Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs: Proven Home Care Tips

Degenerative Myelopathy in DogsDegenerative Myelopathy in dogs appears to be similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in humans and affects your dog’s brain and spinal cord nerves which results in your dog’s progressive disease… that means you’ll need to be prepared for expenses like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, or a wheelchair and even worse you’ll be faced with challenges that include the physical and emotional burden to care for your handicapped dog.

This dog health article gives you firsthand proven ways to successfully care for your dog with degenerative myelopathy (DM).  I hope Paul Konowicz’ tips which are based his and his wife Sharon’s personal experience with Justice, their beloved Boxer, will answer your questions about how to care for your dog with this incurable disease.

What is Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs?

According to Paul Konowicz, not much is known about the mechanism of DM.  Paul says, like ALS, your dog’s muscles begin to lose nourishment and start to waste away or atrophy.  Whether that means it’s an autoimmune disease or a generic one nobody’s sure just yet. 

Something appears to attack the sheath around the nerves in your dog’s spine that prevents his nerves from working.  It may also be Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogsinflammation that occurs because of a malfunctioning protein. 

Surgery won’t help your dog with DM unless he has another condition like a tumor that could be removed at the same time. 

This is Paul’s wish: “Hopefully scrupulous breeders will not breed dogs with DM genes.”

Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs: 9 Tips from Paul Konowicz to Help Care for Your Dog with DM

Paul says the best thing you can do is make sure your dog gets lots of exercise and physical therapy. 

You can also choose from these 9 tips that worked for Paul and Sharon to care for their dog Justice:

  1. Anti-inflammatory drugs and supplements –  Try N-acetylcysteine as an anti-inflammatory drug to help prevent oxidative damage to your dog’s spinal cord. First check with your vet before you use any medications for your dog.
  2. Assisi loop – This non-invasive, FDA cleared, evidence based therapy can be used for treatment of your dog’s pain and swelling with no side-effects. 
  3. Genetic test – Ask for a genetic test to detect degenerative myelopathy in dogs from your breeder to see if your dog is prone to DM.  The cost is about $200.
  4. Harness – Some of the most important things owners can do for their dog’s health and their own physical safety is to get a good harness for your dog.  It will help your dog tremendously and help you prevent back pain or injuries when you lift your dog. 
  5. Feet – Particular care about your dog’s feet is important to prevent sores.  Your dog with DM will start curling his toes and eventually won’t be able to put his paws down flat.  Your dog will also get cuts on the tops of his feet if you don’t protect them or use special shoes.  Another symptom of degenerative myelopathy in dogs affects your dog’s ability to walk on slippery surfaces like wooden or tile floors.  Early on, try “balloon” shoes to help your dog from slipping.  Later on, special dog shoes are necessary to prevent your dog  from dragging his feet and scraping them on pavement which will cause sores.  Dog shoes need to be ordered and fitted by your veterinarian or physical therapist.
  6. Incontinence – Learn how to express your dog when he has incontinence issues.  Fecal incontinence for Paul’s dog Justice didn’t seem to be an issue because his bowel movements just came out. 
  7. Mattress – Paul recommends you get a cot with a mattress to cushion your dog and keep him off the ground.  The cot will raise your dog 18 to 20 inches off your floor which is an enormous relief for your back especially if your dog is over 50 pounds. Paul bought a mattress with 2 inch memory foam for about $125.  Degenerative myelopathy in dogs can take a toll on your dog’s body so you want to keep him as comfortable as possible.
  8. Urine, diapers and puppy pads – It’s important to keep your dog dry and free of urine scalds. This means you need to change your dog’s diapers at least 3 to 4 times daily and use baby wipes and cornstarch powder afterwards. Paul and Sharon used regular Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogsdiapers and a special dog waist wrap to secure Justice’s diaper.  They placed Justice on puppy pads for him to poop.  It is easier and less messy to just let the poop fall out.  This is probably the most difficult task and it takes some getting used to.  “However, your dog is like your child and you will do almost anything.” 
  9. Dog Health Insurance – Finally, getting good dog health insurance is critical. You will have unexpected dog health expenses with your dog because of the progressive nature of degenerative myelopathy in dogs.  The best strategy will be to get dog health insurance for your puppy before he develops any pre-existing conditions.

Now you have 9 proven tips to use to help care for your dog with DM thanks to Paul Konowicz, his wife Sharon and Justice.  I hope you got value from this article so you can take better care of your dog with DM.

Share this article on degenerative myelopathy with your friends and family so they have these 9 helpful tips from Paul and Sharon to care for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies and personal experiences from Dog Health News.

Our featured dog is Justice, a handsome Boxer who developed DM and lived in New England with his owners.  Justice was able to use a custom designed wheelchair to help him walk and run around.  I was sad to hear that Justice lost his battle with DM.  Thankfully, Justice had loving owners who took care of him through every challenge.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

Chubby Dogs: 7 Ways Your Plump Pooch May Cost You More

Chubby DogsChubby dogs may be the cutest canines on your street, get lots of love and make everyone smile, however their extra pounds can be the cause of dozens of health issues that will make these overweight dogs suffer and rack up expensive medical bills at your vet.  It’s hard to say no when your dog begs for treats until one day you notice he’s twice the size he was last year and your veterinarian tells you to cut back on his food because your dog could develop diabetes or a heart condition that will add lifelong dog health expenses and potentially shorten your dog’s life.

This news brief gives you 7 ways your pudgy dog could cost you more in health expenses so you’ll understand the consequences of canine obesity.

7 Ways Chubby Dogs are in Danger of Expensive Health Risks

  1. Knees  – Extra weight can put your dog at risk for knee and leg injuries and your dog may need cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery.  The average cost for CCL surgery is $3,500 without dog health insurance coverage.  Additional costs are for physical therapy that can run as high as $100 per visit as needed.
  2. Arthritis – Inflammation around your dog’s joints builds up with more pounds to carry around and your dog may develop a limp or become lame from the pain he suffers with arthritis.  You may need to spend $1,000 or more to treat your dog’s arthritis, provide a dog wheelchair and pay for medicine to reduce your dog’s pain and arthritic symptoms.
  3. Hygiene – Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) increase when chubby dogs can’t reach areas to clean because of their body weight.  The cost to treat UTI’s can be more than $500 each time your dog gets an infection.
  4. Back – If your dog carries 5-10 pounds over his healthy weight Chubby Dogsthere’s a good chance he’ll have back problems sooner or later.  Corgis, Dachshunds and Basset Hounds are prone to intervertebral disc disease (IDD) which can result in surgery that can be more than $2,000.  However, back problems are common in all breeds when your dog is overweight.
  5. Cancer – Obesity in dogs can often be one cause of cancerous tumors.  The cost for tests and treatment for your dog with cancer is over $2,000.  Medical expenses can be a minor point for your family compared to what your dog must endure with this disease.
  6. Stomach – Too many treats, large portions of food and reduced exercise can contribute to your dog’s weight gain. The consequences for chubby dogs can be things like an upset tummy, gas, diarrhea, liver disease, vomiting and dehydration.  The cost for vet visits to solve these health problems add up over the years.  Stomach-related health issues are one of the most common reason for vet visits and thousands of dog owners are unpleasantly surprised with average bills of $500 – $1,000.
  7. Diabetes – Table scraps, pieces of pizza, bites of cookies and treats loaded with carbohydrates and fat could be the catalyst for your dog to develop diabetes.  If your dog suffers from diabetes, you are faced with daily responsibility for his health and additional dog health expenses throughout your dog’s life.  The estimated annual cost starts at $1,000 to cover vet visits and blood sugar maintenance.

Tips to Prevent Canine Obesity

  • Exercise – Light to moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a Chubby Dogsday helps keep your healthy dog from growing into the obese weight category of chubby dogs.
  • Diet – Work with your vet so you feed your dog a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet with limited treats for being a good dog.
  • Habits – Bad habits are hard to break, however your dog depends on your help to keep him at his healthy weight.  It’s never too late to change your habits like limiting treats to once a day.  Obesity can shorten your dog’s life, reduce his quality of life and even worse, you may face tough decisions when presented with a big bill to pay because your dog is overweight.

This article gives you reasons to keep your dog at his healthy weight to prevent him from the risks of obesity including extra expenses to care for a chubby dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they have information on the dangers faced by overweight dogs and the costs to cover their health expenses.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like breaking news on how to NOT overpay for your dog’s healthcare costs and reduce the number of times your dog gets sick, then claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Dog Care: Vital Things You Want for Your Dog’s Health

Dog CareDog care, like prevention and treatment related to dog illnesses, accidents and expenses, is  high on your priority list for your dog so she can stay healthy, and that’s why Dog Health News asked our readers what key thing was on their wish list when it comes to dog health, and you might want to compare these results with your thoughts about your dog’s health to see what dog owners like you put at the top of their list when it comes to dog health.

This news brief gives you the 8 top things that a survey of dog owners said was the key item they wanted for their dog’s health.

Dog Care: 8 Vital Things People Said They Want for Their Dog’s Health

  1. No pain – There is nothing that touches your heart more than when your dog is in pain, so dog owners who wish that their dog has no pain was not a big surprise.  You would most likely do anything you could to relieve your dog’s pain to make her feel better.  From the chronic discomfort of arthritis to the agony of losing your dog from accidents, illnesses and aging, it’s never easy to deal with pain when it relates to your dog.
  2. Improved appetite – If your dog is a finicky eater it affects her health and that means her immune system can be weakened.  Dog care includes a constant review of the food you give your dog so she gets the right balance of nutrition.  Talk to your veterinarian about all the healthy dog food choices so you can use a variety of foods in your dog’s diet that can improve your dog’s appetite because she likes what you put in her bowl every day.
  3. Best Veterinarian Care – This item is most likely on your wish list too because you always want to have expert veterinary care for your dog.  As a dog owner, you may not have all the information Dog Careyou need to keep your dog healthy or treat your dog when she gets sick or injured.  Dog care responsibilities are much easier when you have access to the best veterinary care so you can have peace of mind about your dog’s health.
  4. Affordable Health Insurance – You may want to check the rates for dog health insurance and compare features when you bring your dog home because this wish list item has become closer to #1 on dog owner’s must haves.  Dog health insurance might be the best strategy for you to keep your dog healthy when your dog ages and things start to happen to your dog’s health like diabetes or heart disease.  It’s worth a look before you find out you wish you had dog insurance to pay for expensive surgery or long term dog care for your dog.
  5. Clear description of what’s wrong with your dog from their Vet – You don’t want a veterinarian that can’t tell you what’s wrong with your dog or refer you to a specialist for another diagnosis.  If your dog has kidney failure or cancer, you need to know the facts and instructions for treatment in clear concise language so you can take care of your dog’s medical needs.  You also want to make sure that your dog’s illness is not misdiagnosed. Always get a second and third opinion if your veterinarian’s diagnosis is not clear enough.
  6. Quality Food – Your dog depends on you to feed her a breed specific nutritionally balanced diet.  Along with adequate exercise, a healthy diet may be the only things you need to do to keep your dog physically healthy.  Dog care related to dog food requires careful review of the ingredients in all the dog food and treats you give your dog.  Yes, there will be exceptions to the rules, however quality food is critical to your dog’s health and that’s why it’s on the dog owner wish list.
  7. What can you do at home for your dog to cut back on dog health expenses – This is an excellent wish list question to ask yourself every day because there are many things you can make at home to feed your dog and save money. There’s a long list of homemade recipes, toys you can make yourself and herbal supplements that help with fleas and dog health.  Dog care costs can be reduced when you look at alternative solutions to your dog’s health needs and work with your veterinarian to pick the right products and supplements for your dog.
  8. Honest and true information at your fingertips – This wish list item is critical because you don’t want to believe everything you Dog Careread on the internet or everything you hear from your friends.  That’s why it’s so important to find a reputable veterinarian you can trust for honest and true information.  You can also reach out to Dog Health News for help with information to lead you to the best sources of trustworthy content to keep your dog well.

This news brief gives you the most common items that dog owners want for their dog’s health so you are informed about the importance of dog care for your dog.

Share this article with your friends and family so they are aware of the top priorities of dog owners for dog health for their dog.  You can always depend on the best dog health strategies from Dog Health News.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. Also, you can click on the social media links below to share this article… Thank you!

What Dog Is Right For Me? Ways to Choose the Best Breed

What Dog is Right for MeWhat dog is right for me? may not be the first question on your mind when you decide to add a dog to your household however you might want to think about your lifestyle and environment before you make a commitment to your dog so you don’t become a part of the 20% of dog owners who give up your dog to a shelter after you realize that your dog was the wrong breed for you.

This news brief gives you 3 questions to ask yourself when you look for a dog so you find the breed that works the best for your temperament and environment.

What Dog is Right for Me? 3 Questions that Require a “Yes”

  1. How much time can I give to my dog? –  Ask yourself, when will you have time to spend quality time with your dog.   Consider all the time you have available for walks with your dog, play, meals and even quiet moments around your house with your dog before you both go to sleep.  If you don’t have at least 3-5 hours to spend with your dog every day, you might want to reconsider taking on the responsibilities of dog ownership for the sake of your dog.
  2. How much space can I give to my dog? – Ask yourself what dog is right for me and if your dog will have the right amount of space to stretch his legs and get the exercise he needs.  Once you What Dog is Right for Medetermine that you have the time to care for your dog, you want to look around your home and your grounds to see if your dog will have a healthy environment.  If you choose a small dog that doesn’t need much space and exercise, an apartment may work out fine.  Larger dogs like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds need room to run around so they may not be happy in tight quarters with no yard.  Statistics show that dog owners often discover they’ve chosen the wrong breed if you don’t ask yourself the critical question, What dog is right for me?, and within a few months they are either looking for another home for their dog or giving up their dog to a shelter.
  3. How much money can I spend on my dog? – Ask yourself what percentage of your combined household income can be used to pay all the bills for your dog.  An average annual allowance to care for one dog can exceed $1,000 in the first year including vaccinations, food, toys and supplies.  Additional costs to care for What Dog is Right for Meyour dog include grooming, dog walking, doggie daycare, emergency health care, vet visits, boarding and dog health insurance.  In general the smaller your dog breed choice, the lower your costs.

This news brief gives you the first 3 important questions to ask yourself about what dog is right for me, before you decide to bring a dog into your home, so you and your new dog have the best experience with no surprises that could have results that affect your finances or your dog’s welfare.

Share this article with your friends and family as a guideline so they can consider all the dog ownership responsibilities before they choose a dog.

SPECIAL BONUS — If you would like easy to follow news briefs to Get a Handle On Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs, claim your FREE ACCESS to the “How to Control Your Dog’s Healthcare Costs” video news . Go HERE to get it FREE.

Pet Insurance Cost: 6 Vital Considerations for Your Dog

Pet Insurance CostThe pet insurance cost to provide you and your dog with a viable strategy to cover unplanned dog health expenses includes many benefits like customer service and fast reimbursement for a large percentage of the bills incurred for things like your dog’s surgery or medication so you might want to look into dog health insurance when you get your dog and review your options before you’re faced with a choice between your dog’s health and your budget.

This news brief gives you things you should consider when you add your dog to your household so you can decide on the right financial strategy to take the best care of your dog.

Pet Insurance Cost: 6 Things You Want To Get from Dog Health Insurance

  1. Customer Service – When your dog has an accident or becomes ill and you need fast answers, you want to make sure that your pet insurance company is friendly, compassionate and helpful.  A good idea is to get references before you pick a company for dog health insurance.
  2. Fast Reimbursement – If you need to pay thousands of dollars for your dog’s eye surgery or cancer treatments, you want to be sure your pet insurance company reimburses you quickly.
  3. Pet Insurance CostPeace of mind – Your dog may be perfectly healthy life and then one day your dog may need life saving surgery which is another reason to look at pet insurance cost for your dog’s breed and age.  Dog health insurance gives you peace of mind when your dog needs emergency care.  Make sure you review all types of coverage and choose your pet insurance company carefully so you have peace of mind in all situations.
  4. Full coverage – There are different rates of coverage from pet insurance companies so you want to ask lots of questions.  Look at the the deductibles, limitations on number of claims and the percent of your bill that will be reimbursed.  If you’re faced with a $13,000 cost for your dog’s eye surgery, you want to be covered for 90% of the cost or $11,700.
  5. Best medical choices –  When you have dog health insurance, your dog will be covered for unplanned surgeries or medical treatments that you could make it well worth the pet insurance cost paid out monthly over the life of your dog.  A wise approach is to check out your options for your dog when he’s a puppy to get some of the lowest rates.  Shop around and compare at least 3 pet insurance companies to be sure you get the best plan for your dog.
  6. Life saving strategy – The average lifespan of your dog is 12 years.  Your quote for dog health insurance varies according to the size and health of your dog.  If your quote is $50 per month, your annual cost is $600, or $7,200 over the life of your dog.  All your dog needs is 1 or 2 accidents or an illness like cancer to Pet Insurance Costmake you grateful for your dog insurance policy.  Pet insurance cost usually runs from about $30 per month for small dogs to $100 per month for larger dogs.  In other words, the range is only $1 – $3 per day to cover your dog with pet insurance.

This news brief gives you tips on what you need to look for from pet insurance companies so you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your strategies to cover your dog health costs.

Share this article with your friends and family so they can investigate pet insurance as a financial strategy for their dog’s medical costs.  You can always depend on Dog Health News for the best dog health strategies.

By the way… claim your FREE “How NOT to Overpay to Keep Your Dog Well” video news.  Just go HERE now to get your Dog Health and Wellness Video News.

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