Health Information Center

Degenerative Myelopathy

A debilating spinal disease to be known in Great Pyrenees. Studies suggest that this disease (aka DM) is an autoimmune disease and similar to MS in humans. Affecting many breeds, and many dogs being euthanized due to no use of rear legs, and "down in the rear."

Without process of elimination, many self diagnose this as HD, spondylosis, or arthritis. To date, only a necropsy can determine if a dog has DM. DNA tests have been developed but at this time are not specific or recommended for Great Pyrenees.

Degenerative Myelopathy Diagnosis and Treatment

Any disease or condition that affects a dog's spinal cord can cause symptoms or signs similar to DM. There are no treatments that show a clear ability to stop the progression. You and your vet may want to consider a consultation with a board certified canine neurologist for a confirmed disagnosis and a care plan reflecting the most current information. A directory for a neurologist near you can be found at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Look for "Search for a Specialist" at the botom of the home page.