Watching your best friend struggle with DM is incredibly difficult and it’s even more frustrating for your pet. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can help make your pet’s life a bit easier as their body changes. We know that keeping your DM dog active longer will improve their quality of life and can help to slow down the disease progression. Here are a few degenerative myelopathy solutions to make both you and your best friend’s life easier.
How to Help Your Pet with Degenerative Myelopathy
Improving the quality of life for a dog with DM means giving them the support they need to stay mobile. Improved mobility can slow down the degenerative myelopathy progression and keep your dog happy.
Solutions for Difficulty Standing or Maintaining Balance
Weakness in the back legs is a telltale sign of DM. Loss of strength in the hind legs makes even the simplest tasks, like standing up a struggle for dogs with DM. Luckily dog lifting harnesses can help you lift, stabilize, and support your dog, Here are a few of the best lifting harnesses for dogs with degenerative myelopathy:
- Up-n-Go Rear Support Leash: a simple leash that slips on your dog’s legs while they’re lying down, allowing you to help to get them up on their feet. Once up, you can slip it off or continue to assist them in case they wobble. Great for quick trips outside!
- Walkin’ Combo Harness: a handy harness that’s comfortable enough for your dog to wear all day and progresses with them as they weaken. Not only can it be used as a lifting harness, but it can also even attach to the Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair.
- Rear Weakness only: start with the Walkin’ Rear Combo Harness.
- Front Weakness only: although not typical with DM, if your dog does have weakness in their front legs only use the Walkin’ Front Combo Harness.
- Front & Rear Weakness: use both the Walkin’ Rear and Front Combo Harness system to provide total body support.
DM dogs will require your assistance to stand, walk, and maintain their balance. A lifting harness is an essential tool for any DM pet parent. Plan for the future and choose a harness that is wheelchair compatible, this will help ease your dog’s inevitable transition into a wheelchair.
Paw Knuckling Solutions for DM Dogs
Dragging paws, scraping nails, and knuckling feet are some of the earliest signs of degenerative myelopathy. Although knuckling caused by DM isn’t reversible there are simple ways to help and protect your dog’s dragging paws.
- Bootie Splint: help your dog with their paw placement, while protecting their paws and nails from scraping injuries.
- No Knuckling Training Sock: a training tool to help with paw placement.
Solution for Hind Leg Crossing Caused by Degenerative Myelopathy
As DM progresses and worsens your pet will lose strength in their legs and muscle tone in their hind end. Uncontrollable hind leg crossing can be a big problem for dogs with degenerative myelopathy. A simple tool, such as the Cross-Assist can prevent your dog’s legs from crossing and make it easier for them to keep their back legs underneath them.
- Walkin’ Hip-EEZ System with Cross-Assist attachment: The Hip-EEZ Cross-Assist attaches to the Walkin’ Hip-EEZ hip support and sits high between the legs to prevent weakened rear legs from crossing as they walk.
Mobility Loss Solutions for Dogs with DM
The Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is the perfect solution to help your pet regain mobility and independence. Degenerative myelopathy impacts a dog’s leg strength, leg function, and causes paralysis. When a pet is diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, the need to rely on a dog wheelchair is inevitable.