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  • DM in older GD Help

    I joined this forum when Roxy was just 8 weeks old and now she is approaching 11. The last few years she has battled aspiration pneumonia on and off. We have since had about a year long break form that thank goodness. Controlling her aspirations from acid reflux with Prilosec & now Reglan. Although she remains on an antibiotic daily as well as prednisone .We have taken her to internetist however the risk of putting her under for further testing of the exact cause doesn't really out weight the benefits at her age. The last couple of years she has started going down in the rear and urinating when sleeping (which is no biggie..I buy medical bed pads and wash them as well as her daily). After standing for a bit she starts the "sinking" look with the rear legs. She used to could go lay down for a bit and get back up nice and straight for a while before the sinking would start again. Now, however, her time before sinking is rather quickly after she gets up. She still is able to walk on her own although a bit wobbly at times. And she does occasionally turn her foot under and stand on her toes. She rights them but I KNOW IT SHOULD EVER EVER HAPPEN. We have had to sling her to get her up on the occasion. We have not done any MRI's at this point considering her age, stress it would cause, ect. It is assumed to be Degenerative Myelopathy from the classic signs. She does not to appear to be painful although I'm sure there is some discomfort in her stiff hips with arthritis. She was given Gabapentin to help with that but after 1 dose she was worse than before and the same with the 2nd dose ( she could hardly hold herself up at all and was dragging her feet worse than before, turning them under and standing on top of them more often ect). Once I stopped giving her that she went back to her normal self. I guess my question is has anyone tried CBD oil with any success? Do you have any suggestions to anything I can try to help assist her. I know there is no magic pill and I know this will only get worse but I'm hoping to prolong it as much as possible. I have research that exercise is good , buit hard when she can only stand a short period before sinking again. I have looked into "hock socks" a sort of splint to give support to the legs? I was thinking maybe trying this only for short walks to get in exercise? Any thoughts on that? I am open to all comments and suggestions.
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    Roxy & Ace

  • #2
    awww, sorry to hear your sweet girl is struggling. my olivia, who will be 13 in april (yup THIRTEEN and was diagnosed with a leaky aortic valve 2 years ago!), does much the same but so far, i haven't had to resort to using a sling. i've had to help her up off the laminate floor a few times but at 113#, i can lift her butt enough to get her going.

    i went through DM with my little corgi guy many years ago. is roxy actually dragging either of her legs/foot behind her? DM is a painless disease (not counting the usual arthritis in these older danes) but i really wonder whether or not this is, indeed, roxy's problem. DM progresses very slowly, simon lasted 18 months before his condition worsened to the point where quality of life was an issue. IF it's DM, none of my suggestions will help but i'd encourage you to look into them if you haven't already. here we go...

    for the past 2-3 years now, olivia has been getting monthly chiro adjustments and monthly acupuncture (same vet does both). i also started her on chondroprotec injections (sort of a generic adequan. it's an IM injection so i give it at home) 2 years ago and that's done a LOT to keep her mobile. i also give her cbd oil and she gets pure MSM sprinkled on her food. years ago, i purchased a small cold laser unit that i use at home. she gets a treatment almost every day and if i get busy and skip a couple of days, i can tell a difference in her activity. this unit was suggested by the chiro vet back when swee' pea (remember her?) was getting older. i have used it on several dogs for various reasons including acute pain and the time silly eden got herself cut on something out in the timber. it took surgery and 12 sutures to close that wound up. i lasered it every day for 10 days and i would defy anybody to find even a tiny scar!!

    as for the urinary incontinence, olivia has been taking DMS for about a year and i also started eden on proin a few months ago. the difference is dramatic! **knock on wood** neither of them has leaked a single time since starting the meds.
    [SIGPIC]

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    • #3
      She does indeed drag her back feet when walking (sometimes worse than others....kind of shuffles). She does turn her foot under when she walks and stands (standing on the top bent under.) She will correct it but it's a delayed reaction. When standing she holds her heels close for support and just starts sinking. WE have layed yoga mats thru the kitchen so it won't be slippery for her and we have carpeted our hardwood stairs just for her. I keep sheets and towles laying around all over in case I need to help her up. I have thought of the acupuncture but after disusing it with a couple of vet techs I know well they kinda feel that she was a little to far gone for it to really help. I don't know. I have thought of doing hydrotherpy but finding a place near me equipped to work with dogs her size may be an issue. I have also considered getting a chyropractor. From what I understand it's important to keep her mobile and moving so the muscles don't atrophy. I will get the MSM and search for a cold laser for at home use. And yes I remember Swee' Pea.

      We tried Proin on her but she had a terrible reaction to it. She was miserable and panted heavily all night, so the vet took her off of that ASAP. I think he didnt really want to do the DMS because she is so sensitve to meds. The train of thought right now for her is "less is best" when it comes to meds. I will most certianly revisit that with her vet though. For now I just wash pee pads everyday. lol

      And let me add to the mix......I just found out that Ace has oral melanoma. I got the 2 of them not too far apart (about 17 mo) but now it looks like they might leave together too.
      Last edited by mistified247; 01-10-2020, 01:59 PM.
      sigpic
      Roxy & Ace

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      • #4
        this is what i use. olivia gets 1/2 of the small scoop and the others get 1 full (small) scoop per day...

        https://www.amazon.com/AniMed-Pure-S...qid=1578698578

        sounds like roxy is just really sensitive to meds. what a bummer.

        i'm so sorry about ace. can it be treated? do they "stage" that sort of thing in dogs? when jorah was diagnosed with kidney failure, he was already at stage 4 so it was pretty hopeless from the start but i still wanted to try everything available. sadly, nothing helped.

        it does sound like symptoms of DM. it such an unforgiving disease. knowing it isn't painful almost makes it worse, if that makes any sense. *sigh*
        [SIGPIC]

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        • #5
          Thanks for the info. on the AniMed. I will be looking into that today. Also, what cold laser unit do you use? I'm wondering if any that can be bought for home use is even strong enough to make a difference. Then I need to research about using it on her being a pie bald. She does have some black patches of skin so that may be a real issue because from what I understand it should not be used on black skin because of burning. That may be better left to a trained professional in her case.

          I had set an appt with an oncologist for Ace to have it staged. However, there again after speaking to a couple of people I know that have worked in the vet field for years, I decided to cancel the appt. There is a series of shots that can be given to him that can possibly give him another 180 days or so I think they said. Then there is the traditional chemo. So given that info I decided that since he is already nine, realisticaly, how many more days can I buy him and at what price to him (feeling sick from treatment, being poked and prodded all the time ect). In one way I feel like I am doing the right thing letting him carry on as usual and treat symptoms as they come to keep him comfortable and at other times I feel like poop for not trying everyhting possible to save his life.

          In both cases (Rocy & Ace) my vet and his staff are 100% behind me on my descisions and are advising me with what info they have. In Roxy's case he is treating her to keep her comfortable since there is no cure for the DM or her asperation phnemonia (she is just to old to put under to try and correct anything) and last time she went under she almost died.

          Thank you for responding with some great ideas on supplements and therapy.
          Last edited by mistified247; 01-11-2020, 07:19 AM.
          sigpic
          Roxy & Ace

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          • #6
            My Piper has lots of issues standing and getting up now, some days worse than others.. She is on anti-inflammatories as needed but it is getting more often.. Sometimes she needs Tramadol along with them.. She has a lot of different things going on.
            sigpic
            Dale AKC CGC Evaluator
            Associate Member GDCNE
            Member GSPCA
            Member NAVHDA
            Member Central Maine Kennel Club
            High Hopes Great Danes & German Shorthairs

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            • #7
              Sounds like Roxy. Overall, she has been a pretty healthy dog but, has had issues with autoimmune type things. She is very sensitive to meds and vaccines. Matter of fact she wasnt vaccinated after her 1 yr set. Everytime she would have swelling in the front ankle joint after the shots. Stopped giving them and she never had it again. She stays on Pred. and Doxy to help hold back/down the phneumonia (don't know if thats a good idea or not but so far it has worked). She takes Prilosec and now Reglan for the acid reflux so she doesnt asperate. Tried Proin for the urinating but I thought she going to have a heart attack becuae of the effect it had on her. She is very stiff in the hips when she walks so we tried Gabapentin but that made her DM symptoms waaayyy worse. Now trying CBD oil instead. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws.

              Thank goodness Ace hasn't strated showing any symptoms from the oral melanoma. When he does, he will get treated the same way. I will do everything humanly possible to help him as long as he is willing to fight.

              It's so hard to look at her now remebering how she used to be wild with her zoomies and jumping in the air ect. She not just slowing down, she has the stumbling and the legs going out from under her (1 or 2 times) while standing to eat, turning the foot under, peeing when she sleeps and not just a dribble, dribbling when going up the staris, trouble getting up and down ect. However, I don't feel it's time to let her go because she still has that spark in her eye. And eventhough she cant stand but a min or so to play with her toys, she sits and still wants to play. Her appatite has been good up until the last few days. So, as long as she is still fighting I will fight for her. And I consider it my duty to wash pee pads, wash her down daily, help her up steps, ect.
              sigpic
              Roxy & Ace

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mistified247 View Post
                It's so hard to look at her now remebering how she used to be wild with her zoomies and jumping in the air ect.
                i can sure relate! about the only thing that gets olivia playful is a new horking pig. she still loves those silly things and i buy them often because they give her so much pleasure. she's getting more frail as the weeks and months go by and i know, with her heart disease and her age, our time together is limited. like you, i'll do whatever i must to keep her comfortable.

                [SIGPIC]

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                • #9
                  Oh my goodness.....Roxy loves her piggy. She has like 4 or 5 favorite toys and that's number 1. Matter of fact it stays on my nightstand for some reason. That's where she has always kept it. She will never take anything off of my tables, ect. so when she wants it she comes and stands in front of it and waits until I hand it to her. lol
                  sigpic
                  Roxy & Ace

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                  • #10
                    awwww, that's just adorable!!! olivia must have at least a dozen pigs in the dogs' toy box. some of them have lost their hork so she will search through them until she finds one that still has it. LOL
                    [SIGPIC]

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                    • #11
                      They are so funny! Roxy is on her 2nd piggy in about 5 years. She has had some of the same toys since she was 12 weeks old. She takes of them and is so easy when playing with them. Ace never has learned (liked) to play with toys. When my daughter brings her dog over Roxy's toys have to be put up because heaven forbid another dog touches them. lol

                      I did start Roxy on The MSM and she had been on CDB for a couple of weeks. I opted not to buy my own cold laser for her since she has black spots of skin. I read that it shouldnt be used on that because of burning.
                      sigpic
                      Roxy & Ace

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