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This is a rare hereditary disorder that is similar to Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  First the myelin sheath, which acts like an insulator to isolate individual nerve impulses, begins to strip away.  Then the actual axon of the nerve will wither.  This will show up in the back legs as weakness first.  The dog will progress to dragging the nails on the back paws and having difficulties getting up.  The disease will progress to the point where the dog no longer knows where he puts his legs.  This will lead to stumbling and eventually a crossing of the legs during attempts to walk.  The spinal cord will eventually take enough damage from this that the end result is fatal.  Symptoms can include:

  • Back Limb Weakness
  • Worn Nails
  • Difficulty Getting Up
  • Stumbling
  • Knuckling of the Toes
  • Muscle Loss in Rear Legs
  • Tremors in Back Legs
  • Urinary and Fecal Incontinence
  • Anxiety
  • Crying in Pain
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Pneumonia
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Organ Failure
  • Sudden Collapse
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Death