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Degenerative Myelopathy  


Degenerative Myelopathy is the general medical term that refers to the disease of the dog's spinal cord or bone marrow. The condition does not have specific cause and may remain unidentified. While the disease can affect any breed and any age of dog, older animals are most often afflicted with the disease. Prognosis of this disease is not positive, as it is the degeneration of the animal's spinal cord, leading to loss of numerous bodily functions. 2 copies of this gene is believed to be needed for an animal to come down with DM.  Von Daily German Shepherds do a DNA test on our breeding dogs and will never breed if both parents carry a gene.  Your puppy should not be at risk for this disease.


Symptoms and Types


This disease affects the central nervous system of the dog and can progress to affect the cervical and lumbar portions of the spinal cord in later stages. Lesions are often present on the spinal cord. Neurons in the brain stem may also be affected by the disease. Here are some common signs of this disease:


  • Increased muscle atrophy and the inability to maintain posture

  • Partial or full limb paralysis

  • A loss of the ability to control defecation and urination

  • Exaggerated spinal reflexes

  • Loss of muscle mass

What Is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, especially in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well. In order to understand how the disease works, owners first need to understand the basic anatomy of the hip joint.

The hip joint functions as a ball and socket. In dogs with hip dysplasia, this joint fails to develop properly, rubbing and grinding instead of sliding smoothly. This results in deterioration over time and an eventual loss of function of the joint itself.

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

There are several factors that lead to the development of hip dysplasia in dogs, beginning with genetics. Hip dysplasia is hereditary and is especially common in large and giant breed dogs, like the Great DaneSt. BernardLabrador Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog. This genetic predisposition can be amplified by environmental factors, such as excessive growth, exercise, your dog’s weight and your dog’s nutrition.

Large and giant breed puppies have special nutrition requirements and need specially formulated large breed puppy foods. These foods help prevent excessive growth, which can lead to skeletal disorders like hip dysplasia, along with elbow dysplasia and other joint conditions. Slowing down these breeds’ growth allows their joints to develop without putting too much strain on them, helping to prevent problems down the line. Keep in mind, hip dysplasia is not limited to large or giant dog breeds.

Improper nutrition can also influence a dog’s likelihood of developing hip dysplasia, as can too much exercise – or too little. Obesity puts a lot of stress on your dog’s joints, which can exacerbate a pre-existing condition like hip dysplasia or even cause hip dysplasia. Talk to your vet about the best diet for your dog and the appropriate amount of exercise your dog needs each day to keep him in good physical condition.

Owners of small dogs are not off the hook either. Small and medium breed dogs can also develop hip dysplasia, although it is less common.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Some dogs begin to show signs of hip dysplasia as young as four months of age, while other dogs develop it in conjunction with osteoarthritis as they age. In both cases, there are quite a few symptoms associated with hip dysplasia that larger breed dog owners should be familiar with. These symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the disease, the level of inflammation, the degree of looseness in the joint, and how long the dog has suffered from hip dysplasia.


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