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Guest bigorangedog

So, the radiologist (who my vet says is a "genius") does NOT think it is spinal mets. He thinks it's a slipped disc. Totally not the phonecall I expected to get this morning.

 

I still have my doubts, honestly. I "feel" like it's osteo.

 

But, I am willing to try something else! So we'll be starting Prednisone in a couple days, once I wean him from the Deramaxx. Fingers crossed.

 

Trying to decide whether it is worth retaking the xrays to see whether any obvious mets have appeared in the last 3 weeks since this set of rads was taken. (We have to sedate Apollo for rads.) Just don't know whether I want to put him through that or not.

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Guest ChasesMum

i would see how he responds to the pred and then see. If there is no improvement (or improvement then decline again) then I would retake the xrays.

 

Of course that depends on how you would treat from this point.. if you knew it was spinal mets would you do something different then if its not (ie chemo, radiation, etc) if so then it might be worth retaking the xrays and sending both sets to an oncologist )or back to the radiologist) for review.

 

Good to hear its 'nothing' :colgate

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I understand that cost may be a factor here but, if you have to sedate for rads maybe you should consider an MRI instead. An MRI would truly determine what changes are happening in the spine. How high was his calcium value on his last bloodwork results?

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Guest bigorangedog

Hmm, I'll ask Dr Meg about an MRI. The only reason I hesitate is because he gets so stressed at the vet, but he knows Dr Meg so it's not so bad. If I take him to the U of MN, it would probably scare the pants off him. Does an MRI detect bone lesions from osteo as well?

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Yes, MRI would show bone lesions. But. Here is a different line of thinking: Unless meds or other course of action would be different, I'd skip both. I know (too well) how hard it is not to know exactly what is wrong. When the treatment is the same, tho, sometimes it makes sense just to stomp on our human desire to know and forge ahead. Your vets might recommend different treatments but chances are you'd be looking at anti-inflammatories, pain meds, and keeping an eye out that he doesn't overdo. Hugs and best luck.

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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Yes, MRI would show bone lesions. But. Here is a different line of thinking: Unless meds or other course of action would be different, I'd skip both. I know (too well) how hard it is not to know exactly what is wrong. When the treatment is the same, tho, sometimes it makes sense just to stomp on our human desire to know and forge ahead. Your vets might recommend different treatments but chances are you'd be looking at anti-inflammatories, pain meds, and keeping an eye out that he doesn't overdo. Hugs and best luck.

I do and don't agree with this thought. Administering some medications (prednisone)prior to administrating some cytotoxic drugs (chemo) may alter the drugs efficiency and would be strongly contraindicated. However, if chemo is not on the table or an option I agree pallative care with a lot of love might be the correct path to take. I am a need to know person and I would perform and MRI, however, I understand that choice might not be right for all.

Edited by tbhounds
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Guest bigorangedog

We did chemo already (he had his last treatment on Jun 7th, I believe, or thereabout). Doxorubicin, 6 rounds. So I don't know whether additional chemo is even an option for spinal mets. I would consider putting him on the metronomic protocol (doxycycline, cyclophosphamide, alendronate, NSAIDs) if I knew that it was spinal mets, though.

 

But honestly, if it IS spinal mets, I would consider letting him go a lot sooner than if I knew that it was "just" a slipped disc. A slipped disc gives me hope that we can find some way to make it better (be it steroids, the right pain cocktail, massage, etc -- I'd be extremely unlikely to go through another surgery). But if it's mets, I know it is only going to get worse. If that's what he has, he is my 4th dog in the past year and a half to get spinal bone lesions, and I know how painful they are.

 

For right now, I'm going to try the pred (once I get him off the NSAID) and see if we get any better. He is still "himself" -- he gets up an hops to the door to tail wag when I come home, still wants treats, etc. So I have a little bit of hope.

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I hope the radiologist is right! We'll be crossing our fingers and paws.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Ah. I see where you're coming from. Will be praying for a slipped disc, painful as those can be.

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 bigorangedog

Thursday night update:

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the Pred is actually making him feel better! He has had 4 doses of it (beginning Tues night), and both yesterday and today he had good days. In fact, today he is actually getting up and hopping into the kitchen when he hears me rustling around in there, to look at me expectantly, like he always used to do.

 

He's still not moving well, but he is moving more willingly and seems happier. He had his massage on Wednesday night, and the massage therapist said he had far fewer muscle spasms in his back than he had been having.

 

So, I'm afraid my hopes are up. Fingers crossed for continued improvement!

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