Dr. Andrew Isaacs, DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center

His primary interests include intervertebral disc disease, seizure management, luxations/fractures of the spine, and surgery for brain tumors
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Monday, May 15, 2013

Renae asks:  I just lost my best friend, Chewy, a long hair brindle standard, to Myelomalacia 2 months ago. The vet wouldn't really give me the time to explain how it may have happened or if I did something wrong, or can do something to prevent it from happening again. I have 2 other doxies, is there anything you can tell me about how to prevent something lie this happening again?  Thank you so much!n

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Chewy.

Probably the greatest factors leading to myelomalacia is the intensity and speed of the concussive injury that occurs when the disk ruptures.  Unfortunately, there is no way to modify how the disks rupture other than lifestyle changes that decrease the higher impact activities (jumping on/off sofas/beds, and up/down stairs).  Also, unfortunately there is no way to make a dachshund not a dachshund and the inherent personality that goes along with them.  So, to summarize- do not feel bad, there is nothing that you did or did not do to cause the myelomalacia.  With your other dogs the most important thing is to minimize/discourage high impact activities within reason.

Take care,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ellen asks: How long from onset of an injury is it possible for myelomalacia to develop?  ie, if my pup injured his spine last summer, can myelomalacia develop over months or is it a quickly-accelerating thing?

Myelomalacia will develop within a relatively short time following a traumatic injury to the spinal cord. Typically, after a week or two you would be out of the woods as long as there is not something that is causing continued injury to the spinal cord.

[ Editor's note:  related "Dodgers Digest" article by Laurie Miller, Registered Neuro Vet Tech: http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/Myelomalacia.pdf ]

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