Ellie will be 14 in May and our poor girl is having some struggles.  She has degenerative myelopathy – a condition that can affect many large breeds and frequently found in German Shepherds. Degenerative myelopathy is a condition in which there is a steady degeneration of the spinal cord causing the affected dog to slowly lose control of its rear legs and lose sensation.  It isn’t a painful disease, but it is very difficult watching our once healthy and happy girl decline in such a way.  She still enjoys her walks around the farm a few times a day but she is much slower and needs some help and then a long nap.

On top of this, we are now dealing with a growth on the side of her face that keeps opening and bleeding.  She is wearing a cone now so she can’t get to it and scratch at it or rub it open when we are not with her.  Poor girl looks so miserable.  I had Dr. B at the clinic look at it as I would just like to have it removed, but he said he is concerned that her heart is not strong enough to withstand anesthesia.  We will give it some time to see if it will heal up enough so she can be released from the cone.  If not, maybe the docs can work out a safer way to remove the growth without putting her at too much risk.  Ellie is such a sweet girl and puts up with all these things we are trying to do to help her.