Dogs are more than just man’s best friend. Today, we consider them as something more than just pets; they have become part of our family. Many of us have a deep bond with our dogs, and as much as we rely on them for comfort, protection and companionship, they too rely on us for their health and well being.
Among the many diseases that can affect our dogs today, none can vex them as much as Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy or Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) can. Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive and fatal disease that affects a myriad number of dog breeds today.
If your dog has been diagnosed or has been showing symptoms of DM, you might be finding yourself in a race against time, scouring information and looking for the most advanced and ultimately the best treatment before the disease’s devastating progression takes hold.
Canine Degenerative Myelopathy
There are many significant warning signs that may inform you ahead of time before the insidious onset of DM or other neurological problems occur. However, this does not save you from the fact that as you become more educated on DM and the various treatments, you’ll eventually learn the standard treatment options available to you such as steroids, neurological medications and others show minimal if any success.
As a matter of fact, conventional medicine clearly states that Degenerative Myelopathy is irreversible, incurable, and that there is no treatment that slows down its progression. You’ll also come across information that warns of the medications used today can and will in fact, cause adverse side effects which are completely unrelated to Degenerative Myelopathy after prolonged use.
The etiology of Degenerative Myelopathy remains vague even with the advent of DNA testing and genetic studies. Most medical practitioners agree that DM is an autoimmune disease but it’s safe to say a huge part of what this disease is, remains unknown. The parthenogenesis, especially during the early stages as well as the initial symptoms that DM produces closely resemble more common conditions. This is one reason why it’s so difficult to diagnose a dog with DM early on.
There is a DNA test developed by the OFA but it can only be used to detect the presence of the genes that cause Degenerative Myelopathy. For those not aware of this test usually find themselves chagrined going from one clinic to the next wasting both money and precious time. All in the hopes of knowing what is actually wrong and what treatment options can be used to ease the symptoms of this disease.
At this point, you need to understand that you are against a lot of odds but this is exactly why you need to open your mind and try to figure out what options are available. It’s in going back and forth and constantly coming to a dead end that you will realize that if you want to help your dog, you are going to have to stop wasting your dog’s precious time and start opting for a less conventional but more homeopathic approach to fight Degenerative Myelopathy.
There are new treatment methods available for DM, they have been in development in the last few years and many of them have been brought forth because of new research. Simply put, to say that they are unconventional may come as an understatement, but as strange or unrealistic as they may seem to be, it would be a lot more unrealistic for you to conclude first before you have tried the alternative option.
Our goal is to help you help your dog fight the devastating effects of DM. With the help of new information made recently available to us, we have narrowed down a list of what we feel, are some of the best treatment options available today. We want to help you ascertain the multitude of options that are readily available so your dog can get help as soon as possible.
Rest assured that much time and effort has been put forth into researching these treatments, even interviewing and polling our clients so that we can effectively narrow down all the options that are available to you. We hope that with the use of this information, you’ll be able to make a positive and informed decision towards the treatment, the health and the well-being of your dog.
In no particular order:
Acupuncture for Degenerative Myelopathy
Acupuncture is a well-established and vital part of Eastern medicine, it has been in use for more than a millennia and now it has earned the respect of the west in the treatment of their own health issues and even for the treatment of the health issues of their animals. Nowadays, acupuncture has garnered a high following from western dog owners who are looking for less conventional treatments for degenerative myelopathy.
Acupuncture for the treatment of DM is carried out by inserting long, hair-thin needles at the various pressure points along the dog’s spinal column. Energy is then channeled through stimulation towards the needles located at these pressure points. The energy that is being directed towards the key points will then remove the blockages of the normal flow of energy within your dog’s body.
In theory, acupuncture for dogs suffering from Degenerative Myelopathy should clear the blocked pathways that surround the spinal column and in-turn relieve some, if not all of the most common symptoms of the disease.
Over the years, we have had a number of customers recommending acupuncture to others. Many of our clients can attest to the fact that the acupuncture treatment has made a remarkable improvement in their dogs well-being. However, continued treatment is a must and routine visits on a weekly basis are necessary in order to get and maintain results.
Our viewpoint with regards to acupuncture is certainly one with much optimism; though we believe that every dog suffering from Degenerative Myelopathy will react differently to each and every treatment option currently available, we believe that it is possible for your dog to get a great outcome after the acupuncture treatment. On a statistical standpoint, recent polling with our clients who continued to use Sanus-Biotex together with continuous acupuncture treatments report a 64%-68% success rate in relieving the symptoms of DM.
We do express our belief that the success rate is significant enough to at the very least, deserve some consideration from you. Bearing in mind that clinical successes and even the slightest improvements in health are so rare when it comes to degenerative myelopathy and much thought out to be given at what the acupuncture results are clearly pointing out. Deciding on opting, or at least exploring more with regards to this treatment would definitely be a huge step towards your dog’s improvement, we suggest that you go ahead and pick up your phone and begin your search for solutions and answers at the nearest canine acupuncture clinic in your area.
Hydro Therapy for Degenerative Myelopathy
Among the many conventional treatments for DM, physiotherapy has been known to prolong the length of time that your dog will be able to use his or her limbs and also may increase the length of survival. Basically, hydro-treadmill therapy allows your dog to stay active and mobile while exercising, hydro-treadmill therapy is the use of an underwater treadmill which helps with the treatment of dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy by strengthening muscles as well as by re-educating the dogs muscles.
Used since the mid 70’s for rehabilitating race horses, hydro-treadmill therapy is a relatively new treatment for DM, but it is a well-documented fact that it may have promising results. Hydro-treadmill therapy is becoming more popular as a treatment for dogs with the disease and should be considered a viable option that could help slow down the progression of DM.
This alternative or complement weight-bearing exercise may also help slow the progression of various degenerative conditions. With the help of a belly sling and a safe, controlled environment; it can help re-strengthen a dogs muscles without adding any pain or pressure on the joints or spine. It also will help improve your dog’s flexibility as well as balance; dramatically improving the circulation around a dogs spine and hind-quarters. Hydro Therapy can also help control your dogs weight gain.
Therapeutic Dog Massage for DM
First of all, varying types of massages can cause varying effects on your dog’s body; you need to understand that your dog should have the right kind of exercise in order to get beneficial and therapeutic effects. Dogs which are suffering from degenerative myelopathy may not undergo any type of strenuous exercise or strain. Basically, they are not allowed to do certain activities which can cause them a lot of pain such as running and taking long walks, unfortunately, not allowing them to do so can actually result in an increase of tissue fluid from the legs to the heart.
Fortunately, with an increased circulation brought about by therapeutic massage, your dog can effectively negate the increase of tissue fluid as the massage is roughly equivalent to a thirty-minute brisk walk. So for dogs who are suffering from degenerative myelopathy and for dogs who are not allowed to go through rigorous exercise routines, the best alternative would be a therapeutic massage. On a side note, a very pleasant effect with regards to this treatment is that most dogs will actually enjoy it and will have a blast getting the extra love and attention.
Asking for the help of a specialized canine massage therapist with hands on experience in handling dogs with DM will be the best way for you to start the treatment. These therapists are skilled with the ability to stimulate the energy vectors surrounding the spinal column via the neuromuscular and meridian pathways.
If a skilled therapist is not available, you can opt to buy one of the numerous books and DVD’s available that will help teach even the most untrained person the correct techniques that can be used on their dog. Massage therapy from a professional therapist can do wonders! However, a massage done on your own is still a great holistic treatment for Degenerative Myelopathy and as such, your dog can greatly benefit from either or as long as it is done regularly.
Some other benefits of therapeutic massage include:
* We highly recommend that at the very least, you give this method a try. If you would like more information on the proper massage techniques one should use to help a dog suffering from DM, there is a myriad number of specialized books and or DVDs that can be purchased online for amazing results.
Below, you’ll find a list of dog massage books that teach you the exact techniques we use on our own dogs.
Pulsed Signal Therapy (PST) for DM
Pulsed Signal Therapy or PST is one of the more technologically advanced treatments that are available to fight Degenerative Myelopathy. Designed primarily for the treatment of osteoarthritis in humans, it is commonly employed for tendon or other types of ligament injuries.
Though much like Hydro-treadmill therapy in the sense that they are both newly utilized for treating various canine diseases. The concept is based upon the fact that each nerve membrane is surrounded by a unique electrical field which helps with the natural regeneration of nerve membranes. PST sends a pulsed signal which will reinforce these electrical fields, which promotes the repair of damaged cells and also to enhance the maintenance process.
In theory, the treatment revolves around the belief that if a nerve disorder is present, it can ultimately be attributed to a disturbance in the surrounding electrical field. PST works by isolating these disturbances and then by repairing the affected area by stimulating the surrounding healthy nerves and increasing a dog’s natural neuro-regeneration abilities.
PST is more commonly used in Europe, and it has yet to get an approval by the FDA for use in the United States. However, it may be something that you may want to keep your eyes on as it might be approved in the near future.
Our Research and Surveys
Treatments for Degenerative Myelopathy
In conclusion, we recently surveyed our customers from (2012-2015) and over 40% recommended acupuncture as their first choice for treating DM in-addition to our customized supplement program, Sanus-Biotex. Our research agrees with them but at the same time, we also recommend a bi-weekly massage should be carried out as well.
We do hope that that the information on this page gave you adequate insight with regards to your dogs needs. In upcoming articles we will be featuring important information regarding specific diets and supplements that have been successfully used for Degenerative Myelopathy.
Degenerative Myelopathy no longer has to be this unbeatable foe. If your dog has been diagnosed with DM and you are worried about his or her declining health, we strongly suggest that you look for a product that has been successfully used, approved and is trusted by thousands of dog lovers around the world.