PetAbility Podcast

Degenerative Myelopathy: an Owner's Perspective with Phoebe Hart

February 21, 2023 PetAbility Season 4 Episode 4
PetAbility Podcast
Degenerative Myelopathy: an Owner's Perspective with Phoebe Hart
Show Notes

Listen as Phoebe Hart takes us on her journey with Hugo, her endearing, 12 y.o., mixed breed rescue that was diagnosed 1.5 years ago with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a neurological disease with no known cure that causes progressive paralysis. Phoebe shares her reaction when she learned of Hugo's diagnosis. She stresses the importance of not panicking, but rather processing, as she assembled a care team that supports both Hugo and herself. Phoebe also discusses  the resources, equipment and supplies she found useful, and the many "pivots" that were necessary as Hugo's disease progressed. Ironically, Phoebe describes Hugo's life now as more enriched than before his diagnosis despite his hind legs no longer working. We examine the physical and emotional stress related to the 24/7 care for any being (also known as compassion fatigue.) Although euthanasia is likely inevitable, Phoebe shares that as long as Hugo keeps exhibiting his can-do attitude and joyful outlook, she will be at his side, celebrating his daily victories and enjoying the company of her best friend.
For more information, go to Living with Dogs with Disabilities, Sarah MacKeigan's online educational platform for owners of dogs with DM and disk disease.
Join Living with Dogs with Disabilities on Facebook.
For DNA testing  for DM through the University of Missouri, click here.
For general information about DM from the University of Missouri, click here.

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