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Doug And Back


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doug hurt his back again - vet put him on predisone for 7 days. He was on the dosage every other day and starting yelping again. Called the vet today and he recommended that I take him to a neurologist since this happened twice in two months. Only thing is that if the neurologist wants an mri it is 1,900.00. I really cannot afford that amount of money yet i do not want to see him in pain. Right now he is gated in the bedroom because he insists on jumping on the couch. He's fine getting up but when he gets down he yelps and then follows me around in pain for hours. I have not been walking him - only thing is he has to go down stairs to go outside. it is just four stairs but i think it is enough to bother him. He does not yelp when he walks but just does not seem himself. I am worried that she will want to do an mri. I am also worried that she will think he needs surgery (which if an Mri is 1,900.00, I can bet it will be about 8 thousand). Has anyone else had to have an mri done on their dog? I thought that my vet would just extend his medication - but he would not. What does everyone suggest. I dont want to seem callous - but just don't know how i will come up with l,900. I am a single income family.

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Are you anywhere near a university with a vet school? Often (not always!) veterinary teaching hospital costs are a good bit lower than that. Also, neurologist may well have some good suggestions before you get to the point of an MRI.

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No no teaching hospitals near me. Nothing for the pain and no muscle relaxers. Just the prednisone. Hope all turns out well tomorrow. I certainly have had my vet bills. I had one grey with a bad heart valve had to put her down at 8 months. Scotch hurt his shoulder and back leg (he's ok now thank god) and now doug.

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Sorry to hear of the troubles...you asked about an MRI.

 

Yes, we had one for Bumper last year as he had unexplained pain in his lower back and the Xrays did not show anything problematic. Next course of 'exploration' was the MRI at $2300...came back normal. Huh? Next course of 'exploration' was a Spinal Tap...(don't recall the cost) and inflammatory cells were found in a relatively large number. Conclusion = an immune disorder causing swelling in his spine for no apparent reason.

 

I would ask your vet what other 'diagnostic' tools can they use before the MRI. They can add up, though, and the MRI is a really good tool for finding problem areas...while it didn't find anything in our case, that wasn't a bad thing...we were happy (in a way!). But your vet will give you a detailed estimates and diagnostic process to follow. There are also payment options that may be of some assistance, like 'Care Credit'. it is important to find out what ails your guy, though, so he can get on with things a little easier in life. Good luck to you and Doug.

Doe's Bruciebaby Doe's Bumper

Derek

Follow my Ironman journeys and life with dogs, cats and busy kids: A long road

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I know he is a really great loving guy. I hate to see him in pain and I feel guilty keeping him gated in the bedroom but he will not stay off the couch. He has plenty of soft beds to lie on but I guess the cough is better. Is your grey feeling better now? I will find out some info tomorrow - hopefully better than what I anticipate.

 

Yes i thought he would be a bit more aggressive also. Maybe its time to look for a new vet. I do like them but they seem very quick to send you to the specialist -which of course is 4 times the cost.

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Is your grey feeling better now? I will find out some info tomorrow - hopefully better than what I anticipate.

 

 

 

Yes, he is thanks, though he has permanent nerve damage that makes his back end shuffle a little while standing still and he runs rather awkwardly with a bend in his back. He's on dexamethasone 2x weekly (similar to pred) and likely for a long long time. Every day is a blessing that we have this hound in our home, though!

Doe's Bruciebaby Doe's Bumper

Derek

Follow my Ironman journeys and life with dogs, cats and busy kids: A long road

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Is your grey feeling better now? I will find out some info tomorrow - hopefully better than what I anticipate.

 

 

 

Yes, he is thanks, though he has permanent nerve damage that makes his back end shuffle a little while standing still and he runs rather awkwardly with a bend in his back. He's on dexamethasone 2x weekly (similar to pred) and likely for a long long time. Every day is a blessing that we have this hound in our home, though!

 

how old is he. doug is six

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Fuzzy has a bad lower back. He is on 1/4 tablet dermaxx, as an anti inflamatory. He may be on it lifetime. We took him to an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor said, while the x-rays were not conclusive, he wouldn't suggest anything further for the time being. Fuzzy is doing very well on the dermaxx. He is also six years old.

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Is your grey feeling better now? I will find out some info tomorrow - hopefully better than what I anticipate.

 

 

 

Yes, he is thanks, though he has permanent nerve damage that makes his back end shuffle a little while standing still and he runs rather awkwardly with a bend in his back. He's on dexamethasone 2x weekly (similar to pred) and likely for a long long time. Every day is a blessing that we have this hound in our home, though!

 

how old is he. doug is six

 

Ironically, Bumper (and his brother Brucie) turned 6 on 10/28, but the issue surfaced for Bumper in Aug/09

 

Bumper started out showing signs of pain and it progressed to imbalance and ataxia in his hind end. He'd be walking along, sometimes trip or waddle sideways, and sometimes even do the splits if we weren't fast enough to him. It was dreadful. The pain progressed, the ataxia (wobbliness) got worse, vets couldn't control any of it, and the neurologist took over and put him on Dex...but it was at the point Bumper couldn't stand on his own. It was a week where everything seemed to spiral out of control. Once the neuro got Bumper's pain under control, swelling down in his lumbar and food back into him, he started to improve. It's been a long road to recovery (nerves take time to heal, if at all) but worth every step.

 

The neuro explained to us that he can't positively diagnose an autoimmune condition (in our case) and that it was a result of elimination of other things. In the end, I think he got it right as his recovery plan has been successful. Good luck to you guys....hope this detail has helped a little.

Doe's Bruciebaby Doe's Bumper

Derek

Follow my Ironman journeys and life with dogs, cats and busy kids: A long road

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I hope there is a simple fix for doug. My vet did not do xrays. So I know this vet will probably at least do those. He cannot eat after midnight. I feel so bad when he follows me around when he is in pain. I think he will be gated in the bedroom for a while. He just won't stop jumping on the couch even though it hurts.

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You can buy carpet protectors--those clear (or frosted) plastic sheets with little spikey things on the back to stop the sheets from slipping on the carpet. Flip them over and leave them on the couch. That'll make the couch uncomfortable for Doug. Another alternative is to pile stuff on the couch: boxes, a laundry hamper, stacks of books--anything to leave no room for Doug.

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Is your grey feeling better now? I will find out some info tomorrow - hopefully better than what I anticipate.

 

 

 

Yes, he is thanks, though he has permanent nerve damage that makes his back end shuffle a little while standing still and he runs rather awkwardly with a bend in his back. He's on dexamethasone 2x weekly (similar to pred) and likely for a long long time. Every day is a blessing that we have this hound in our home, though!

 

how old is he. doug is six

 

Ironically, Bumper (and his brother Brucie) turned 6 on 10/28, but the issue surfaced for Bumper in Aug/09

 

Bumper started out showing signs of pain and it progressed to imbalance and ataxia in his hind end. He'd be walking along, sometimes trip or waddle sideways, and sometimes even do the splits if we weren't fast enough to him. It was dreadful. The pain progressed, the ataxia (wobbliness) got worse, vets couldn't control any of it, and the neurologist took over and put him on Dex...but it was at the point Bumper couldn't stand on his own. It was a week where everything seemed to spiral out of control. Once the neuro got Bumper's pain under control, swelling down in his lumbar and food back into him, he started to improve. It's been a long road to recovery (nerves take time to heal, if at all) but worth every step.

 

The neuro explained to us that he can't positively diagnose an autoimmune condition (in our case) and that it was a result of elimination of other things. In the end, I think he got it right as his recovery plan has been successful. Good luck to you guys....hope this detail has helped a little.

 

doug now just yelps when he gets off the couch. I can tell he is walking slower than usual and he does not seem to play at all. It sounds like you have been through a lot more than me. Im glad your dog is doing much better. It does give me some hope for doug.

 

sounds like a good idea putting things on the cough. at least this way he can be in the room with me.

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Yes i thought he would be a bit more aggressive also. Maybe its time to look for a new vet. I do like them but they seem very quick to send you to the specialist -which of course is 4 times the cost.

I'd look for a new vet -- one that will work with you and money matter -- and perhaps pain management. Seems wierd he didn't do x-rays and won't do anything but pred. :dunno

 

Rex had trouble getting on and off the couch when he was almost 5. Turned out it was LS and he had great results from the depo-medrol shots. When he 6 it became obvious something else was wrong and it was further up in his spine. My vet did x-rays which I then took to the specialists. The one nice thing about the specialty clinic here is that if they aren't busy they will all look at each others patients so Rex twice saw both a neuro and an ortho for one overpriced (but not outlandish) office call.

 

However. the last time I was there I felt like I was at a used car lot. The neuro said he was pretty sure it was either GME or he has had a smorles nodule which had ruptured into his spinal cord and would be inoperable. He said "We can do an MRI which might help in determining which it is. You're in luck -- we just had a cancellation and we can fit him him in right away if you want to do it NOW for $1,200!! If you don't take this opening now it takes about 4 weeks to book one. You need to decide right now."

 

Hope things are better than you hope for you and Doug tomorrow. Will be thinking of you.

 

 

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Well back from the specialist with doug. Didn't really care for her all that much. She recommended an mri of the back, neck and a spinal tap. Grand total 3,600.00. I decided against it. They said I could apply for care plan (actually a credit card with no interest). Said regular xrays would be pointless. Could not determine whether or not she thought it was his back or his neck that he was hard to diagnose. Also wanted to do the spinal tap in case it could be meningitis. Wouldn;t he be running a temp with meningitis. He shook when he was there and she said it was not a very graceful shake, said is was a little off balance. Obviously did not know greyhounds as that is how all of mine shake. I think i will canvas other greyhound owners and see where they take their dogs. Only problem is most live in up state ct and it would be aq long ride. I thought the mri would be 1,900. How wrong I was. I think I will rest him and see what develops. right now he yelps when getting down from the couch only. Then he does follow me around like he is in pain. What is your opinion on my decision. SHould I wait and see if his pain worsens or if it disappears? I am very confused and I did feel like I was on an assembly line while at the vets.

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About an hour from you is Katonah-Bedford vet hospital - my guys have spent some time there before going to the neurologist at ASC in Yonkers. KB is an amazing vet hospital, but not inexpensive. It was recommended to us this way....take it for what it's worth......' while other vets may be less $ each time you go, it will add up as (perhaps) they take longer to diagnose the problem, whereas KB is usually able to solution things pretty quick - but the initial cost is high.

 

You are in a tough spot because it sounds like you at least need pain management for Doug. I'd suggest another vet for a 2nd opinion and some pain meds then you can re-assess and determine the urgency of the MRI and spinal tap. I wouldn't do nothing, though.

Doe's Bruciebaby Doe's Bumper

Derek

Follow my Ironman journeys and life with dogs, cats and busy kids: A long road

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Guest FreddyGirl

Can you use a ramp for him to walk onto the couch so he does not have to be gated?

 

I also installed a ramp off of my deck to the back yard for bobbi when she couldn't do

stairs anymore.

 

This might alleviate some of his pain as you search for a greyhound savvy vet.

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Guest Stargirl

HI, I am just popping in after a long time away. Just wondering what happened with your dog. I too have a dog that experienced pain in walking and acted in pain, each time it went away with prednisone, but returned when dosage stopped. Xrays at regular vet showed nothing, the third time it happened, I was referred to a neurologist. They wanted to do MRI and spinal tap, I too declined the costly MRI, but went with the spinal tap as it seemed the only way to get something to diagnose. I knew the MRI would be nice to have, but it wouldn't show anything definitive. Still, I know it is expensive, and they still want to do follow up spinal taps at $1000 a pop, but I can't do it. Anyway she ended up having idiopathic encephalitis and has been on prednisone for over a year. Just recently her low does of 10 mg a day doesn't seem to be working, so I am trying to see what other options there are.

Good luck with yours, it stinks having a dog that you can't fix and sometimes can't even find out what is wrong.

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I brought him to another vet. She did xrays. No osteo showed up but she notcied that one area on his back end - kind of on the side where the leg joins the hip there is a larger bulge on one side than the other. That area also showed up on the xray. She wants to wait two weeks to see if the area changes. I bring him back on 11/20. But is is a long wait. She gave him pain meds and dermax but I have not had to use them yet. I am keeping him quiet and off the couch. But I keep looking at that area and getting more and more worried. Funny how the specialist could not see this or pinpoint his pain area and she could.

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