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Canine Ehlers-Danlos syndrome - anybody dealt with it?

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  • Canine Ehlers-Danlos syndrome - anybody dealt with it?

    Before anyone tells me.... I know I'm grasping at straws, I know this doesn't look good and the comfort and quality of life of the dog is the only deciding factor. Now that that is out of the way.

    I just had a dog diagnosed with EDS. It is not 100% confirmed but so far all the tests done certainly point in that direction and she most likely will have to be put down. She's 3 1/2 months old and with her conditions, is much younger than most cases. She is considered 'severe' in the scheme of things. She has the type that affects joints although there is a sensitivity in her skin. The joints are the severe part, the skin condition is rated as mild.

    She's the only one in the litter (or any of 4 litters) that has ever had this mutated DNA. It is rare and the researcher that my vet contacted said it has never (known) showed up in this breed. At least not that he is aware.

    I am just hoping that someone has dealt with this or had some success with a treatment. I have just started researching it and it's not looking good. I just went for a laser treatment and asked the doctor about using laser on her joints, since I have had such an amazing experience with laser treating a number of issues. However, as he explained, I'm using laser to repair a damaged, but DNA-wise, a properly formed joint, muscle, ligament.... whatever. The laser cannot correct the DNA mutation.

    So anybody? Good or bad I'd love some feedback.

    And to explain what it is -
    Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a group of inherited connective tissue disorders, caused by a defect in the synthesis of collagen (a protein in connective tissue). Connective tissue helps support the skin, muscles, ligaments and organs of the body. Depending on the individual mutation, the severity of the syndrome can vary from mild to life-threatening. There is no known cure. Treatment is supportive.

    Thanks!
    Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
    Come join us at - TheMuckBucket

  • #2
    I have EDS. I am not a dog, but a 36 yo female that was diagnosed at age 17. I have had a lot of problems related to it. I have had multiple surgeries, injuries and a lot of pain due to it. There is no treatment, no cure. My quality of life is very good, but my activities are becoming next to nil besides horse back riding and walking. That is about it.

    I am sorry to hear about your dog. It depends on its symptoms. It doesn't get better. Mine has gotten worse. Good luck. It is not easy.
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      And I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Many of the sites that I found regarding EDS were relating to humans and it broke my heart reading about it. I can't wrap my head around the fact that this can't be fixed... or at least controlled to provide a decent quality of life - for a long time.

      I've watched this puppy go from a cute waddling little sweetheart to a puppy that is dragging around her hind end as her hind legs can't support her 4 1/2 lb weight. I took her to the vet to find out if she had pinched a nerve, dislocated something..... this just left me stunned. To see the xrays and how open and swollen her joints are was unbelieveable. The vet could dislocate her knees, hocks, hips.. just with a bit of pressure with his fingers. She has some fluid in her lungs and it is suspected that she's bleeding internally. Before dealing with that, I wanted to check if anything could be done to secure her joints because if there isn't, the rest doesn't matter. She'll have to put down. It just breaks my heart.

      Thank you for responding. It is very much appreciated. Take care of yourself - you'll very much be in my thoughts and prayers.

      Laurie
      Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
      Come join us at - TheMuckBucket

      Comment


      • #4
        Laurie,

        No, the prayers need to be with you. It is very difficult. I am fine and will be fine. I have to be more careful and timely in my chores and life. My joints come out easily as well.

        Too easily. My heart goes out to your poor puppy. It is not easy, but you will be sparing her years of pain. Yes it hurts. You already know that. It isn't easy, but I am sure you are doing the right thing.

        Take care. My prayers are with you and your puppy.

        MTR
        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

        Comment


        • #5
          wow I didn't know dogs have it.

          I have it mildly but my sister has it full blown. She refuses to let them do tests on her for research. So little is known. She has heart problems, circulation problems, hyperextension of joint and major over elastic skin ( can-t have stitches only staples. Before she was diagnosed the Dr's. thought my mother was beating her because she cuts so easy.) Kelli now has osteoporosis at age 39.

          I just have major joint pain and scar easily. Major joint pain
          Draumr Hesta Farm
          "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
          Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

          Comment


          • #6
            The fundamental problem at such an early age is that the tissues, joints, etc are needed to continue growth...since the degenartion is already occuring, there's not a lot you can do about affecting new growth--only attempt to fix the already damaged tissues. (from what I am familiar with regarding this disease--I am not a vet nor do I play one on tv.)

            To be honest....I think I would consider supportive care until such time that she cannot be kept comfortable. And then I would euth. I know that seems kind of extreme...but she's only 3 1/2 mos old now. To continue down the path surgically (laser or otherwise) will likely be an ongoing expense as well as a painful situation for the pup.

            I really do believe that dogs, horses, etc live in the now. If now is great? Life is great! If now sucks? Life sucks. When there is a relatively good prognosis, we can reasonably ask them to suffer some even though they don't understand. But when the prognosis is poor or chronic and worsening, I don't think it's fair to ask them to have "life sucks" moments daily.

            If you're in a situation financially that you feel comfortable throwing a lot of money at this and you are reasonably certain that pup is not in pain, I see nothing wrong with that. But if you were my best friend asking, "Roo, what would YOU do?" I would say, "Keep her comfortable, then euth."

            Best wishes to you.

            PS: if you were my best friend you'd know how I am with my critters--spent 7k last year with the doggy neurologist and other veterinarians for my monster dog. Spent thousands for end of life care over 5-6 years for my 32 yo gelding...and when I couldn't keep him comfy I put him down before the bad days outnumbered the good. I love my critters...and would not take your situation lightly.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              As I said right at the beginning..... the quality of life for this dog is all that counts. And if I can't fix it - she will be put down. In a very short period of time I've watched her go from a happy little pup to one that just isn't. She has a puppy mind and legs that aren't working. If there is no treatment, this isn't fair to her. Sometimes I wish we could be as kind to people.

              The hardest part is 90% of her is 'normal'. She's happy to see you in the morning, she wants so much to do things, her little tail is always wagging and when she sees a cat she's just beside herself and does her best to get to it to just lick it to death. She's a demanding little diva and a cuddle bunny all at the same time. But if she isn't arthritic now, she soon will be. Besides those joints moving have got to hurt. I get the test results today and then I'll know 100%. But I think I already know.

              Thanks everyone. As I said, I knew I was grasping at straws. But I had to do that grasp.

              Garbo....

              http://i42.tinypic.com/e7xu6d.jpg

              http://i43.tinypic.com/kbon4w.jpg
              Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
              Come join us at - TheMuckBucket

              Comment


              • #8
                I just have something to add about laser therapy. While your vet is right in that it cannot heal the DNA, it can still have great benefits on her pain level. Lasers do definatly help in healing, but they can also be used only for pain management and inflammation. Both of which could benefit her. That's part of the reason they are so useful with arthritis. They don't heal the condition, but they do help to remove the inflammation that causes pain, as well as lowering pain at the tissue level.

                My thoughts and prayers are with you and the little one. Find comfort in knowing that when the time comes you're not ending her life, you're just letting her beautiful spirit out of a body that can't keep up with her heart.

                Katherine
                Vet Tech
                You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Katherine.... thanks. I'm very much a fan of laser after having used it to repair some herniated disc's (I literally got my life back), soft tissue injuries and recently a torn rotator cuff and all were done with no surgery needed. But in the case of this little girl, unless there is a way of stabilizing her joints so that they can at least function well enough to carry her weight... I can't see any reason to use it. I may temporarily take the pain away but if she is trying to get around on open, dislocating joints, she will just keep doing damage to herself and causing reoccurring pain.

                  But at this point it doesn't really matter, she was put down this morning.

                  I'm having a really hard time with this one. It's one thing when it's an animal that has had a good long life but this little dog just didn't deserve what has been handed to her in such a short time. She was ill at 3 weeks (totally unrelated), got through that and then got hit with this. On the pity party for one front, I just lost her dad a short time ago.... too many losses.

                  RIP Garbo and know you may have only lived a little while but you were loved a life times worth.

                  Thanks again everyone for your input.
                  Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
                  Come join us at - TheMuckBucket

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rest in Peace Miss Garbo....you were loved and thought of by another in SC.

                    Rest knowing you did the right thing for her.....Bless you for keeping us posted....it is never easy, but it is always painful.....

                    May you find peace as well.....
                    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      thanks
                      Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
                      Come join us at - TheMuckBucket

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm sorry for your loss.
                        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Awww I am sorry
                          Draumr Hesta Farm
                          "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                          Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You saved her from suffering, and she was safe and loved in her short life.

                            Rest in peace, little Garbo, and strength to those of you who have the disease.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How very sad, for all who have this disorder. The hyper-elastic skin and the connective tissue component seems very much like DSLD in horses, which in turn has also been likened to Marfan syndrome in humans. I am so sorry that this was not a fixable problem.
                              Last edited by sdlbredfan; Jun. 12, 2009, 10:52 PM. Reason: did not realize puppy already gone...
                              Jeanie
                              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm so sorry! Poor little Garbo, may she RIP. You did the right thing, and I know that doesn't help your breaking heart. She was 4 1/2 pounds of wonderful.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  You are all so kind thank you very much.
                                  Sometimes I just think funny things - Dudley Moore in Arthur
                                  Come join us at - TheMuckBucket

                                  Comment

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