Orthopedic/Skeletal Conditions (including DM)

Posted By: MaxaLisa

Orthopedic/Skeletal Conditions (including DM) - 06/02/10 07:56 AM

This is the thread for information about Skeletal Conditions, including Degenerative Myelopathy.

Arthritis Treatments, Other than Joint Supplements:

Info regarding DM drug study:

Degenerative Myelopathy

DM Interpretations

Knee Problems

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Spinal Conditions, Acupressure

Straight-Legged GSDs, a genetic deformity, information:

Transitional Vertebrae

Joint Supplements:


Orthodogs yahoo group:

Posted By: MaxaLisa

Degenerative Myelopathy - 06/02/10 08:01 AM

Dr. Clemmons' Degenerative Myelopathy site and information:

Marjorie's site:

How to Care for a Dog with DM

Exercises and Stretches for the DM dog

Threads about DM:

Degenerative Myelopathy Tests (Clemmons' Flash Test, GSD Specific, IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE) (OFA Test, All Breed)

DM Database:

DM Yahoo Group:

Other Info Sites:

2012 DM Seminar from Dr. J. Coates :


STEM Cell Treatment for DM
Before and after videos (5 videos that will play automatically after each other):
Still experimental as of 4/2011, It is university research. These are bone marrow stem cells. The Stem cells were injected IV, so that part is relatively easy.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

DM Interpretations and Posts - 06/02/10 08:04 AM

DM and Multiple Sclerosis (Clemmons)

DM and Lou Gehrig's Disease (OFA version)


Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Acupressure for Spinal Conditions - 08/22/10 07:10 AM
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Straight Legged Shepherds - 08/31/10 05:55 AM

A deformity that can affect GSDs and other breeds:

From Spiritsmam:

At the moment we do not know what is causing these anomalies, although the thought is that it may be a motor neuron disease with the orthopedic changes being secondary.

No matter the cause, what we do know is that breeders have had puppies like this showing up in litters for years, but have typically culled them. Thing is, if this is genetic, the problem is just hidden for a generation or so.

I am working with vets at NC State vet school to collect samples in the hope that we can eventually determine the cause, but to do so I need to get the word out to breeders as well as owners of affected dogs.

If any of you guys could put the word out about this condition and let people know that we have a website and are actively looking to find out how prevalent this problem is I'd greatly appreciate it. We are not going to identify dogs or breeders, we just want to collect as much information as possible, in the hope that we can work towards determining the underlying cause.

The website is:


Posted on 3/1/2011:

Hi guys

It is with great sadness that I am writing to say that one of my straight legged GSD's died a couple of weeks ago. I had a necropsy performed which has found some very unusual things.

The necropsy showed that my dog’s spinal cord started to duplicate itself just before it reached the hind legs. The new spinal cord that started to develop did not have normal arrangement of neurons though AND it compressed the more normal cord that was going through the region. The combination likely caused poor nerve transmission to the hind limbs. We believe lack of proper nerve signal to his back legs caused him to develop the muscle atrophy and then subsequently all of the changes in the joints and bones.

We really have no idea why the spinal cord is doing this and there are no similar cases reported in veterinary literature. I am working with Veterinarians at NC State vet school to understand more about this condition, to investigate if a hereditary German Shepherd Dog breed problem can be identified.

I would be most grateful if you could pass the word far and wide. The first part of trying to figure this out is to find out how many dogs with these hindlimb deformities there are. There is a website that has photographs and videos that show the problem and provides more information. While we are primarily interested in German Shepherds, I'm interested in hearing about dogs of any breed or mix with similar limb deformities.

Any and all information received will be completely confidential and anonymous - at this stage all we are interested in are numbers and affected breeds.

my e-mail address is
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Skeletal Conditions/Joint Supplements - 01/21/12 06:45 AM

Threads about joint supplements:
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Skeletal Conditions/Knee Problems - 01/17/13 07:49 AM

Luxating Patellas:


ACL and CCL Injuries (spay/neuter link???)

Conservative Management Yahoo Group:

Braces for Knee injuries:

Threads: (crate rest distractors)
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Skeletal Cond./OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans) - 01/17/13 08:37 AM

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Orthopedic/Transitional Vertebrae - 07/26/13 11:13 PM

Links about Transitional Vertebrae

Alternative classification and screening protocol for transitional lumbosacral vertebra in German shepherd dogs.

Abstracts, Excerpts and Quotes

Degenerative Lumbosacral Stenosis

Narrowing of the lumbosacral vertebral canal or intervertebral foramina results in compression of the cauda equina or nerve roots. It is most common in large breeds of dogs, especially German Shepherds, and is rare in cats. It results from degeneration and protrusion of the L7–S1 disk, hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum, or rarely subluxation of the lumbosacral joint. The cause is unknown, although German Shepherds with congenital transitional vertebrae are at increased risk.


A lumbosacral transitional vertebra in the dog predisposes to cauda equina syndrome.
Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2006 Jan-Feb;47(1):39-44.
Flückiger MA, Damur-Djuric N, Hässig M, Morgan JP, Steffen F.

Section of Diagnostic Imaging and Radio-Oncology, Department of Small Animal Clinics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland. mflueckiger@vetclinics.unizh.chThe association between the occurrence of a lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LTV) and the cauda equina syndrome (CES) in dogs was investigated. In 4000 control dogs without signs of CES, 3.5% had an LTV, while in 92 dogs with CES, 16.3% had an LTV. The lesion causing CES always occurred between the last true lumbar vertebra and the LTV. Dogs with an LTV were eight times more likely to develop CES than dogs without an LTV. German Shepherd dogs were eight times more likely to develop CES compared with other breeds. Male dogs were twice as likely to develop CES than females. Dogs with an LTV develop CES 1-2 years earlier than dogs without an LTV.

(xrays do not correlate with degree of symptoms or disease)
The lumbosacral junction in working german shepherd dogs -- neurological and radiological evaluation.
J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2004 Feb;51(1):27-32.
Scharf G, Steffen F, Grünenfelder F, Morgan JP, Flückiger M.
Department of Small Animals, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterhurerstrasse 260, CH 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

The clinical and radiological incidence of lumbosacral (LS) disease was studied on 57 German Shepherd dogs (GSDs) used in active service. The study included a clinical history, a neurological examination, and plain radiographs of the caudal lumbar vertebrae. The neurological examinations revealed lower back pain and/or neural deficits in 21 dogs, of which 14 had a history of pain or pelvic gait abnormalities. Radiographic findings were spondylosis at L7-S1, degeneration of L7-S1 disc, LS malalignment, transitional LS vertebrae and/or primary spinal canal stenosis in 15 dogs with neurological abnormalities and/or back pain and in 18 dogs with no clinical signs. No correlation between the neurological and the radiographic findings were found. This study demonstrates that even prominent radiographic LS abnormalities are of minimal value in the evaluation of LS disease in the GSD.


Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae as a predisposing cause of cauda equina syndrome in German shepherd dogs: 161 cases (1987-1990).
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1993 Jun 1;202(11):1877-82.
Morgan JP, Bahr A, Franti CE, Bailey CS.
Department of Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616.

The records of 161 German Shepherd Dogs were divided into groups depending on whether there was a radiographic diagnosis of degenerative disk disease (DDD) involving the lumbosacral disk and lumbosacral transitional vertebral segments (TVS) and whether the dogs had cauda equina syndrome (CES). Statistical analysis of the data suggested an association between TVS and CES and an association between DDD and CES. Establishment of confidence intervals revealed the group without either DDD or TVS indicators differed markedly from the other 3 groups of CES relative to the presence of DDD and TVS. There was some overlap in the confidence intervals, but the proportions of CES were higher when DDD and TVS were both evident. This suggests that the important clinical syndrome of CES is at least partially dependent on TVS, which is probably an inherited condition. Because German Shepherd Dogs have a higher frequency of TVS than dogs of other breeds, this partially explains the higher frequency of CES in this breed. Because TVS are probably familial, we suggest the presence of this lesion should be considered in selection of breeding stock. Although it is believed that DDD is partially dependent on the existence of TVS, it is known that DDD can develop in the absence of TVS.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Orthopedic/Arthritis Treatments - 08/07/13 06:41 AM

Arthritis Treatments, other than joint supplements:

Doxycycline for hip arthritis:
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Orthopedic/Wobbler's - 04/07/14 02:42 AM

Treating Wobbler's without surgery:
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