I've not updated for some time on Maddie.

By early summer she was hardly walking and we took her to a rehab vet for a cart fitting.  The vet suggested we try cold laser therapy.  You may recall that we aren't sure if Maddie has DM or if her hips and spinal arthritis are the problem.   The laser would not help with DM, but would with the other problems.

For a few weeks she really rallied with the laser, and we were able to walk her maybe a third of a mile or so on a good day.  We were hopeful that maybe it wasn't DM at all.  But right after her treatment two weeks ago, she went downhill dramatically and now can't even stand properly to potty, poor thing.

So back we went to get her measured for a cart.  Just ordered it today.  Please send good wishes that she adapts to it!  We want our girl to get some better quality of life back.  She'll be 11 in December so she deserves some more time.   She's still a happy girl.

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Great idea, Beth!  My neighbor had a toy poodle who had one of these doggy wheelchairs and would follow her around as she did chores with the horses, he was a happy camper. Just probably takes a bit of adjusting.  I'll be watching for a photo!

Everything crossed that she adapts to her new cart without any problems.  Looking forward to seeing pictures of her buzzing around and pulling wheelies.

Max has been having weakness in his back end, started with tremors in his legs, he just turned 13.  He's not in any pain and still herds the cats and chases squirrels but has trouble getting his legs under him when he is on a wood or tile surface.  We put carpet treads on the inside stairs because he insists he come upstairs with me at night and at 35lbs I can't carry him.  He has a ramp for outside, has for years because of the IVDD in his neck. 

Oh Beth,

I'm sorry...I remember when you got Maddie...I'm glad that she will have a set of wheels to help her get around!

It sounds like she isn't too uncomfortable so her quality of life should improve soon after she starts using the cart. I'm guessing she will be very happy to be able to cruise around on her own again. I hope it is easier for you as well.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Chances are Maddie will continue to be a trooper. She is so lucky to have you.

Sending all good wishes to Maddie and hugs to you.  It will work out. 

Beth, I am so sorry that your sweet girl has gotten worse.  Maddie and you folks are in my thoughts and prayers.  I'm glad she  still has her same personality.  I hope she can adjust to the cart and continue to have a good life for a long time to come.  Best wishes.

So sorry.  Maddie looks so much like Al...

Gwynnie is 12 1/2, we think she's showing DM weakness in her hindquarters, but she can still jump up on the bed in an emergency (i.e., breakfast time) and run fast in a straight line.  I want to take her hiking while she still can.  She climbed a mountain last March, in snow.

I scarcely dare to rejoice, but Al's gimpy stifle may have healed well with very little intervention.  I'd feared he was permanently damaged when he woke up lame on Day 6 of a backpacking trip exactly 3 years ago when he'd just turned 6, but I finally got up the courage to try him out on a 3-day trip in the Washington Cascades this weekend, and he did fine!  Mostly easy trail, but some of it was rough, rocky, with fresh slippery snow.   Over 30 miles, and he was running as we hiked out in the dark last night. 

So, we get both kinds of fortune.

Glad Al has recovered.   Sorry to hear about Gwynnie's weakness.  Remember, other things can mimic DM symptoms;  some arthritis in the spine or a protruding disc, sometimes even hip problems.   The order you can expect problems, if it is something progressive, is:

1) nail wear.  This comes first, from dragging.  We found nail caps really help with that.

2) Paw sores.  PAWZ boots worked for us.

3) Gradual loss of ability to walk.  

I check Maddie's feet and legs for sores every single day.  Missing just one day can cause an open sore.  If we leave the booties on too long, she gets sores where they go around her ankles.  Not long enough and she gets sores along her toes from dragging.  Constant adjustments to the routine are the key.  

Hopefully both Al and Gwynnie have some fun hikes ahead!

I must upload some photos!   Maddie is getting better and better with her cart every day.  Yesterday we took her for a half-mile loop at the park.  She is hesitant to start moving, but once she does she can walk, trot, and run quite fast.  She has chased a frisbee and eaten sticks.  She can even potty from the cart (thank heavens).   

Treats and toys only coaxed her to use it hesitantly.  We finally just drove her over to the park, stuck her in it, and turned and walked off as if we would leave her.  THAT was her motivation to start moving and keep moving, and once she kept moving she realized just how easy it was.   

We keep booties on her and leave her hind feet on the ground, since she still paddles them while she's walking in the cart.  My understanding is once they stop using their legs at all, the hind feet should go up in the stirrups, but if they still use them it is best to leave them down. 

She looks cute as can be in it, and she makes people smile.  Life is good.

I'm so glad to hear she is doing good with her cart!  Can't keep a good corgi down!  Can't wait to see pictures.


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