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Joe And Ls - Ideas?

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Joe has had problems with his rear left leg since a foot injury in September 2011.


Over 2012, he started gradually declining in his overall fitness level. Running just a few laps in the yard would leave his rear legs shaking for an hour plus afterwards. We started restricting his exercise, which seemed to be a vicious circle - the more we kept him on leash, the more issues he would have if he did run. We could notice visible muscle wasting in the left flank, but he had zero issues walking or anything.


In December 2012, we noticed that left leg would randomly "give out" a little when he would walk. In January, we started acupuncture. Everything was going great and he seemed to be building muscle and the leg issues all but went away. He started going for longer walks than he ever had in his life - even pulling on his leash and he's NEVER been a puller. During this time, he was taking zero prescription pain meds and was on an herb called Body Sore.


In May, he took several crazy "won't listen, won't stop" laps in the yard and after that, he's been on the decline ever since. The acupuncture started having less of an effect and in June, his right leg started giving him problems too.


We've been to three different vets and they all feel his symptoms and pain response are in line with L.S. He fails the Dr. Stack test (although he was doing SO much better with that up until May) and has pain from his mid back down upon applying pressure and is also painful when either rear leg is extended by the vet. We started him on gabapentin and tramadol and he seemed to be feeling better for several weeks. We quit the Body Sore since it seemed to be giving him loose stools and the gabapentin seemed to make such a huge difference for him. Then, he had an acupuncture treatment and a cold laser treatment on July 11th and since then, his symptoms have been way worse.


His rear leg muscles shake when he's excited or shake upon any exertion (like a trip outside more than 2-3 minutes long) You can hear his foot scuff a little bit on the floor or pavement randomly and his leg muscles and occasionally his back shakes when urinating or defecating. His leg occasionally "gives out" for a second while he's walking - not enough for him to fall, but just to gimp a little. He really has to think and go slow on stairs, including those he is very familiar with. He's had one episode where he had difficulty getting up after laying down, but otherwise other than some shakiness, has no problem getting up and down from laying.

In the house, he's still the same happy go lucky boy - roaching all the time, playing with toys, running down the hall, seeking out treats, readily hopping on the bed and the couch, and jumping up to look out the window. He never vocalizes (even though he's a drama queen who screams when his foot gets tangled in a blanket or he steps in poop :lol) and even when his legs seem weak after a short walk, he makes attempts to spin or run (while on his leash) so it's hard for me to connect the muscle shaking with pain, even though my vet assures me that it is :(


He's currently on 100 mg gabapentin 2-3x a day. He was on 50 mg of Tramadol 1-2x a day (more as needed) but now I can't get him to take the tramadol - he foams at the mouth and gags until he pukes it up. He's on a lifetime dose of prednisone so NSAIDS like Rimadyl, Novox, and Metacam are out. I feel like acupuncture was working AMAZING for 5 months and now I can't help but feel like our last treatment made things worse (or maybe it was the cold laser? My acupuncture vet says the decline is not related to either since it was several days later) Joe is a high anxiety boy who hates being "manhandled" and I am not comfortable with chiropractic for him for that reason.


Am I missing a piece of the puzzle? What else could I be doing for him? Should I continue with the acupuncture even though I feel like it "stopped working" after his running incident? Is there another pain med out there I should be looking at? My vet is curious about people using amantadine or hydrocodone in these types of situations and I'm curious about zeel and really anything else anyone might be aware of for pain.


HELP! Even just hearing your experiences or what helped your LS dog would be very helpful....


ETA: He's also on dasuquin (glucoasamine supplement) and Fresh Factors and I have the option of starting him back on Body Sore and Hind Quarter Weakness herbs.

Edited by Wendie

Forever in my Heart Joe T Greyhound, Charly Bear, Angel Daisy, and Katze & Buzz Kitty.


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Sam's got arthritis pain and spinal/disk issues just about the area of his hips. He can't have NSAIDS (ulcer), and takes gabapentin, tramadol, and methocarbamol (Robaxin)--a muscle relaxer. Sam takes 200mg of gabapentin 4 times a day (he gets 4 small meals so he can get meds more frequently), one 50mg tramadol at each meal, and methocarbamol (500mg) three times a day. The methocarbamol has been a huge help (and doesn't make him groggy). Most vets treating greyhounds with osteo will authorize as much as 900mg a day of gabapentin, so you have room to go up on that. (My vet has prescribed as much as 100mg of tramadol, three times a day. I save the extra tramadol and that one last gabapentin to use if Sam's having a bad day--if he's fallen or something like that. Also, since I'm not maxing out Sam's meds at any one time, it's not such a big deal if he's having meals and meds less than six hours apart.)


Is Joe's issue with tramadol a physical reaction (i.e., something like an allergic reaction)? Or is it him balking at the pills? Sam willingly takes a fish oil capsule and chews it up (eew!), but he won't take any other pills straight and he will bite down on fingers if I try to pill him. I put his pills in the center of a piece of turkey lunchmeat, glue them there with a dab of peanut butter, then roll that into a tube and pop it into Sam's mouth. (The other dog gets peanut butter in turkey, too--sometimes with pills, sometimes without. Both dogs think the turkey with peanut butter is desert, and they hang around the kitchen after they finish their kibble.) Sometimes Sam bites down on pills in his rolled turkey and decides to spit out the whole mess. Then, because he's unwilling to forgo the turkey or peanut butter, he starts trying to nibble up the good stuff, and he usually ends up taking all the pills after all. If he leaves a pill behind, I won't fight him. If it's a pain pill, we just skip it, If it's one of the other meds he needs to take (thyroxine, doxepin, metronidazole), I just add that rejected pill to the next meal's batch of meds.


For a single pill, I've been known to make half a peanut butter sandwich: pinch off a piece for the girl dog, pinch off a piece for me, pinch off a piece for Sam (and stuff the single pill in it), then pinch off another piece for me, then divide the rest between the two dogs. Sam will hurry to swallow his first part with the pill so he's ready to get the next piece. Oh--and I use crunchy peanut butter, so something crunchy in the peanut butter isn't inevitably a pill. I try to make the piece with the pill small enough to be swallowed whole.


I can't advise on the cold laser or acupuncture. I know I won't put Sam through a chiropractor visit; i did before, he screamed bloody murder and nearly bit the chiropractor, and he was back in major pain again within two weeks. I don't think I'd be nervous about acupuncture, but Sam hates car rides, so the trip would be more stressful for him than I think it would be worth. Sam no longer tries to get on furniture, and I've blocked off the stairs--mostly because I don't want to risk him stumbling. (It's spiral stairs: he couldn't fall far, but he could get badly tangled in the wrought iron rails.) He's only ever leash-walked outside (I'm in a condo), so I don't have to worry about restricting him from running. He still likes to play with toys. He eats from a raised feeder because that's easier on his back; I know it risks bloat, but his overall activity level is pretty low, so that decreases his danger.


Sam's got the same problem as Joe in terms of wobbling, shaky legs and an occasionally dragged toe. He poops in small batches because he can't hold the squat for long; and he moves as he squats because he's not balancing as well as he used to. He pants a lot, but it's mostly because he doesn't handle heat as well as he used to; once back in the house, he stretches out in front of a box fan and pants until he cools down. And if all of us are drowsy and want to go to bed early, I set an alarm so we'll get back up about midnight so he'll get a last trip outside and his last batch of pain meds; otherwise, the morning meds are coming too long after the dinner meds have worn off.

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Can't advise re other/additional meds. Just wishing sweet Joe all the best.

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 MnMDogs

Need to go to sleep (6:30 am flight), but can you increase gabapentin

? Mork is on 300 mf 3x/day. Perhaps consider adequan once it's available again.


Good luck. I think there are a lot of good threads on here with insight.

Edited by MnMDogs
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I'm dealing with similar stuff right now, and I don't have a lot of "certain" advice....but I do know that you have room on the gabapentin. Robin is on 300mg 2-3 times a day....


ETA: Sorry to be repetitive...we posted at the same time!! :)

Edited by Robin1017
Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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Couple of thoughts. If your vet is pretty sure you hound has LS have you tried the depo injections??? What you are describing sounds like aging changes but, shouldn't be painful. My girls displays the same shaking leg signs-I brought her to a neurologist to be examined and she diagnosed her with Essential Nerve Tremors-a benign condition. It started with one hind limb but, it now is in both legs and is seen more frequently--when she's tired or has been standing for more than a minute or two now. It's similar to humans that start to shake as they age. Shes an anxious hound but, this happens even when shes chilled out at home-neuro Dr said that it bothers me more than it bothers her. So, my point is you may has a few different things going on. For the pain I would ask your vet about starting robaxin. It's rather well tolerated and it's inexpensive-worth a try. It could be that when your guy had his last treatment perhaps he struggled and "threw his back out". I would try robaxin before I started the amantadine.

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There is not a single vet around here that will do depo injections :(

It just amazes me when people say no vey will give depo shots for LS. I have yet to find one that WOULDN'T.


Rex received his first depo shot from Mike Herron, who was head of animal surgery at Texas A&M for 31 years, He also got depo shots from Dr. Jeff Ellis and Dr. Wade Dunn, both of whom work with GALT - Dr. Ellis is their main vet. My vet now is two years out of Ohio State has absolutely no problem with them. His father is a vet and he said he saw the good it can do.

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Brady has similar symptoms, plus scar tissue that is wrapped around the ligament or tendon (whatever it is) from his hip and down his leg. He takes gabapentin and I give him Adequan injections. We just switched to Ichone with the blessing of my vet. We also just started the Robaxin. I am not sure how long it takes to reach full effectiveness though. Right now, it does make him sleep more and deeper, so I am thinking that it is working and he is more comfortable. I found Tramadol makes him pant more, so we stopped that unless he is really in pain, but he doesn't appear to be.


He also takes a theraputic dose of fish oil, glucosamine, MSM and Vitamin C. My four-legged medicine cabinet!


I also keep him moving since that is best for his joints. He loves his walks, but I exercise the boys first so they don't pull and let him walk at his own pace.


I massage his hips and try to keep the joints loose.


Scritches to your guy.


Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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Carrie has the added variable of having had a stroke, but, she did injure her back a little over a year ago now. Acupuncture + prednisone was our savior, along with robaxin and tramadol. Now that we have her moving well again, I make sure to keep her nails as short as possible (I dremel every 3 days). It really makes a big difference for her.


She had some neck issues a couple of months ago and she was on robaxin, tramadol, and pred for that as well. I have her off of all meds now but she does take Springtime Inc's Joint health Tabs. We walk as often as we can. It's never very far (up the street 5 houses and then we turn back), but we are building up now that the weather is cooler (she has mild LP so it's too much to have her out when it's above 80 degrees).


We go monthly for acupuncture - our acupuncturist does electrical stimulation which I think makes a BIG difference for her - not sure if your acupuncturist does that, and if not, I'd highly recommend it.


At age 14 she just keeps on trucking and I love it. She runs in from the back of the back yard every time she goes out and daily it just makes my heart sing :heart

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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