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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have a doberman of 5 yrs of age. Last April the muscles

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i have a doberman bitch of 5 yrs of age. Last April the muscles behind her eye socket 'sunk'.With the help of an immunity booster and an anti inflammatary medication both muscles came back after 2 months. by November last year her hind quarters appeared somewhat weak in the sense that she would not run around the garden or paddock as she used to do but rested a lot. A vet, who had no idea what the problem might be other than on recommendation by a consultant to have an MRI done under sedation and if it were a problem which they could not solve because of the location, there is little they could do. I am devastated, even more so since she eats well, once up and going around the patio relieves herself but tends to prefer lying down more than I would like her since the muscles in her hind legs are slowly disappearing. What could I do to help her? Kind regards ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ingrid, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today. I'm sorry for this concern for Zenda; I know how devastating this problem must be for her especially since she's otherwise doing well.I suspect she may have had Masticatory Muscle Myositis (MMM) based on the description of her problem last year and her response to treatment. If you were wondering if her current problem is related, it's not likely to be. It sounds as if one of two problems may be going on:Either she has a problem with her spine whereby there's compression by a disc or mass and the nerves going to her legs are compromised orShe could have a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy which also affects the nerves but is primarily demyelination of the nerves themselves. The first condition is usually diagnosed by advanced imaging such as an MRI or CT scan which is probably why your vet recommended it; the second condition can be diagnosed with DNA testing by a special lab. If she does have a herniated disc (the first condition), then she may benefit from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and possibly muscle relaxers. If she has a degenerative condition, then, unfortunately, there are no current successful treatments. But, regardless, to address your question about strengthening her back legs, there are a few alternative modalities which may be of benefit: 1. Hydrotherapy has been shown to be quite effective for some patients. Even passive swimming (easier done during the warmer months, of course) can help to rebuild muscle tone for some of these dogs.2. Laser therapy combined with massage may also be of benefit.3. You may already have figured this out but a sling around her midsection to help lift her is often quite helpful. I realize that not everyone will have facilities within a reasonable distance where such therapies can be done but it may be something to seriously consider if there are ones close to where you live. I'd love to be able to suggest supplements which might help but I've yet to find any which do. I know this is something that you're trying very hard to avoid but should her condition continue to deteriorate, you might consider use of a wheelchair for her. I understand that this isn't for everyone but the way wheelchairs are constructed these days, even the larger dogs can benefit from their use. I hope this helps although I'm sorry that my response can't be a more positive one. Deb
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Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Ingrid,I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.And, to wish you the best of luck with Zenda. Kind regards, Deb

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