Harvey is an 8 year old German shepherd dog. In March 2015 he was diagnosed with CDRM. He was already known to have hip dysplasia and he had had spinal surgery (laminectomy) in 2011. He was also believed to have osteoarthritis.
We understood that, while CDRM progresses at different rates in different dogs, it was likely that we would lose Harvey within a year.
Harvey has hydrotherapy at a centre very close to our home. However, once every two to three weeks I drive the hour or so to Cathy’s for him to have a massage. Cathy has concentrated on his front legs, which have had to take far more weight and strain than they should in order to compensate for the weakness in his hind legs. We are now one year post-diagnosis. Harvey is going strong and can still do half hour walks without any trouble. While there is some muscle wastage, he has not deteriorated at all since March 2015. If anything, there is more muscle bulk and he is stronger. He has regular hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and massage. We also use electromagnetic pads on his shoulders and hips every night. We will never know how much each of these therapies has contributed to maintaining his condition. However, I believe that massage has relieved the pain in his shoulders and forelegs, and contributed significantly overall to his health. He also enjoys it. Since he and I may have limited time left together, there is a lot to be said for my sitting on the floor at his side and stroking his ears while he relaxes under a massage.