Degenerative Myelopathy

Updated on
October 18, 2022

The most common injury when pet owners and veterinarians consider using a Toe-Up Device (sciatic nerve sling), is for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). The cause of Degenerative Myelopathy is unknown. However, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has developed a DNA test to identify patients who carry the mutated gene associated with DM. While having the mutated gene is not a diagnosis, it does significantly increase the likelihood that the patient could develop it. It is believed that DM causes the myelin sheath to break down in the spinal cord disrupting the neurological communication between the patient’s brain and hind limbs. DM is a progressive disease that originates at the spinal cord. It may initially present as hind end weakness or knuckling progressing to ataxia and eventually hind limb paralysis.

Degenerative Myelopathy is diagnosed through the process of elimination. Unfortunately, there is no cure. Formal rehabilitation in conjunction with an OrthoPets Toe-Up Device can improve a patient’s mobility and quality of life.

The OrthoPets Toe-Up is a dynamic assistive device designed to dorsiflex (return the paw to a normal position) the paw. By placing the paw into a normal alignment, the patient can walk without causing injury to the dorsum (top) of the paw. The OrthoPets Toe-Up device is used as a therapeutic intervention in conjunction with a formal rehabilitation program. OrthoPets Toe-Up candidates must be able to bear weight on the affected leg as well as advance the affected limb forward during gait.

To learn more about our Toe-Up Device (sciatic sling), take a look at our Toe-Up page to view patients enjoying life with their OrthoPets Toe-Up Device. Talk to your veterinarian about an OrthoPets Toe-Up Device. OrthoPets has US Partner Clinics and worldwide Distributors to help you and your pet on your journey to restored comfort and mobility. We are here to support you and your pet’s sciatic injury!

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