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DM - Degenerative Myelopathy (also known as the Canine version of ALS / Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a genetic disease that can affect over 100 breeds of dogs! It is caused by a degeneration of white matter in the spinal cord (the fibers that transmit movement commands from the brain to the legs) and typically occurs between 8-14 years of age (while some may develop the symptoms even sooner). It presents first with the loss of coordination of one of the hind legs and over time will typically worsen and result in paralysis of both hind legs. Most dogs will become incontinent (both bowels and urine - which can lead to Urinary Tract Infections), and over time, this debilitating disease will progress to paralysis in the front legs, organ failure and respiratory failure. DM is OFTEN misdiagnosed as many vets do not know about DM. It CAN be PREVENTED by genetic testing prior to breeding & making well educated choices!!! The numbers of PUPS that are developing it now are GROWING!!! NOW is the TIME to SPEAK for the PUPS!!!
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