Bean arrived at the rescue last December (2008) with a bad case of Mange (demodex), which is an auto immune issue. He is between 3 and 4 years old and very, very sweet, as you can tell just by looking at him. With the mange behind us we noticed a new issue in April with Beanie walking strangely. Tests and x-rays were done and by June he was having a great deal of trouble walking. In August a specialist confirmed a diagnosis of Degenerative Myelopathy.
Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease involving the spinal cord. It is thought to be an inflammatory, autoimmune disease, variable in its presentation and course, in which the immune system attacks the dog’s central nervous system. This attack leads to a loss of insulation around the nerve fibers (myelin) and of nerve fibers (axons). The animal can no longer walk, once the nerves in the spinal cord are destroyed, because without nerve connections, muscles cannot work. Control pathways that make muscles work are located all throughout the spinal cord
It is a sneaky, nasty, mean disease and Beanie’s back legs are no longer working. He has a cart that was donated by someone who had a dog with the same problem and he now has to wear special shoes to protect his back feet. As you can see he really enjoys his time being mobile. Mr. Bean is such a good guy and he just wants to please everyone and have a good time.