Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Treatment

Although there is no cure for degenerative myelopathy, the purpose of DM medicines is to prolong the period of time which the dog’s quality of life is still good. Owners should be weary of websites and products which guarantee to cure this condition. The medications listed below are what were used in Dr. R.M. Clemmons' (DVM, PhD) studies. Please note that these medications are to be dispensed only by a prescription by a licensed veterinarian. By law, even a vitamin which is compounded by a pharmacy requires a valid prescription. Owners and veterinarians are invited to call Westlab Pharmacy to discuss the disease/treatment medications with an experienced pharmacist.

  1. Acetylcysteine oral 200mg/ml solution (buffered)
  2. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a potent anti-oxidant which may provide protection to neurons of degenerative myelopathy patients. Anti-oxidants are naturally occurring as well as synthetic substances that help protect normal cells from the damaging effects of oxygen free radicals, which are highly reactive compounds created during normal cell metabolism, and in excess in various disease states. Free radicals are damaging because they destroy important cell membranes and cellular proteins and can cause DNA mutations. NAC acts to reduce this damage to nerve cells.

  3. Aminocaproic acid 250mg/ml solution
  4. Aminocaproic acid (EACA) inhibits the process of fibrinolysis, which is the breakdown of fibrin (a protein necessary for blood clotting) and may slow the progression of diseases associated with excessive fibrinolysis. Degenerative myelopathy involves circulating immune complexes in the blood leading to endothelial cell damage in the vessels of the central nervous system. This causes fibrin to be deposited around blood vessels. When this fibrin degrades through fibrinolysis, inflammatory cells are stimulated to migrate into the lesions leading to tissue damage. EACA acts to slow this process.

  5. Antiox-Q and Antiox-QCB (Available in powder and liquid)
  6. Antiox-Q is a compound which contains many vitamins and minerals which are at levels that specifically help the nervous system, correct certain known decreases in blood and tissue levels of certain vitamins in German Shepherd with DM, and help support immune health. Antiox-QCB is the same as Antiox-Q but also contains curcumin and bromelain, which have anti-inflammatory properties which may be helpful in older dogs that possibly have developed canine arthritis in addition to DM. Veterinarians and owners may call Westlab Pharmacy 1-(800) 493-7852 to discuss the contents of the formulas.

What is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)?

Degenerative myelopathy is an immune-related neurological disorder which primarily affects German shepherd dogs. The condition is characterized by weakness in the rear legs, often resulting in an altered gait and a dragging of a rear paw. As the debilitating condition progresses, it leads to paralysis and often incontinence.

Degenerative Myelopathy should be thought of as a condition in which the dog’s immune system is attacking it’s nervous system. Although the exact cause of this process is not known, it is possible that there are genetic as well as environmental factors which may play a role in the development. It should be noted that there is no cure for degenerative myelopathy. However, Dr. R.M. Clemmons, DVM, PhD., a neurologist from University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has developed the protocol which may slow the progression of the condition. When the studies were conducted at the University of Florida, Westlab Pharmacy was trusted to compound the medications which were used on the patients. We continue to collaborate with Dr. Clemmons on additional treatment possibilities for degenerative myelopathy as well as other disease states.

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