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How Was Your Ls Dog Diagnosed?


Guest SusanP
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Guest SusanP

There is a chance our Wizard's problems may be (or may include) Lumbrosacral stenosis...but our vet isn't comfortable diagnosing it using the method Dr. Stack outlines in her article. I'm not sure I want to put Wizard through a vet college visit/MRI. And neither of us is sure he could tolerate steroid injections even if he has it, since he became so terribly ill while on oral prednisone recently.

 

So can you tell me about how your LS dogs were diagnosed, and also what treatment you followed? Is the surgery for this very hard on the dog? Is it very effective? We're so unsure about what is going on with Wizard I'm afraid to go too whole-hog in any one direction, especially as he is very stressed nowadays about being handled (he began yelping as soon as the vet grabbed his leg to take a blood sample the other day, and she was not being rough. (This was his left front leg, the only one he has not exhibited any sign of weakness in, and our conclusion was that it was more hysteria than pain causing his reaction). He gets upset when I try to wash him or when I've tried to pop a pill down his throat--we're doing minimal handling while he's feeling not quite right. I'm so worried about putting him through lots of stressful diagnostic procedures, especially since there are so many directions we could go in--neurological, spinal, gastrointestinal.

 

To date, he's had ultrasound, xrays, and bloodwork, and we are currently attempting to treat for IBD with sulfasalozine. But there is leg weakness going on, too, worse since the prednisone, which our vet said is not surprising, as it can cause muscle wasting. This morning he actually fell down on his right hip when backing up. The weakness seems to come and go. He's eating better but not normally, and he hasn't gained more than a pound back from when he was on the prednisone, though he appears to be a more normal weight to us now.

 

Please tell me what you can about LS?

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Sorry you're having trouble with Wizard!

 

I don't have answers for you -- we're in diagnosis limbo with our Asta, too -- but I can share a bit of what's going on so you can compare situations.

 

Asta has recently had X-rays and three neurological exams. Her first two neuro exams were normal, but the third (just a week after the second) showed a problem with the foot/leg that she'd been protecting while limping during this, her fourth major episode since Thanksgiving of ongoing pain with intermittent lameness.

 

This third exam happened on a visit to a vet who does a lot of work with greyhounds and has treated many w/LS. Even w/the new results and the severe pain Asta has at the base of her spine, the "LS vet" isn't willing to diagnose LS and agrees MRI is the only way to really do it. But she is very willing to try the Depo-Medrol shot once with Asta as soon as we've weaned her off Prednisone. If it helps, then we'll treat it as probable LS and continue the shots.

 

Note that Asta has not done well on Prednisone . . . we were weaning her off of it anyway. But -- as I understand it -- the oral Pred and the D-M (an intramuscular injection) aren't metabolized the same way, and this "LS vet" has no problem trying it on Asta knowing/agreeing that we wouldn't give her oral Prednisone again.

 

I don't know if that will help or hinder your decision making, but I wanted to chime in with our info.

Lisa

 

Dog mama to angel-boy Ewan (racing name Atascocita Ewan), 3/26/10 to 8/23/20, and angel-girl Asta (racing name Pazzo Asta), 6/16/01 to 9/7/13.

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Rex's was diagnosed using the Dr. Herron method -- by Dr. Herron. :)

 

The shots were nothing short of a miracle for him. He went from being unable to get off the couch without help to bounding up and down the back steps. I have been told that the injectable steroids have far fewer side effects than the oral ones.

 

I'd imagine spinal surgery would be very hard on any dog which is why I didn't opt for it with two ruptured discs in my 14 year old yorkie. Surgery was not an option for the cervical spinal problem that eventually took Rex at the age of 6.

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Guest KennelMom

Have had two evaluated using Dr. Stack's method, one was diagnosed and the other ruled it out. We also did xrays as a general diagnostic tool.

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Susan - my Indy had hind-end weakness, etc. Ran the gauntlet of what traditional medicine had to offer - x-rays, anti-inflammatories, etc. Finally requested a referral to a neurologist. In retrospect, I probably didn't need to spend the $$$ for a MRI - but I did. Confirmed mild to moderate LS; mild disk protrusion. Doc prescribed Pred to see if it would help Indy feel better and reduce inflammation. It didn't. Indy was miserable on the Pred. Consequently, the doc didn't feel Indy was a good candidate for surgery -- which came with no guaranty of improvement. All he could offer was a three-drug cocktail for pain, inflammation, etc. Indy was 10 at the time, and there was no way I was going to put him through back surgery anyway.

 

So after reading the med labels, I decided not to fill the scripts. Thankfully, about six months later I was referred to a vet who performed acupuncture and about eight months later, finally found an animal chiropractor.

 

The acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments worked absolute wonders. Oh, we also added the Chinese herb "Body Sore." I was able to avoid admininstering meds that can sometimes cause more problems than you had to begin with.

 

We were able to successfully manage Indy's back issues until his death. He was doing great at 12 yrs old (but sadly, I had to say goodbye in Feb due to cancer).

 

Don't know quite what you're dealing with, but acupuncture and chiropractic are worth pursuing if you have drs in your area who offer the service.

 

Good luck to you and Wizard.

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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Can you tell me, what is the Dr. Herron method?

It is the method that Dr. Herron taught Suzanne -- From her article on Greythealth --

"The good news is that there is a simple palpation technique to detect LS and a way to inject Depo-Medrol intralesionally to help it, similar to what is done in humans. It was taught to me by Dr. Mike Herron, a professor of small animal orthopedic surgery at Texas A & M for 32 years, owner of racing greyhounds, and all around "greyhound guru." "

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I took George to a specialist; it's actually a fairly EASY preliminary diagnosis using "Dr. Stack's method" (which I believe is actually something Dr. Stack borrowed from another doctor). We also did regular x-rays. A definitive diagnosis would require MRI. But I asked if the treatment plan (I would never even consider the surgical option--my dog is 7, and barely survived a dental, never mind major spinal surgery!) would be ANY different with a preliminary vs. definitive diagnosis, and the vet said no.

 

I don't have the $2,600 they charge for an MRI just to be positive about something they can't really do much for (aside from the major surgery), so I saw no point.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Your vet could likely call Dr. Stack with questions. I don't have her phone number handy but you can google her email.

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 SusanP

I'm not sure I can get past the vet's resistance to the Herron/Stack method, but I'm not sure I'm willing to put Wiz through an MRI etc at the state college. Our vet did say his spine looked fine in the xray she took early on, for what that's worth.

 

I wasn't impressed with accupuncture when we tried it on our old girl Simon a few years ago, but I'd consider trying it again, with a different dr.

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If your vet won't even consider the Herron/Stack diagnostic, I'd look for a new vet (altho I realize options may be limited in your area). It takes 20 seconds, vs. putting the dog under and $800 - $2000 for an MRI. No brainer.

 

X-ray usually isn't conclusive for LS.

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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Susan, FWIW, all 4 vets who've evaluated Asta's X-rays say things look fine from that view but that an X-ray can't see the indicators for LS or the suspected disk problem.

 

Also, Asta is clearly feeling better from her acupuncture treatments. She just had her fourth weekly one yesterday. With each treatment her "improved period" lasts a little bit longer. Our acu vet recommends weekly treatments until we see a sustained improvement (and of course we're hoping the Depo-Medrol will add to that), then we'll decrease acu visits so that we only go more like once a month, maybe even less often.

 

You may have already talked about this somewhere else, but do you have access to another vet who might be willing to give a second opinion?

Lisa

 

Dog mama to angel-boy Ewan (racing name Atascocita Ewan), 3/26/10 to 8/23/20, and angel-girl Asta (racing name Pazzo Asta), 6/16/01 to 9/7/13.

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If you do the test and he sinks like a stone, he's got some form of LS.

 

If he doesn't, he probably doesn't. Not as good of a negative predicter.

 

I don't see why your vet wouldn't even try the test. I mean, really -- 20 seconds, no meds or equipment required, no harm.

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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