CDRM is the progressive dysfunction of the hind limbs. It is as a result of the body attacking its own nervous system and is quite often referred to as the canine version of multiple sclerosis. Many dogs do not exhibit pain or discomfort but rather a loss of control over their back legs, particularly when navigating corners. You may see what we call the drunken sailor walk or ataxia as it is clinically known. It is suggested that CDRM is an auto immune disease (where the body attacks itself) and some have put CDRM down to degeneration of the spinal cord and their nerve routes which are responsible for innervating the muscle to move.

See your vet for correct diagnosis of CDRM. Although predominantly see in German Shepherds this disease can affect all breeds from Cocker Spaniels to Rottweilers. A visit to your vets means you are in a better position to act now to make your dogs life more comfortable in the long term.

  • Ataxia
  • Lack of hind limb coordination
  • Falling over
  • Swaying
  • Worn nails and scuffing of their toes
  • Loss of proprioception (the sense of where your limbs are)
  • Knuckling over
  • Postural misalignment
  • Dragging legs
  • Paresis (partial or impaired movment)
Fortunately dogs with CDRM rarely become incontinent making it so they are able to live with this condition.
Your vet will advise you on drugs that may help your dog cope with CDRM
Some vets recommend specific natural supplements to
Feed your dogs nervous system with a pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 complex that contains DHA & EPA

Massage can help dogs with CDRM by

Helping to make the dog more comfortable by reducing areas of overcompensation particularly in the neck and shoulder as the dog will typically be using the front end more to pull the rest of their body
Increasing blood flow and circulation
Stimulating peripheral nerves
Helps your dog to gan more awareness of the rest ot their body to allow them to cope with lack of senses from the back end

Some people use mobility carts and other devices to help their dog to live as much of a normal life as possible. Others will often disapprove of this. Don`t listen to them. You need to make up your own mind in respect of what is best for your dog. It`s a personal and emotional decision deciding on the best course of action and treatment for your dog.

Things that you may wish to consider:

  • Natural supplements
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Carts
  • A large padded bed with lumbar support NOT a curved plastic bed
  • Ramps (particularly at the back door)
  • Diet & Nutrition.

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