Over the winter of 2015-2016 I noticed she was limping more with the weakness being the left rear leg (the one initially paralyzed by the embolism). We’ve always done daily massages to her back and leg but we began to increase them plus reintroduced the  passive range of motion exercises. By the end of February I knew “something” was wrong so I took her on March 8 for an evaluation her the neurosurgeon veterinarian who had treated her FCE in 2011. He initially was leaning towards a diagnosis of Degenerative Myelopathy, the canine version of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Knuckling is one of the first signs of DM and progress from there. When a dog knuckles, they turn the toes under as they take a step. This causes several things to happen. The top of their foot can sustain abrasions which can be difficult to heal as they reopen them with the next knuckling. Also, when they knuckle they lose their balance because their rear legs intertwine and the subsequently fall down. I have a video on Sasha’s You Tube channel called Excellent Example of Knuckling ~ August 8 that shows the sequence. After examining her Dr. Potthoff said he wanted to get a blood sample to test for the DM Genetic Marker. The test  was developed by the University of Missouri  and he sent his samples there as well. The test doesn’t indicate if your dog has DM but rather if they have the DNA marker. There are test kits one can purchase, swab their dogs cheek and submit to a biolab but that’s the extent of my knowledge. My mouth fell open as I truly believed that this new bout of muscle weakness was somehow related to her embolism of 2011 and loss of muscle.I left with DM handouts and a sick feeling. I couldn’t believe that my goofy girl, my fighting hero, might be taken from me within a year. I lost my beloved dog Callie Ann in Nov. 2015 and I was still grieving her terribly. The thought of losing another one of my precious girls was horrid. Dr. Potthoff said the test results take a month so I started researching DM and joined a Facebook DM support group. The week before Easter the his office called to tell me the results were back and Sasha did NOT have the DNA marker and therefore did not have DM. I was ecstatic (even if they had her birthday terribly wrong)!

2 thoughts on “Sasha’s True Journey Begins..

  1. Oh wow you must have been biting your nails waiting for the test results. I never heard of DM until a few years ago. Those poor dogs. And the dedication of their owners blows me away.

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