pay attention to is degenerative myelopathy (DM). DM is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord and can cause a wide range of symptoms, including loss of coordination, weakness in the hind legs, and loss of sensation in the lower legs. Although there is no cure for DM, there are treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for the dog. Certain breeds, such as the German Shepherd and Welsh Corgi, are more at risk for DM than other breeds.

Common Myths about DM in Puppies

Myth: DM stands for “Disease of the Mind” in puppies.

Fact: DM stands for “Degenerative Myelopathy,” which is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs. It is not a mental illness.

Myth: DM is contagious and can spread from puppies to other animals.

Fact: DM cannot be spread from one animal to another, and it is not contagious.

Myth: DM is exclusive to puppies.

Fact: DM can affect dogs of any age, breed, or size. It is most commonly seen in older dogs, but puppies can also be affected.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does DM mean in puppies?

Answer: DM stands for degenerative myelopathy, a spinal cord disorder that affects dogs, including puppies. It is caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord, which leads to the loss of muscle control and coordination.

How is DM treated in puppies?

Answer: Treatment for DM in puppies is typically focused on slowing the progression of the disease. This can include a combination of physical therapy, supplements, and medications. In some cases, surgery may be needed to help manage the symptoms of the disease.

Conclusion

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When selecting a puppy, it is important to consider the breed and temperament, as well as its health. Degenerative myelopathy (DM), a progressive neurological disorder, affects the spinal cord and can cause a wide range of symptoms. While there is no cure for DM, treatments are available to help slow the progression of the disease and improve the dog’s quality of life. Certain breeds, including the German Shepherd and Welsh Corgi, are more at risk for DM than others.

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