German Shepherd Dog > Our struggle with Degenerative Myelopathy (73 replies)
by Abby Normal on 21 March 2012 - 06:42
Can we see the full description that Dr Clemmons got while you are waiting for his reply?
by Harriet on 21 March 2012 - 09:03
|Abby, please go away! Fed up of seeing your posts on everything. Used to enjoy all the posts from the UK members but they've all disappeared thanks to you!|
by Sirius Black on 21 March 2012 - 16:08
Let's try and keep this on topic without the personal jabs please.
by Abby Normal on 21 March 2012 - 23:05
by starrchar on 22 March 2012 - 01:50
|Harriet, I think that anyone who has dealt with a DM has concerns about Andy's claim, and rightfully so. I applaud Andy for all he tried to do for his dog and I'd have to say Golo was a very lucky dog to have Andy taking care of him, but from everything I have read regarding Andy's experience with Golo points to him having something other than DM, most likely a vascular issue or neurological issue. It is very important to have the right facts when making such incredible claims as Andy has made. No doubt, Andy fully believed Golo had DM and his intent when he originally posted was likely sincere, but the facts just don't add up. And that is why Abby has questioned Andy so much and has persisted in getting answers. |
I have done everything for my DM dog, Shelby, that Andy has done and our experiences are VERY different. Dr. Clemmons protocol definitely helps a large percentage of DM dogs to some degree, but it does not produce miracles. My regular vet trained under Dr. Clemmons and he said that the main difference between DM dogs that got no treatment and dogs that where on the Dr. Clemmons protocol is that the dogs that respond well to the protocol didn't progress as fast and they lived longer.
I am taking Shelby to the rehab vet tomorrow to get her new cart adjusted. This vet also trained under Dr. Clemmons and I am going to talk to her about Golo's case. She is a rehab vet and she sees dogs with vascular, neurological and skeletal issues every day.
by AndyG on 22 March 2012 - 03:11
|From Dr Clemmons reply:|
"You cannot change people overnight and some you cannot change at all. I am glad the treatment helped Golo. It has helped many others, but we have not done randomized clinical trials which is why they are skeptic. Hard for me to purposefully hurt patients when I know what we are doing can help and rarely cause harm if the diagnosis is accurate."
by Nancy on 22 March 2012 - 11:03
decided not worth reply...can't delete.
by Abby Normal on 22 March 2012 - 11:33
|Dr Clemmons never gives worthless responses, so my sense is that this is fiction! Dr Clemmons is of course a very educated and intelligent man, and this is not conveyed in the statement above, (particularly given the grammar).|
Maybe AndyG you would like to post the whole response, especially the part where he expresses an opinion as to whether your dog is likely to have had DM based on the history - which was the whole point of contacting him? I am also curious as to what you asked to elicit a defensive response about 'hurting and causing harm' which is very much out of character.
For educational purposes, and to clear this up once and for all I am more than happy to post an email that I have received from Dr Clemmons, but would like to hear AndyG's complete response from him first.
by AndyG on 22 March 2012 - 11:54
|Abby, enough is enough. I am done here with you. This is the real and genuine response from Dr Clemmons, with the exact and unaltered grammar - not a single word has been changed. I have skipped other parts not related to the case and/or of personal content.|
Anyway, if someone needs more info about Golo's symptoms, his treatment or whatsoever, please feel free to contact me directly. I am happy to help. I see no reasons to continue this discussion with the trolls of this forum.
by Nancy on 22 March 2012 - 12:06
|I am most assuredly not a troll and for my own educational purposes I need no more.|
I know that based on the information shared by the OP, the disease symptoms and progression are not consistent with DM, nor was definitive diagnostic testng done to rule out other conditions. Honestly, unless Dr Clemmons comes over here and posts on his own which I think most unlikely, I don't see any point..it is now arguing for the sake of arguing...the fact that the OP whined to Clemmons about people "not believing him" as opposed to sending a list of symptoms and progression of disease and getting an objective statement that the progression is, in fact, consistent tells more than the whole thread.
I think the points for consideration to people wondering if there dog has the disease have been fully presented in dribs and drabbles.
by AndyG on 22 March 2012 - 12:24
|the fact that the OP whined to Clemmons about people "not believing him" as opposed to sending a list of symptoms and progression of disease|
Nancy, Dr Clemmons received the complete list of symptoms and the protocols what we had been doing. The list was the same as the one posted here. Should I get a more conclusive statement from him, I am happy to post it. BTW, everyone can contact Dr Clemmons and ask his opinion. He knows the case.
Totally agree with you - there is no point to argue anymore.
by Abby Normal on 22 March 2012 - 14:02
Already did, some while back. Gave him all the symptoms and history from your posts (removing any reference to dogs or people's names) as a hypothetical case and questioned whether it was likely that the dog had DM. Here is his response:
From: Clemmons,Roger M
Subject: Re: Question please
The onset of hemiparesis without localizing discomfort generally falls under the category of vascular disease. A common problem is an FCE (fibrocartilagenous embolization) which causes signs similar to those described in this hypothetical case. Usually, things will improve over time and physical exercise is a key component in recovery. I think the early intervention with short-active steroids and polyethylene glycol can help speed recovery as will acupuncture which helps stimulate spinal stem cell repopulation. Today, we can often see the infarcted area on an MRI and is why we can correctly diagnose more of these problems. Luckily, FCE is not likely to recur, although there are other causes of spinal infarction which can recur.
RM Clemmons, DVM, PhD, CVA, CVFT
Aso Prof of Neurology & Neurosurgery
SACS/University of Florida
2015 SW 16th Ave
Gainesville, FL 32608
by Abby Normal on 23 March 2012 - 08:47
To close the door on this thread and to summarise.
by starrchar on 23 March 2012 - 16:32
|Excellent summary and very good advice, Abby.|
I would like to add some things: Based on the facts Andy provided, I believe that Golo had FCE, although we will never know for sure. Many of the things Andy provided for Golo, such as the massage therapy, exercise, encouragement and love, definitely helped Golo's recovery and quality of life. Andy's efforts were surely not in vain. It is even possible the dietary changes and supplements helped.
I am as certain as anyone can reasonably be without a necropsy that Golo did not have DM and Dr. Clemmons' protocol is not what brought Golo back. Golo simply did not have the classic onset or progression of DM. He more closely exhibited the symptoms (see below) of a dog stricken with FCE. Yes, FCE typically strikes younger dogs, but it can strike a dog of any age. Dogs stricken with DM exhibit an insidious onset and a gradual decline and dogs striken with FCE exhibit a sudden acute onset, such a Golo did. Andy mentions Golo had some symptom prior, but Golo was 12 years old, so some arthritic changes of the spine and/or hips are very possible. Having stated the above, I strongly encourage anyone who has a dog with DM to put their dog on the Dr. Clemmons protocol because it has benefited many DM dogs. Exercise, PT, massage therapy are all VERY beneficial for a DM dog as well. Acupuncture and laser therpy are also worth trying.
Quote from AndyG:
"I wanted to share our two years' experience of struggling with Degenerative Myelopathy. In February 2010, our brilliant Golo vom Rabenbusch was diagnosed with MD. He was 12 years and two months by that time. Everything happened instantly - he collapsed during a walk and could not move his left hind leg at all. His leg was completely lifeless, no reflexes at all. Now I understand some worrying signs of DM like dragging his foot, that we were supposed to see before, but unfortunately we had known nothing about DM when it happened. The local vet inspected Golo the same day yet could not suggest anything. Since I understood that it should be related somehow with the nervous system, I asked the vet to give him a strong injection of B12 with C.
When we got back home, Golo could not walk at all unless being supported. He could not even stand to pee.... we had to lift him up and press the stomach to empty his bladder. I am not a doctor but had a very strong feeling that we don't have a lot of time before it becomes irreversible. So, my wife started scratching his forehead and belly to trigger some leg movements. Then, I started a gentle Shiatsu massage along his spinal cord. I was keeping his left leg in one hand while applying tapping massage on two sides of the spinal cord, from the neck to the bottom. When moving down along the spine, I noticed a tiny area where he was still showing some leg reflexes. That area I was focusing on for 5-7 min of a single massage session."
I left out the list of what Andy did for Golo due to space, but anyone can refer to his original post on this thread. He refers to the exercises, massage therapy, Dr. Clemmons protocol, diet and other supplements.
"In a month time, he was feeling much better and we continued our usual long walks on the beach and in the forest. We had been continuing EACA and NAC medication for a year or so, though giving him some breaks of three weeks after a three weeks of medication. Though sometimes he was dragging his foot and limping (not even all the time!!!), his life (and ours) got back to normal. Usually people advise against stairs for dogs with DM. I have to disagree. To struggle with that disaster, dogs need a lot of exercise. That's why Golo was climbing to the second floor on carpeted stairs every day. First, under our control - supporting his back, then completely alone."
http://pethealth.petwellbeing.com/wiki/Dog_Fibrocartilaginous_Embolism_-_FCE I have underlined specific points for emphasis.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of FCE
At the onset of the embolism, there might be a painful yelp when the dog collapses or suddenly becomes weak in one or multiple limbs. However the pain is not persistent, and no other signs of trauma can be detected except for the paralysis. In milder cases the dog might maintain some degrees of motor function, but slip and fall more than usual.
Diagnosing FCE is usually a process of elimination since the blocked artery will not show up in X-ray. One distinguishing feature of FCE is the lack of pain, since there are usually considerable amounts of pain involved if the paralysis is caused by acute trauma or disc herniation. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can be used to positively identify an embolism, however most veterinarians do not have access to this expensive method. Currently the only way to be absolutely sure of FCE is a post-mortem autopsy. For the purpose of treatment and rehabilitation, the safe practice is to assume FCE when other possibilities have been excluded.
Treatment of FCE
The damage to the spinal cord is permanent, and therefore effectiveness of treatment is limited. However, dogs that receive treatment within the first 24 hours of the injury might have a better prognosis. While the effect of the paralysis cannot be reversed, it does not worsen over time, and many dogs will ultimately regain some level of motor function and lead an otherwise normal life. Relief techniques such as water therapy and massages will prevent muscle atrophy and help the animal to better function with limited mobility."