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Lumbosacral Stenosis (Ls) Surgery & Dx In A Younger Hound


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I know there have been a lot of LS threads, especially lately it seems like. I have a slightly different question. First, I'm wondering if anyone else is in my boat and was able to diagnose LS fairly early on in their hound (even if it was just a suspected dx). If so, what was the progression of the disease like (over what time period, severity, etc.)?

 

Also, has anyone ever done the surgery to correct the problem and if so, what was your experience? Does anyone know if it's a permanent correction or if the condition can return?

 

The reason I ask is that about 6 months ago I started to notice subtle pain symptoms with Zuri. We did x-rays to rule out osteo first, then as I kept an eye on him I started to suspect LS. So I got him into our orthopedist who basically confirmed my suspicions. He had been doing better once I got the okay to resume our normal activities (running, hiking) so he could rebuild his core strength, but lately I'm seeing signs again. These are minor, I'm at the point where I'm starting to think it might be worthwhile for us to look at setting up some PT sessions or maybe starting him on a low dose of Gabapentin, but the thing is, he's only about to turn 8 (on Sunday actually :)).

 

It seems most of the pups diagnosed with LS are already older and at an age where surgery might not make the most sense. Obviously we're in the very early stages and we'd need a (very expensive) MRI to confirm the dx before we'd consider proceeding, but I wonder about being "aggressive" in our case and doing the surgery earlier on while he's still young and healthy. Since I'm not familiar with the speed of progression of the disease, I don't know whether it's likely something we can manage until he's 13 or 14 or if he's younger than most and likely to end up with debilitating symptoms much sooner even with things like meds and steroid injections. The other consideration I currently have is that I live in a 3rd floor condo so he has to do steps multiple times per day.

 

I will obviously discuss all of this with my vet and orthopedist as well, but wanted to get feedback from you guys as well. Thanks!

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I wish I knew Jen. Legs has something wrong with him too, LS is one suspected dx but I'm not in the position to do an MRI now. He's only 7 so I worry about his future. I look forward to replies... & I'm sorry you're dealing with this. Hopefully Zuri won't show any advanced sxs for a long, long time.

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Spencer's LS story has probably popped up enough here that you already know the basics, like that he was diagnosed by Dr. Stack's method at age 7 and has been treated only with acupuncture/chiropractic until just recently. At age 11-1/2 we've added gabapentin and tramadol, and he's doing quite well. But we think what made life hard for him in recent months was the development or worsening of three slightly bulging disks at the mid-spine (revealed by x-ray). Soon after Spencer's LS was diagnosed (though he probably had it long before then, thinking back on his behaviors), he developed persistent diarrhea that would turn out to be SIBO and IBD. That whole situation was too huge to have added spinal surgery to the mix, so we never really considered it.

 

Our house is full of stairs (three levels), but only 7 steps per set, and he can decide whether he wants to deal with them or not at any given time. Your situation is totally different and way more challenging, it seems to me. If moving isn't practical, the surgery might be a good idea -- although there's the whole recovery-period problem and how Zuri would get around during that.

 

So I guess I'd just share that I don't see why Zuri can't live a good long life with LS and good treatment. And if your situation were flatter, I'd say you could probably manage it the way Spencer has, without surgery. But if he has to do that many stairs multiple times a day, that may be less conducive to success with LS. I'm sure you'll have a good expert vet to discuss this with too, one who hopefully doesn't always want to operate! Hopefully. Good luck, and I hope you get lots of good input in this thread.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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I'm sure you'll have a good expert vet to discuss this with too, one who hopefully doesn't always want to operate! Hopefully. Good luck, and I hope you get lots of good input in this thread.

Defintely. :nod My ortho is fantastic, and is all about avoiding surgery if possible. I'm the one who even brought it up in our initial consult.

 

If he had the surgery, I would (hopefully) work out staying with a friend during his initial recovery period.

 

I've started to do a little reading and so far it appears that dogs that only have pain symptoms, that have not developed incontinence or other neurological disfunctions are more likely to have a successful outcome from the surgery than dogs where the disease has progressed further along. Also appears that in some cases the issue can come back, although in the studies I've seen so far those numbers are fairly low (not as low as I'd like to see).

 

I'm skeptical that the surgery is something we'd pursue unless we started to see rather quick progression, I tend to be in the avoid surgery camp if you can, but I do want to make sure I've at least explored the idea in case it would make sense at some point. Mostly I am scared that the stairs will become a problem before other things do. When Neyla started having trouble with the stairs I was able to carry her up and down, but I don't know that I could carry Zuri at 10-15 lbs more than her and with Neyla I knew it was going to be for a very finite period of time unfortunately. :( When I move, it will definitely be to a place that at least has an option for us to live on the main floor and not have to deal with stairs, but I don't know when that will be.

 

How old is Zuri? Is that who we're talking about?

Yes. He turns 8 on Sunday. :)

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Jen - Cynthia did it for Katie with less than ideal results. Katie was, I think, 6 at the time. I never got into deep conversation with her about it, so I don't know if the problem was in fact LS or something else, though I believe the DX was for LS. (In other words, I don't know if the DX was incorrect and the surgery caused further problems, or if she did have LS and the surgery didn't do much). I do know that she was constantly doing MRIs. My understanding was that Katie's neurological issues continued to deteriorate. But again, I don't know what all was going on there. You might want to check back on the yahoo list-serves and see if there is more information there.

Edited by turbotaina


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Rex was diagnosed with LS when he was 6. He went to the bridge from another spinal issue at almost 8.

 

I have no advice to offer specifically on LS surgery. When I was told in dealing with Axel my first yorkie, Rex, and Bella regarding spinal issues other than LS I was told over and over by vets and specialists that spinal surgery is painful, the recovery time is long, and it's a crapshoot at best.

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I think George was 7 (or 8 at the most) when I found out he probably has LS. He'll be 10 in September.

 

I know people have varying feelings about it, but I would not subject a dog to spinal surgery. Not that could afford it to begin with. Just the MRI before the surgery is more then $2,000.

 

George is doing quite well three years later. I exercise him daily (gentle exercise) and I give him Deramaxx and Gabapentin daily, and if he falls on the stairs (typically he goes SPLAT going up the stairs on bad days) I give him Tramadol.

 

I have kept his weight down, and his hind end muscles toned--the specialist we saw said those are the single most important things you can do for a dog with LS (or any form of joint problems). My own doctor has given me the exact same advice for my arthritis, so it works out well for both of us!


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

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Missy was dx with LS when she was about 8. she will be 13 in august. just recently had a bad period but the increase in gabapentin and depo shot..she is actually doing quite well. Originally she had acupuncture, meloxicam and supplements. proceeded to add in tramadol while continuing everything else. Now gets tramadol, gabapentin, acupuncture and just had depo shot..so no meloxicam. I think the gabapentin really helped her. good luck. I had her lose 10 lbs (she was 85...big girl) and gets walks everyday. at this point we don't let her do the stairs (13). Last week she was a mess...this week...so different.

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Guest avadogner

I wish we had caught Ava's early enough to consider surgery. We had to lether go to the bridge in March. I just wanted to send y'all some healing and comforting thoughts. LS stinks and I would love to see a hound beat this. Keep us posted please.

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  • 9 years later...

willie wonka (welsh terrier) was diagnosed around age 9. the rare steroid shot helped immensely. he did end up changing his gait but still ran after that soccer ball w/ LS and cataracts until his death at 15. i'm not one for surgery unless it's a life threatening condition. LS isn't. felix did really well w/ adequan injections. knowing about them now i would have opted for them vs. steroids. but the dog lived and was active until 15 when he was living a nightmare due to senility.

do look into adequan.

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