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           DM is characterized by a de-myelination of the axons of the mid thoracic region of the spinal cord (12). The typical lesions are illustrated in the figure in the upper right that contains cross-sections of a DM (left) and normal spinal cord (right). Note the lack of blue staining in the upper part of the left cord. The blue color stains for myelin and clearly it is diminished in this cord from a Pembroke Welsh Corgi with DM (12). Early clinical signs of DM include a mild ataxia and paresis of the pelvic limb. The most common initial clinical sign on presentation is a scuffing of the nails and paws.  Knuckling of the hind paws (next page), dragging of the toes and dysmetria are other signs. If forced to turn quickly, many dogs fall in an outward direction. Both hind limbs are usually affected, but one limb may be more affected than the other. A thorough neurological workup usually suggests a lesion in the spinal cord between T3 and L3. Postural reactions and proprioceptive positioning, hopping, paw placement and

2. Degenerative Myelopathy (DM):            Not Accepting Patients at this time

           Degenerative myelopathy is an insidious, slowly progressive disease of the spinal cord that involves primarily the long tracts of the thoracolumbar spinal cord (11). DM is characterized by a de-myelination of axons in the mid-thoracic region of the cord as shown to the right (12). DM occurs in middle-age to older large breed dogs usually between five and 14

years of age. Degenerative myelopathy occurs almost exclusively in large breeds, although similar syndromes have been seen in many other breeds. The disease is prevalent in older German Shepherd dogs and it was originally termed "German Shepherd myelopathy" or "progressive myelopathy". It occurs with high frequency in several other breeds including Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Belgium shepherd, old English sheepdogs Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Weimaraners and Great Pyrenees dogs (11-16).

From Coats, J. et al. J. Vet. Intern. Med. 21: 1323-31, 2007.