Story of Rex

by | Jul 9, 2021 | Blog, Love Stories

Within a month of Rex turning seven, his owner began seeing signs that something was wrong with his gait. As a 7-year old German Shepherd, Rex, began showing signs that something was wrong with his gait. Rex is an intelligent, driven-all-day, Frisbee-playing, man’s best friend, who never meets a stranger.  He was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) in April 2021. Even with his struggles with DM, Rex is playful with a lovable nature and constantly pushing for more zest in life.

Nicknamed Buddy and Dude for his goofball, mischief, and loveable nature. Playful with a childlike heart constantly pushes for more zest in life even through his struggles with DM. Early on in life, with a history of staph infections from allergies. When Rex was about six months old and still intact, he began enduring chronic urinary retention, needing catheterization on numerous occasions. His veterinarian suggested the owner have Rex neutered to see if it helped his bladder retention. They attempted to change several preventive measures to no avail. Rex continued to have bladder retention. His primary veterinarian thinking it may be neurological but could never confirm this to be the case with Rex. In March of 2021, the owner brought Rex into our Emergency Department for hind legs lameness as he was limping when he walked. Within a month, he was back with Dr. Newman to evaluate and test for DM alongside his littermate Lexi, who was also tested. At this time, research shows DM is related to the breed, not genetic.

The owner, wishing they had come for surgery, only to learn of DM. Degenerative Myelopathy is a spinal neurological incurable disease. Living life to the fullest with a balance was Rex’s owner’s goal from here forward. Today, Rex continues to tolerate play, while keeping the muscle mass he has left. After the DM diagnosis, the 115-pound Rex can still fetch a ball, but the Frisbee has been retired. His limp has become more noticeable, but Rex never complains. Rex drags his foot a bit but wrapping helps protect it when playing.  Rex is pain-free and is living a quality of life.  His family cherishes the time together and continue to live each day to the fullest.

His littermate Lexi with a history of disc herniation, alarmed the owner when they realized Rex wasn’t getting well. They thought he might have hurt his hip or back when playing. He never complained; the only sign of DM was limping.

Rex’s owner feels Rex is regressing faster than Lexi, his littermate. He has a bit of foot drag that they wrap for protection when playing, but he still gets around well except for some falling when he plays too hard. Rex began showing symptoms months after Lexi.  Accessibility is made for Rex throughout the home in areas he travels typically. Man’s best friend and the inevitable prognosis as he lives each moment, hour, and day to the fullest.