Extra Love Needed: Meet Autumn

Miss Autumn

Where did her name come from?

Autumn was named for the month we found her in, it was late October.

How did she spend her 10th birthday?
She spent her 10th birthday swimming, and the kids in the neighborhood sang to her.

How did she find her forever home?
Autumn showed up one cold October night when my fiancee was leaving to work the night shift. She came running over to him with a leash and collar on her. He drove around and tried to find the owner and then she spent a week in the shelter while they tried to find the owner. We were then allowed to adopt her.

Does she have any fursiblings you live with?
She had a best friend named Kobe who passed away December of 2011. She has 3 cat siblings, Garfield, Gizmo and Kiki.

When was she first diagnosed with DM?
She started showing signs of DM in November of 2011, actual diagnosis was march of 2012.
There is no cure for DM. Some of the things people do to slow progression is exercising, swimming, cart. There are different vitamins and supplements people use, fish oil, vitamin e, vitamin c, aminocaproic acid to name a few.

What other information would you like to share about DM?
People should look out for changes in their pets gait, dragging or scraping of nails when they walk. It used to be primarily a disease that affected german shepherds but now the list of breeds affected is quite long.

What are some of Autumn’s favorite things to do? 
Autumn’s favorite thing to do is to swim. She also likes to go for walks and bark at people and eat meatballs and arbys sandwiches.
We would like people to know that despite the devastating diagnosis of DM, you can still live a happy life with caring dedicated family. We started her page to raise awareness for DM, and to inspire others to never give up hope.

Her Story:
Autumn came into our lives when she was about 4 months old. She has been an absolute delight, very sweet and full of life. In November of 2011 she started dragging her back leg, and we found out she had this horrible disease we had never heard of called Degenerative Myelopathy. We were so devastated and very frustrated that the vets didn’t seem to know much about it, and that there
is no cure. Once we accepted that it is what it is, we decided to try and turn it into
i something positive, and we started this page to educate others about Degenerative Myelopathy, and living with a special needs pet. We want to show people that there is still life after a DM diagnosos, and to not give up. This is a horrible disease, but we are not giving up , We consider every day with Autumn a blessing, she inspires us each and every day, she loves life, doesn’t feel sorry for herself, and she makes our day, every day. When we first found out she had this, we were told she would only have 6 months to a year, That was 2 and a half years ago, and she has proven them wrong………one of our favorite quotes to live by is “Where there is great love, there are always miracles”. Since her diagnosis, she has inspired people from all over the world, We hope she will inspire you, and make her way into your hearts ♥

About Degenerative Myelopathy – DM

Degenerative myelopathy initially affects the back legs and causes muscle weakness and loss, and lack of coordination. These cause a staggering effect that may appear to be arthritis. The dog may drag one or both rear paws when it walks. This dragging can cause the nails of one foot to be worn down. The condition may lead to extensive paralysis of the back legs. As the disease progresses, the animal may display symptoms such as incontinence and has considerable difficulties with both balance and walking. If allowed to progress, the animal will show front limb involvement and extensive muscle atrophy. Eventually cranial nerve or respiratory muscle involvement necessitates euthanasia.
Severity – 5
Degenerative Myelopathy has an extreme degree of severity.

Progression of the disease is generally slow but highly variable. The animal could be crippled within a few months, or may survive up to three years.
Weakness in the hind end
Toe nail wear in the hind feet
Slow reflexes in the hind feet and legs
Trouble getting up
Loss of coordination in the hind legs
Loss of muscle mass in the hind end

Genetic Testing
Genetic Technologies provides a test for Degenerative Myelopathy ORDER A TEST

Breeds Affected
Bernese Mountain Dog
Wheaten Terrier (soft coated)
Golden Retriever
Kerry Blue Terrier
Welsh Corgi Pembroke
Shetland Sheep Dog
German Shepherd
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Welsh Corgi Cardigan
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Fox Terrier Wire Haired
Great Pyrenees

 Author’s Note: Many thanks to Autumn’s wonderful mom for letting me ask questions and sharing her story. You can visit her on her page – Autumn’s Journey Pictures were used with permission. 


This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme. Please click on the below badge for more interviews with pets that need extra love & care.


2 Replies to “Extra Love Needed: Meet Autumn”

  1. Autumn, you have a beautiful face and your beautiful spirit comes right through! You look very strong and comfy in your little wheel cart. You are in the perfect family. They love you so much, and also give you MEATBALLS AND ARBY’S. Wow! Stay strong! xoxo

    Love and licks,

Meow! Woof! Chirrp! Tell me what you think. =^..^=