Max has started dragging his back feet.

Posted by: Charlotte

Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/08/10 05:53 PM

At the young age of 11, Max has started to drag his back feet. He is losing muscle mass in his back legs, (according to our vet this is normal for an aging dog). But his dragging if his feet has started to wear down the 2 middle nails on both back feet - to the point that there is only small "nubs" left. No bleeding but he does not like his paws touched, which I completely understand.

What has other people done in this situation? He still walks about 3 miles a day and is very happy to do so, but I am wondering if we should make him wear boots on his paws to help protects his nails a bit...or?? And if boots is the solution what kind should we be looking for??
Posted by: Chicago Canine

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/08/10 06:08 PM

Personally I would look into exercises you can do to help improve the muscles in the back legs. I did water treadmill therapy with my older dogs and the vet we went to for that also did acupuncture and chiropractic which can help too. She also showed us exercises that would help with their muscle mass, balance, and proprioception.
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/08/10 08:24 PM

Wow it is cool he is still walking that far! My Max has also worn down his nails by dragging his back feet but he also has Spondylosis. He can't walk very far any more and when we do take him we keep to grass.
Posted by: Crooked Creek

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/08/10 09:13 PM

Tasha is 10 and has Spondylo as well. This year her rear legs have really lost muscle tone and she is dragging her feet a lot, wearing down the nails. She walks many miles like your dog and she also swims a lot in the creek. We have not tried any covering on her toes but I have thought about doing it as well. Although with her/our lifestyle I don't know that they would really work out very well. I'd appreciate any input/thoughts/experience about this as well. She walks mainly on grass here at our place with some gravel roads.


Here you can really see I caught the rear legs dragging.


She is definitely NOT a hock walker so that is not what is happening here.
Posted by: SunCzarina

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/08/10 10:06 PM

Lisa posted something something a while back, I think it was low incline hills being good for building rear leg muscle mass. Last week when I cut Morgan's nails, I notice her middle toes in the back looked extra worn. Her whole life she's walked on those toes, they haven't needed to be cut in a very long time. Now you've got me thinking I need to watch her a little more when she's out - most of her walking is on concrete.
Posted by: Kris

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/08/10 10:19 PM

It's wonderful he walks that far still. I swear the exercise is what keeps them going. When my Max started dragging his one foot (his problem was also in his back), I got him these boots:

http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex?sc=2&category=11

He only wore them on one foot and only when we went for walks. He didn't mind a bit and it kept him from getting sores on the top of his foot. One boot lasted about two months.

The other thing that made a big difference for him was acupuncture. We did that for about a year and a half. He had gone to three hydrotherapy sessions when we lost him. The hydrotherapy really helps to rebuild muscle and strength.

Hoping that Max continues his long walks - that's terrific!
Posted by: DnP

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 07:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Kris
It's wonderful he walks that far still. I swear the exercise is what keeps them going. When my Max started dragging his one foot (his problem was also in his back), I got him these boots:

http://www.ruffwear.com/Barkn-Boots-Grip-Trex?sc=2&category=11

He only wore them on one foot and only when we went for walks. He didn't mind a bit and it kept him from getting sores on the top of his foot. One boot lasted about two months.

The other thing that made a big difference for him was acupuncture. We did that for about a year and a half. He had gone to three hydrotherapy sessions when we lost him. The hydrotherapy really helps to rebuild muscle and strength.

Hoping that Max continues his long walks - that's terrific!


I am another who fully supports acupuncture. Now granted, Dakota had DM, but it did make a huge difference for him.

I found the ruffwear boots did not work for us...too stiff and uncomfortable for Dakota. He put up with the Muttaluk boots much better. I found the leather that was on the bottoms and tops held up a decent amount of time, even in the snow/wet conditions. However, I did put duck tape on the the tops of the feet to extend their life. Here are the boots:

All Weather Muttluks
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 09:23 AM

I had apair of these some years back and they lasted about one week. I could never get Max to wear them so I gave up and gave them away.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 09:27 AM

Thank you so much hugging for all the great input. We do walk a low incline hill almost ever night but unfortunately it's all pavement. Living in the city has it's disadvantages for an old dog. We do try to get him to the park once a week so he can walk the trails (and for a change of scenery).

I will look into the water therapy, and also acupunture. Also thinking that I should also take him back to the vet for another check up. It was not that long ago he was in but I am thinking that may not hurt to have him looked at again.

We will keep up with his walks for as long as we can. We also firmly belive that the walks is what keeps him going - and of course the other dogs. He wants to participate so we will keep going.
Posted by: DnP

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 12:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Charlotte
We will keep up with his walks for as long as we can. We also firmly belive that the walks is what keeps him going - and of course the other dogs. He wants to participate so we will keep going.


I agree with you that walks are what keep him going. I know Dakota, bless his heart, LOVED going for walks, even near the end when that consisted of barely going to the end of the road and back (about 100 yards total). He got all excited when I grabbed his leash.

The beauty about the acupuncture is that it treats more than the physical. I poo-poo'd acupuncture until I saw what it did for Dakota. Not saying that every dog will respond to it like he did, but it made a believer out of me.

Lots of hugging to you. Sometimes it is tough watching our old guys struggle.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 12:46 PM

Big thumbs up for both acupuncture and hydrotherapy - I use both for my Max.

Indy had periods of paw knuckling - there's a thread about it somewhere here on the forum. Chiropractic care helped a lot.

Towards the end I also added a touch of ginkgo (had to be careful of her heart), and that seemed to help her circulation. I'm also a big believer in Alpha Lipoic Acid for nervous system issues, and scullcap for acute pain flair-up.
Posted by: Woodreb

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 02:07 PM

I can't agree more about the chiropractic care and acupuncture. We've been doing that for Aodhán ever since I saw her knuckle a rear foot a few months back. It's made a world of difference for her and she's much more energetic and playful than she had been for a while. (Admittedly, I think I caught her problem pretty early.)
Posted by: Chicago Canine

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/09/10 02:17 PM

I forgot to add, the things I mentioned were what we did with my Golden who had spondylosis and DJD and at 11 she was also walking 2-3+ miles a day; and also with my terrier who had arthritis.
Vets who saw my Golden as she got older and her spondylosis got worse could hardly believe it was that bad until they looked at the x-rays, because she moved so well. My vet said a lot of that was due to keeping her exercise level up. We also did supplements and the acupuncture, chiro and hydrotherapy as I mentioned...
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/11/10 11:38 AM

Max used to be on Rimadyl for arthritis and bad elbows, but we switched all that around earlier this year to use only supplements and that made a huge difference for him. His current daily combo is Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Ester-C and Fish oil. And we have the full support of our vet in doing this for him, she really likes the improvements she has seen in him since we started this. And of course, she really likes that we keep him active.

I have found a couple of places around here where they do acupunkture and I will get something set up for Max next week. Also ordering him some boots smile

Thanks again for all the great suggestions. I will update on how we are progressing.

From this past summer - hard to tell since he is standing in water but his rear end is starting to "sink a bit" . Will get some better ones this weeked.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/11/10 01:33 PM

Sounds like you have done great with him so far, glad you are trying the acupuncture too!

I hate that "sinking hind end". I see it here in my Max too. He has some significant back issues.

Looking forward to positive updates!
Posted by: Tessa's Mom

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/11/10 03:35 PM

Sending big hugs hugging to Max... he is really a very distinguished older gentleman!
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/12/10 02:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Tessa's Mom
Sending big hugs hugging to Max... he is really a very distinguished older gentleman!



Thank you. I will tell him you said so wink
Posted by: SunCzarina

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/12/10 10:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Chicago Canine
My vet said a lot of that was due to keeping her exercise level up.


I'm wondering about slowing down the pace a bit - maybe more mileage at a slower speed?

Since reading this last week, I've been watching Morgan's motion more carefully when we're out. She's starting to hop or bounce a bit on her back toes when she's walking fast. If we go slower, she floats like she always used to.

LOL not that it would be a bad thing for Otto to make him walk a little slower. Beast still tries to walk me. Step step, foos, step step, foos.
Posted by: shepnterrier

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 11/14/10 03:20 PM

Vinyl nail caps prevent injury to the nail and prevent wearing down to the quick when the dog drags the paw: http://www.softpaws.net/

Feli's rehab vet recommended them, and they worked well. Had to replace them ca every 6 weeks. Easy to do, not expensive. When I ordered the wrong size at first, the company exchanged immediately, very helpful. The caps were developed to keep dog nails from scratching and have been re-purposed by rehab vets.

Once they are on, the dog doesn't notice them anymore. Much better than boots for that purpose.

Physical therapy and acupuncture were very helpful, too.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/01/10 03:16 PM

Max adjusted to wearing his boots like a champ, but he has already worn a whole in one. I also noticed a "bump" on his spine, like the spine is curving upwards in the middle of his back. Any thoughts on this??
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/01/10 06:22 PM

This sounds like it could be Spondylosis maybe.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/01/10 10:00 PM

He does not seem to be in any pain. Just as happy as always. Just a bit scary since he seems to be getting worse in a rather rapid pace frown ..or perhaps I only think he is since I am now paying much closer attention to him. Going to the vet on Monday morning, hopefully she can shed some light on what is going on.
Posted by: GraciesMommy

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/01/10 11:07 PM

I agree with Kathy. Awww...this just stinks, C. hugging
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 04:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Kayos
This sounds like it could be Spondylosis maybe.


I think that's exactly what that is. My Max has this too, and the hunched part is exactly where there are bony changes on the xray.
Posted by: kutzro357

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 07:23 AM

Get a good diagnoses because there are two main possibilities (DM) Degenerative Myelopathy or Spondylosis. The DM is autoimmune sort of like MS and can be treated not stopped. Either way early diagnoses is important.
Posted by: Crooked Creek

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 08:14 AM

Ditto to symptoms my Tasha with Spondo
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 09:32 AM

My Max has had Spondo for almost 6 years and has done well. It is not a death sentence and there are things you can do for any discomfort.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Kayos
My Max has had Spondo for almost 6 years and has done well. It is not a death sentence and there are things you can do for any discomfort.


Thank you for saying that. It's so hard to see them age and notice things getting harder for them.

But despite his issues - he still manages to get into a bit of trouble..he was trying to stealing food of the kitchen counter last night. Which DH promptly rewarded by giving him a pice of the food he was trying to steal eyeroll
Posted by: Tessa's Mom

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 11:06 AM

Bad DH! nono

I am sure Max enjoyed his reward!
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 02:08 PM

Actually, there is no reason it couldn't be both. However, with pro-active care, there are lots of things you can do.
Posted by: Chris Wild

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 02:28 PM

So sorry to hear about Max. I agree it sounds like spondylosis, but x-rays would be needed to verify that. The boney hump on the back is classic signs though, as that is common with the arthritic bridging of the vertebrae.

And I agree, not a death sentence at all and it can be managed. Joint supplements did help a lot for sure. Kali was diagnosed with spondylosis at 6, and according to the x-rays the vet at that time was astonsihed at her lack of symptoms then. We'd noticed some subtle hackling at the base of her tail when playing and that was what prompted the x-rays, which showed half of her spine almost completely fused already. Looking at the x-rays the vet was surprised she was walking, much less running after balls.

It didn't start to really bother her until closing in on 12yo. That's when she started having trouble getting on and off the couch, or going up and down stairs on occasion, and the muscles in the back end started to atrophy and she would occasionally drag her hind feet. And by then she had a back that had such big boney bumps along her spine, from neck to tail, she sort of looked like an alligator. From the first minor signs of problems and diagnosis, and first little humps on her spine, to when it really bothered her was many years and she lead a pretty normal, active life. So with it not developing until much later, I'm sure Max will be fine for quite a while yet under your care and management.

Hugs to you and Graham and the pack and hoping for the best for Max.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 03:44 PM

Thank you Chris. Luckily those arthritic changes in the bony hump aren't yet severe.

What do you mean by "hackling at the base of her tail"? Max has a lot of low back issues too, I've been thinking cauda equina syndrome frown . His xrays weren't under anesthesia, so it's not clear what is going on in the low back.
Posted by: RileyAnna

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 04:07 PM

My Riley has cauda equina and so far is getting around fine. Had a vet visit last week, and the vet was happy to see that he was still doing well and not showing any further symptoms. He was diagnoised under anesthesia last Nov. Also read where some vets lump spondylosis and cauda equina all together rather than separating them out as individual problems.
Posted by: Chris Wild

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa

What do you mean by "hackling at the base of her tail"?


When running, and especially if doing lots of stops and turns like when playing ball, the hair at the base of the tail in the croup area (where tail attaches to body) would stand on end. This is often a symptom of spinal problems. A dog we had years ago, Ron, had cauda equina and did this which is when we learned it was a possible warning sign. So when Kali started doing it out of the blue one day, and it persisted for a few days so we thought it might be more than a light tweek, in for x-rays we went.

Now it doesn't *always* indicate back issues, as I've known some dogs who do it out of excitement or who knows what reason who were thoroughly checked and x-rayed and had no problems. And I'm sure there are some dogs with back issues who don't do it. But if a dog does start doing it, it's a good idea to have the back checked out.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 04:30 PM

Interesting, good to know. My Max has a "divot" in that area, and behind that, closer to the tail, it "poofs" a bit. Sounds like it's related probably.

Thanks!
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/02/10 04:32 PM

Originally Posted By: RileyAnna
My Riley has cauda equina and so far is getting around fine. Had a vet visit last week, and the vet was happy to see that he was still doing well and not showing any further symptoms. He was diagnoised under anesthesia last Nov. Also read where some vets lump spondylosis and cauda equina all together rather than separating them out as individual problems.


Whatever Max has, it is causing him a lot of discomfort. There is a protocol where an anti-inflammatory is injected directly into that area. It's also supposed to be partly diagnostic. *If* it helps, it's pretty definite that the problem is there. That's on my list of things to try.

I'm so glad that Riley is doing well, these spinal issues are so frustrating!
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/04/10 02:57 PM

I had bought some mucklucks for Max a few weeks back. He had worn a small hole in one of them after about 1 week of use. We figured we can tape it up a bit to make it last. But last night we put a brand new boot on and by the time we were done with our walk, we walked about 2.5 miles, he had worn a hole in the new one. I think I will need to find some sturdier boots for him.
Posted by: LJsMom

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/04/10 05:24 PM

LJ has the Ruff Wear Barkin Boots with the heavy duty rubber bottoms. She's been wearing them for several months and they were worn by Wooly Bear before her, just starting to see wear on the bottoms.
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/04/10 05:48 PM

Great advice from the experts, no words of wisdom here except to say that I hope Max improves. Sean sends special thoughts and lots of hugs. hugging
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/06/10 11:58 AM

Back from the vet - we were told it's not spondylosis.

The bone part that I am seeing and feeling is actually part of his spine. As his muscles atropy the spine start protruding more and part of it is his conformation. He has lost 3lbs since his last vet appoint and it's all due to atrophy.
My vet said DM frown
Posted by: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/06/10 12:12 PM

Gah. I am sorry.
hugging
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/06/10 03:50 PM

Thank you. Not sure what is next frown
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/06/10 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Charlotte
Back from the vet - we were told it's not spondylosis.
My vet said DM frown


I'm so sorry for Max and you. Thinking of both of you and sending hugs. hugging
Posted by: Jane Jean

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/06/10 09:23 PM

I'm so sorry Charlotte.
Posted by: bianca

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/07/10 08:06 AM

hugging I am so sorry
Posted by: Sylv

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/07/10 08:27 AM

hugging
Posted by: PositiveDog

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/07/10 09:43 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this. Hugs to you and Max. hugging
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/07/10 10:54 PM

Thank you. We will keep him going for as long as we can, or perhaps I should say, for as long as he wants. We are hoping that it will be slow in progressing, but with the rate it has moved so far we are not too sure. frown
Posted by: Kris

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/07/10 11:21 PM

Charlotte,
I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. It’s everyone’s worst fear… There is a DM support group and a website with lots of information:

http://www.mzjf.com/main.htm

There’s also a Yahoo DM group:

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/degenerativemyelopathylist/

I love what it says on there. “Remember, there IS life after a diagnosis of DM. It's just a little different.”

Sandy's (AgilePaws) Starine is using a cart and doing well with it. Check out her avatar!

Hoping for the best for your Max… hugging
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has DM :-( - 12/08/10 12:55 AM

I am so sorry, this really really sucks hugging


Originally Posted By: Charlotte
Not sure what is next frown


Clemmons has a supplement protocol out there that some have reported good success with. I have also thought that the supplement Alpha Lipoic Acid should help prevent further deterioration of the nervous system.

There is some information here: http://www.germanshepherdhome.net/forum/....html#Post48612
Posted by: kutzro357

Re: Max has DM :-( - 12/08/10 05:44 AM

DM is an auto-immune disease. No totally unlike MS in humans. There is some meds that will slow it down. Find a veterinary universality for info and watch the far out info on the net.
I have a PF dog and wasted a lot of time looking for solutions. A University of Pennsylvania vet helped me.

Sorry to hear about the diagnoses.
Posted by: shepnterrier

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 12/08/10 12:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Charlotte
I had bought some mucklucks for Max a few weeks back. He had worn a small hole in one of them after about 1 week of use. We figured we can tape it up a bit to make it last. But last night we put a brand new boot on and by the time we were done with our walk, we walked about 2.5 miles, he had worn a hole in the new one. I think I will need to find some sturdier boots for him.


Instead of boots, I recommend the nail caps again that I posted about earlier in this thread. In contrast to boots, they do not bother the dog at all, they last about six weeks, and they cost far less. They come in a package of 40, and a senior who drags the hind legs typically needs the two middle toes capped. So one box of 4o nail caps lasts over a year, at a cost of 20 bucks or so. Feli was very happy and comfortable with them. They come in different sizes, you cut the length to fit your dogs nails' length, and glue them. When they are worn, they can be taken off easily, and replacement caps fitted. Of course I used the clear nylon, no pink or blue nail caps on my beautiful dog (or on me)!

The nail caps work as long as the dog's paws don't knuckle over, then the upper side of the paw scrapes. Then boots are inevitable, but until then I went with the nail caps. When it comes to boots, Feli's rehab vet recommends these:

Booties specifically 'for dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy, Spondylosis, Arthritis or other clinical problems leading to paralysis of the spine' and who drag their paws: http://www.tammyandteddys.com/products.php
I also posted them in the Stickie that Lisa created on 'Harnesses and Boots':
http://www.germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/5854/2.html

I am so sorry to hear about Max' problems. My best wishes to you and your dog.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - 12/08/10 02:13 PM

Thank you to all of you hugging

He does knuckle over, not all the time but enough to have to use boots. I will check out the ones you recommend.

On a good note - Max did his regular 2.5 mile walk last night, a little stiffer then normal, but it is unseasonaly cold here in DC. We came home and Max asked to be let out in the yard, and Eyra went with him - he proceede to initate play with her and they were out wrestling around for a good 10 minutes. That but a big smile on my face smile
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - 01/07/11 02:06 PM

Max is not having a good day today. He walked 2 blocks from the house and that was it. He turned around and started walking back home, not caring that Eyra and D was continuing forward. DH stopped and let him rest for a while and we caught up with them about 10 minutes later. Max was still walking slow and panting rather hard for such a slow walk. frown

He still has a sparkle in his eye, but he tires very quickly, and we have noticed that his hearing is not all that good. He has started falling over every now and then when he turns around. We also had some skin issues a few weeks back but we switched his food and that seemed to have taken care of that.
Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Max has DM :( - 01/07/11 02:26 PM

I'm sorry that Max is having more trouble walking. It is heartbreaking when they go downhill like that. hugging

Have you looked into a cart?
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - 01/08/11 09:40 AM

Originally Posted By: BowWowMeow
I'm sorry that Max is having more trouble walking. It is heartbreaking when they go downhill like that. hugging

Have you looked into a cart?


We have started researching carts but we are not "there" quite yet. Hopefully he will continue to walk on his own.
Posted by: Woodreb

Re: Max has DM :( - 01/08/11 10:41 AM

If you're thinking about a cart, I've read that getting it while they can still walk to some extent makes it easier for them to adapt to the cart.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 02:04 PM

I think it is time for an update on Max. His dragging of his left back foot has gotten worse, and he has lost a lot of muscle mass in his back legs. We can no longer do our 2 miles walks, he just does not have the stamina any longer. But we try to do about 1 mile every day, but he cannot walk with any of the other dogs anymore since he can't keep up frown. So we do the slow leisurely walk through the neighborhood every evening and we stop when he wants to for a breather and to meet people.

I have noticed that going up and down the stairs is becoming increasingly difficult, or it seems starting off is the problem and once he gets going he is ok. But he is still the same goofy dog, playful and mischievous. I bought him some puzzles to keep his mind going and he seems to enjoy it (or rather the food that is hidden in them) and he stills wrestles with Eyra on occasion in the yard.
Posted by: BowWowMeow

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 02:27 PM

I'm sorry to hear that Max is slowing down more. Do you have a good harness for him? I used a harness to get Chama up and down the stairs. It made a HUGE difference because neither she nor I had to worry about her falling.
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 02:34 PM

Oh dear. I am sorry to hear Max is slowing more. I second the harness. I had the Ruffwear harness for my Max and it gave him a lot of support.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: BowWowMeow
I'm sorry to hear that Max is slowing down more. Do you have a good harness for him? I used a harness to get Chama up and down the stairs. It made a HUGE difference because neither she nor I had to worry about her falling.


He took his first tumble down the stairs this morning, scared me more then him I think. I had not considered using a harness, so thank you, that is an excellent idea and will give me peace of mind. I do have a nice leather harness with a handle on the back that should work great for helping him up and down the stairs.
Posted by: GraciesMommy

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 03:41 PM

C, I have this for Gracie and love it!!!!! http://www.ruffwear.com/Web-Master-Harness I think it is softer and has more room in it than a leather harness (tho yours may be just fine, this is only what I have experience with). hugging to all of you!!!!!!
Posted by: Tessa's Mom

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 05:26 PM

I stopped breathing for a minute! OMG, poor sweet Max, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for him...

give he a big hug and rub for me! hugging
Posted by: PositiveDog

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/12/11 06:12 PM

The time of our dogs winding down is so difficult - and even more so when it is because of such a dreadful illness.

Hugs to you and Max. hugging

I hope for him more good days than bad and for you more joy than sadness.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/13/11 05:43 AM

Originally Posted By: PositiveDog
The time of our dogs winding down is so difficult - and even more so when it is because of such a dreadful illness.

Hugs to you and Max. hugging

I hope for him more good days than bad and for you more joy than sadness.


This is said so well.... hugging


There are a variety of harnesses in one of the senior sections in a sticky - there are a variety of them, and I think the Web Master is a favorite. They have one that has more support too.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/13/11 11:30 AM

Thank you so much hugging it is rough to see them age like this.

Beating myself up this morning for not putting his shoe on. Figure it was just a short potty break, literally around the block, and I figure we would be ok, but not so. He had scraped open two of his nail quicks in his back foot. He is all patched up again and looked rather content when I left for work and I promised myself and him not to make that misstake ever again.
Posted by: cindy_s

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 04/13/11 02:11 PM

I'm sorry both of you are having to go through this. I lost Uzi several years ago to DM. You might find that Max will eventually have to learn to accept the boots. I also did acupuncture, but in addition to that, I got a TENS unit for him and gave him daily treatments. I think the TENS really delayed the muscle wasting quite a bit. He had to have several clipped areas, but it was worth it.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 04/13/11 03:20 PM

He actually does not mind his boots. I just didn't put them on since we were just walking around the block. Shame on me.

What is a TENS unit?
Posted by: cindy_s

Re: Max has started dragging his back feet. - 04/13/11 04:33 PM

If he's doing OK right now without the boots, don't worry about them. Uzi had gotten to the point that if he was out for 5 minutes, the tops of his back feet would be bloody. That's when I went to boots full time when he was outside. A TENS units is a device that stimulates nerves. It also causes muscle contractions. There are also muscle stimulators, but I've found that the TENS alone produced enough muscle contractions to do the job. If you go the acupuncture route, I'm certain that person will be able to set you up and assist you with a TENS. I don't think it is a documented and studied therapy for DM, but my acupuncture vet got me to try it. It's one of those things that will not hurt them, but it MIGHT help. Uzi lived well for 1 1/2 years after he was diagnosed. Another thing I did was swimming. He was not able to swim on his own after awhile, so I got him a life vest and brought him in the pool with me assisting him. If nothing else, he had a great time getting back in the water again. We also had him on a low dose of prednisone. I can't remember how long he was on it. That was one of the towards the end things. It was probably like 6 months or so.
Posted by: Kayos

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/13/11 10:25 PM

Originally Posted By: GraciesMommy
C, I have this for Gracie and love it!!!!! http://www.ruffwear.com/Web-Master-Harness I think it is softer and has more room in it than a leather harness (tho yours may be just fine, this is only what I have experience with). hugging to all of you!!!!!!


That is the harness Max wore. Love it!! If you don't want to buy one I can send you Max's. It is in the drawer now for Kayos to use one day hopefully far away.
Posted by: Charlotte

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/15/11 11:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Kayos
That is the harness Max wore. Love it!! If you don't want to buy one I can send you Max's. It is in the drawer now for Kayos to use one day hopefully far away.


Thank you, that is very sweet hugging Lether harness is working well so far, but as "luck" would have it, I slipped Wednesday night while I was out running with Eyra and did something to my back. I think for the moment Max is in better shape then me eyeroll
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Max has DM :( - update - 04/15/11 11:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Charlotte
He took his first tumble down the stairs this morning, scared me more then him I think.


Thinking of Max and you, sending hugs and special thoughts your way.grouphug