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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Gentle help for Degenerative Myelopathy

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have a Dobermann cross, who has been my best friend for 13 years. She has just recovered from a stroke, and has now been diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy, which is so heartbreaking.
I have read about three biological therapies – Coenzyme Compositum, Psorinoheel, and Galium Heel. Could any of these help with this awful condition?
Also, would hydrotherapy help?
I will do anything to help my dog, to make it easier for her to cope with this debilitating disease.
Any advice at all would be very much appreciated.
Miss M. Huggins, Sunderland

Richard Allport, vet, advises...

Degenerative Myelopathy, known as DM for short, is a slowly progressive degenerative disease of the nerves in the spinal cord which is generally believed to be caused by an auto immune condition. The affected dog becomes weak and wobbly in the hind legs and as the disease progresses can also lose control of bowels. Dogs with DM usually appear perfectly fit and well in other respects, which is why it is indeed so heartbreaking. Eventually more or less complete loss of use of the hindquarters occurs and the affected dog can no longer stand or walk. DM is painless, but is naturally distressing for dogs that have the condition.

There are no drugs that help this problem, but natural medicines and therapies can often help slow down progression, sometimes give periods of stability, and occasionally give short term improvement.

I find acupuncture very beneficial, and high doses of Vitamin E seem to help (1000 iu per day for large dogs). Supplements of Zinc and Selenium can be of benefit for some patients, and the amino acid Dimethylglycine (DMG) can be helpful too.

Homoeopathic medicines often give good results. Of the ones you mention, Psorinoheel is more useful for skin disease and liver problems, Coenzyme Compositum is more effective for chronic fatigue type illnesses where total energy levels are low, as opposed to DM, where general energy is normal, and only one small part of the body is physically affected. Galium Heel may give some benefit – it is used for auto immune and other immune system diseases, but I find Dimethylglycine more effective. The two homoeopathic medicines I have found most useful are Conium maculatum and Lathyrus, and these will work particularly well if given alongside the dog’s personal constitutional homoeopathic medicine (which you would need a qualified ho0moeopathic vet to prescribe).

A good diet is also important – good quality ingredients, no preservatives or additives, and as much fresh food as possible.

And finally support therapies such as hydrotherapy, massage and physiotherapy can be of benefit too.

Good luck with your canine best friend, I hope she still has a long and happy time with you.

For more information on any of the treatments detailed above do contact the Natural Medicine Centre on 01707 662058 or e mail (giving a phone number we can call you on if possible)


  1. Hi

    I had a dog many years ago with DM. I have never heard of the treatments you have mentioned but I have heard that hydro does help the dog. There is an excellent support group on yahoo groups - that provides excellent support and advice for those whose dogs have this disease. The most important thing is to keep calm around your dog and not to let her see you get stressed or upset as this could cause them distress.

    Good luck with your care of your girl. Sadly, people may not agree with you persevering in your care of your dog but they do not know you or your dog. I do recommend that you join either the above list or one of the groups on facebook because it does help to speak to others going through the same thing as you. It's a tough disease to deal with and even one shoulder of support can be a lifeline.



  2. how do you dose the DMG? I have DMG 125 mg pills- feed these ? On empty stomach or does it matter? Thank you. I have a German Shepherd foster dog with DM.