When I first noticed Gus, my beloved white Boxer, dragging his back foot, I teased him about being lazy. At age 10, Gus was finally mellowing out after a decade of careening through life like a rodeo bull. Soon, though, he was dragging that foot on our walks, and because we live in an urban (read: paved) area, all that friction began to wear down his nails and scrape the skin from his knuckles.
This was my first indication that Gus had degenerative myelopathy.
An insidious disease, degenerative myelopathy in dogs is a slowly progressing condition that affects the nerves of the spinal cord, cutting off communication between the brain and limbs. Over time, the affected dog will become paraplegic and eventually will be unable to stand.