Sam has Degenerative Myelopathy which is caused by a Mutation of the SOD1 gene, therefore it is an inherited neurologic disorder of dogs. This mutation is found in many breeds of dog, including the pug. Sam has suffered this condition since one year ago and has been deteriorating slowly as from the past year, however only recently he has lost almost completely the strength of his hind-limbs. He is slowly developing fecal and urinary continence and the forelimbs may be affected in the future. This disease is similar to humans ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. There is degeneration and atrophy of the muscles and hence the loss of capability of walking. Sam is still very healthy otherwise, stubborn, strong and very determined. I sincerely recommend the use of a wheelchair for his well being in this last stage of his happy Life.
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