Thursday, September 6, 2012
YO-YO AND BACK PROBLEMS
Pekingese often have back issues. Many people don't realize their backs can be as long as a Dachshund. Yo-Yo is having trouble. He would "donkey kick" (kicking his back legs out straight behind him) and then act as if nothing happened. His condition has progressed and he is having more balance issues, also dragging his rear toenails along the ground. Yo-Yo has been to the vet many times and the vet now thinks he has Degenerative myleopathy. (My Cranberry has degerative disc disease, not the same, but similar issues.) There is no cure for either of these diseases. In Yo-Yo's case, there is significant muscle wasting, and a lot of pain. Cranberry isn't in a lot of pain, just loses control and drags her back legs some. Encouraging both dogs to be more active (as opposed to crate rest) is what we want to do, to keep those muscles working. I asked Dr. Hodges (our Roanoke vet) and she said this is an aging problem (Yo-Yo is 14) and it is progressive. You can do bloodwork, xray, ekg, maybe an MRI. (Of course, these are expensive, so you have to do what you can.) If a surgical lesion or tumor is found, surgery can be done. Prednizone is the main drug used, but you can also try Vitamina C and E and of course, omega fatty acid supplements (good for Pekes and other dogs). If you have a vet who can do laser treatment, this might also help. However, since both degenerative disc disease and degenerative myelopathy are progressive, there is nothing that can be done to stop them, just maybe slow them down. Sometimes, a dog can hit a plateau (like Cranberry seems to have done). Loss of bowel and bladder control will eventually happen also. Swimming can be a good exercise if you have access to a pool.Yo-Yo is here with his best friend, Bear-Bear, and we hope they have a long time together. It is hard to watch our Pekes age and have trouble, and we just want more time to love them.