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Gus - Just Asking For Good Thoughts

Guest MomofSweetPotatoes

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Guest MomofSweetPotatoes

Well, I try to stay out of H&M with my guys, because there are a lot more serious things happening with other folk's greys. However, this has been pressing in my mind and I think perhaps it's time to turn to the great folks of GT for thoughts and perhaps input. This is long, so I apologize. I hope you can stick with me.



Ok, Gus is 13. He's got a history of arthritis and corns (front feet). Other than that he's generally healthy. In october, under the advice of our vet, we started physical therapy for hind end uncoordination and a bit of weakness. Back x-rays and tests showed negative for any spinal compression, tumors, and general bad stuff. There was 1 vertebrae that looked a bit closer to another, but nothing totally abnormal.


So, with therapy, Gus responded well. He really gained strength, coordination and was moving very, very well. To the point where Heather (his therapist) was giving us more homework and less clinic work. Which was moving us towards a discharge from services.


The end of January Gus got very sick. Some virus was going around and it made him very, very ill. He ended up in the hospital for 3 days on IV fluids and metronidazole. He lost over 8 pounds in that short time. Even after hospital discharge, it still took him a couple of weeks to get his strength back. He was given "all clear" to resume active therapy 2 weeks after his illness. While he was recovering, he did go to therapy, but only got massage and stretching. No other activity. His bloodwork, U/A , fecal and (he had something else, it's slipping my mind) have all come back normal and negative.


So, back to active therapy mid february. Immediately we noticed how weak he had become. Even at home he would knuckle a foot on occasion. Heather and I assumed it was just recovery weakness, and he would resume normal in 2 weeks or so. So, back to our homework exercises and into therapy each week, still marked weakness, coordination issues, etc. At home he had an incident of bowel incontinence (one nugget just popped out while he was eating dinner)

Heather checked his perianal reflexes and they were within normal limits, so she couldn't speculate further as to why it happened. Because of the weakness in his leg, he started electic stim on his leg to help strengthen. Still he seems to be regressing in therapy rather than progressing. Even at home, there are times where I will watch him and he'll be standing, ready to walk, but just standing. He reminds me of someone with Akinesic Parkinsons, where they are thinking of walking, but just can't get the muscles to do it. Gus will often stand, and you can see him thinking of walking, but it's not happening. I'll usually just rub his bum or leg and he'll start moving.


We did have 1 milestone this week. She weighted his right rear foot (the biggest suspect for knuckling) and had him walk. With the weight, he did well keeping his foot placed right. But like Heather said, it's temporary, because his brain is compensating for the feeling of the weight difference. Unfortunately, with the weight off, immediately he loses coordination in that leg. *sigh*


So, Gus will be seeing a neurologist on March 11th. We're sending him through a gauntlet of tests. I guess what has me worried is that his regression has been so dramatic after his illness. I'm hoping we have answers that are simple solutions or adaptations for Gus. So if you could spare a thought or two. Also if you have any insight for questions, thoughts for the Neurologist, that would be great as I am writing a notebook of questions for him.


Thanks all.


kerri and Gus :paw

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All the very best for Gus!



Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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Sorry to hear that Gus has had a set back. :( Would wonder if he might still have a bit of that bug that made him so sick... is his temp back to normal? Eating & drinking well? Poops normal? No UTI? I know that both Phoenix and my angel Shari (14-15+ range) have had periods of forgetfulness, where they would go outside and end up standing by a bush or around the corner by the A/C doing nothing until I called them it. Like being in their own little world. :rolleyes: The occasional dropped turd is not unusual either for seniors. :lol Would certainly continue the therapy with Gus. Sending lots of prayers and light his way... kisses too. :kiss2

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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Guest Winterwish

Kerri since Gus had been sick he's never left my mind,not one day. I hope the neurologist appointment brings some clear answers. It's always good to consider cardiac involvement too,and at Gus' age,if you can swing it (approx.$250?) ,an echocardiagram may be a good idea.

Sending all good thoughts out for your sweet Gus Kerri. :dogcookie:heart

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I wonder if their could be some residual neurological inflammation left over from his infection that could be causing the knuckling. The neurologist should be able to help with this. Perhaps a short term dose of Prednisone might give some results?


Hugs to you and Gus and please keep us informed. It is so worrisome when you see your senior having problems with weakness in the legs.

:grouphug :grouphug




Hobbes - April 2, 1994 to April 9, 2008-----Tasha - May 23, 2000 to March 31, 2013

Fiona - Aug 29, 2001 to May 5, 2014-----Bailey - March 22, 2001 to Jan 20, 2015

Zeke - June 1, 2004 - Jan 26, 2016----Callie - July 14, 2006 to July 27, 2019

Forever in my heart: Chooch, Molly, Dylan & Lucy

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I wonder if their could be some residual neurological inflammation left over from his infection that could be causing the knuckling. The neurologist should be able to help with this. Perhaps a short term dose of Prednisone might give some results?

that was my thought, also. Acupuncture can work wonders, too.


Kerri, you and Gus continue to be in my thoughts. Please don't think your hounds' health problems aren't important enough to post here, i post whenever there's a little limp :)

Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest vahoundlover

My first thoughts were the same as Fiona3 and robinw....


I'm sorry Gus has been going thru this, sending prayers you get some answers soon. :grouphug Boss does the standing in place like he is thinking about walking and just can't get his body to do it...that's one of our first signs he needs acupuncture.

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Assume you've done Dr. Stack's check for lumbosacral stenosis? Sending lots of hugs for your sweet pup.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest RooRoo

No advice my friend but you know how I feel about Gus :heart I miss not seeing him so often anymore but he's always in my thoughts.


And like Robin said, your pups' health issues are just as important as anyone else's. It's you turn to do some shoulder-leaning, you're always there for us :)


Stay well Gus from Maria, Rizzo and Cousin Kiwi :kiss2

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Guest PhillyPups

Kerri, many prayers from us :hope:hope


The weakness could be him still bouncing back from his bug. I do notice with age, although Stepper is housebroken, every once in a while a "pooplet" will escape and go plop, I just call out turdalert, and take him outside and the rest of the poop comes out. I don't worry about it, as it is usually only a little one. (learned the term from BurpDog, so I guess it is fairly common in seniors.


I agree acupuncture may help, it has done miracles for Zoey who is with Marilyn, and has disc problems. That and the medication, and she is the one that I heard Marilyn yell at "Zoey stop digging".

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when he is 'thinking about walking', is he on carpeting or floors of some type? I'm just wondering if it's hesitation or fear at all..or more like when Holly (who is only almost 9) will hesitate when she gets to the bottom of the stairs, if it somehow doesn't seem like she's starting with the correct foot or not. she will sometimes stop, turn around, walk away and then approach again, and go up normally. or sometimes if I just say something like 'there you go, you got it' or something like that, she'll just head up like normal.


does he squat super low when pooping (I mean normal pooping outside, not the escaping poops while eating)? does he keep walking while he's pooping? I babysit a 13 year old female who does this. I know she has some hind end issues, but she doesn't seem to be in any pain whatsoever. she will also have an escape poop or two while eating, or just walking to her food bowl. she doesn't seem to notice or care. she also seems to like to sprint back after going outside as opposed to just walking. it's almost like if she moves fast enough there's less chance of anything going wrong, or any confusion...basically movement over stillness. I think that is why she poop walks, too...she has less trouble being up on all fours (as opposed to roaching on the couch) as long as she's moving foward at the same time. it's the standing still part that confuses or worries her.


sending hugs and prayers :grouphug:hope



Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest Flint

Lots of good thoughts coming your way for Gus. Aerosmom has had a lot of experience with neurologists in Massachusetts and she can probably recommend a good one.

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Guest Carla

Hi Kerri,


Just sending white light and positive thoughts to you and Gus.


It's hard seeing our greys age - and we worry so much about them.





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