I have an 8 year old German Shepard/Retriver mix. She has a seizure disorder and hypothyroidism. Just recently she started having hind leg weekness. I decreased her seizure medicine thinking this might be the cause. I had bloodwork done and all her medications are in the therapeutic range. My vet tried putting her on some arthritis med but that did not help either. She is very unsteady on her feet, her back legs cross at times, and she falls easily. She has no stability. I am taking her back to the Vet this week. I am afraid she may have some kind of degenerative spine disease or tumor. Anyone have any experience with this. It is so frustrating and heartbreaking!!!

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I am so sorry to hear about your German Shepherd. I have an 11 year old one myself, and hate to think about all the old age stuff that can happen to these guys.

Unfortunately, the condition you describe is likely degenerative myleopathy, a progressive condition of the spinal cord that causes weakness and loss of function in the hind end. If this is indeed what your baby is experiencing, what you can expect is a continued loss of hind end function, such as inability to stand or walk with hind legs, and other loss of function in the lower body. It is NOT a painful condition, but is very frustrating as the pet cannot posture to urinate or defecate properly, or walk well, especially uphill or upstairs. There is no real cure that I know of, and it may progress to the point of complete inability to stand or walk. I am so sorry if this is what your baby has.

I find that the most helpful thing in cases like this is to be brutally honest so that a person can prepare for the worst. I hope I am wrong.

Steroids like prednisone are not usually helpful, but may alleviate the symptoms temporarily. Or not. Please don't get your hopes up if someone suggests some kind of "alternative therapy" as these are usually "snake oil".

Let me know if you have any other questions about this, or if I can be of help.
Thanks for your reply. Degenerative myleopathy is one thing that came up when I searced the internet. I have 2 other dogs. They are like my children to me. The hardest thing is that she wants to play and do things like she used to but she can't. I can't take her on walks with the other ones because she can't keep up. Alot of times I take her out for a walk alone as our special time. I have an appointment at the Vet tomorrow.
Please do some research on myasthenia gravis and speak to your vet about this as well. This is a neurological disorder ~ Read here: http://www.vetinfo.com/dmyasthenia.html My beagle is being tested for this right now ( we have about 3 more days to wait for results ) his symptoms are more digestive with the thought being issues with the contraction of the esophagus. Please scroll down on the above link and read a few of the 'notes to the doctor' there are several pet owners describing weakness in the back legs.

I wish you and your pet well!
Thanks, I will mention it to my Vet. I appreciate any input. It is so frustrating when you can't figure out what is wrong. Though my dog does not have muscle weakness affecting the eyes, muscles of facial expression, throat / esophagus, and limbs. Her problem is mostly hind leg weekness, which causes a very unsteady gait at times. She definitely has no problem eating. The seizure medicine causes her to have an increased appetitie and thirst.
I am sorry to hear about your beagle. If it is myastenia gravis, there is medicine she could take. I hope she feels better soon.




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