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Rear End Sinking And Dragging The Rear Paws


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Hi. My 13 1/2 year old Lincoln's rear-end sinks when he stands for more than a couple of minutes, and he scrapes his rear paws' nails on along the ground when he walks. The vet said the nerves down his spine controlling his rear are causing the problem. This has been happening for several months, but it's getting worse. Over the last few days his rear legs are bit less coordinated. He's not in pain, though, and is otherwise healthy. Has anyone's greyhound here experienced this and are there any therapies that don't include surgery?

 

Thanks.

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That tends to be lumbosacral stenosis. It's usually managed with gabapentin (and tramadol if there is pain). We have had two hounds with it and they managed well with acupuncture/chiropractic early on and meds later. Your dog sounds to me like a candidate for immediate meds.

 

ETA: We also have worked to keep the thigh muscles up by twice-a-day walks of 1/2 mile or less. That might be too much for your dog at this time, but you may find that he walks better than he stands! Jumping is generally to be avoided. Lots of people have GH's with LS, and I'm sure more people will chime in with their good advice!

Edited by greyhead
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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Thank you. I'll talk to the vet about gabapentin. However, pain does not seem to be the issue.

 

Yes, walking is no problem, except that his middle nails on his rear paws are nubs and he appears to tire easily. I'm sure he's out of shape, since I've assumed walking much would not be good for his rear legs.

Edited by Nick
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Guest PiagetsMom

I'm recently dealing with this with my Mirage, who will be 11 shortly. I can hear him drag his back legs on walks, and his nails are much the same as Lincoln's. Lately he's been favoring his right rear leg (xrays were clear) and he's knuckling under on the left rear leg.

 

At his last vet check a week ago, he was put on Tramadol and Dexamethasone. I do think Mirage is in some discomfort, and best case scenario, I think, we're looking for a low dose steroid to help manage his LS. The meds do seem to be of some help to him. I've been given some good suggestions for LS treatment, and I'll definitely be talking to our vet about those. Hopefully others with LS pups and experience will chime in here for you. I am still, as much as possible, walking Mirage twice a day, and will continue to as long as he seems willing and able. Good luck with your Lincoln. :grouphug

Edited by PiagetsMom
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Dr. Suzanne Stack's site may help if your hound is experiencing Lumbosacral Stenosis.

Either way, it's an excellent Greyhound specific medical website to explore, and add to your bookmarks.

http://www.greythealth.com/lumbosacral.html

 

Therapaw boots fit Greyhound paws well, and may be better than no protection when your Greyhound goes outside. http://www.therapaw.com/thera-pawboots.aspx

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Jeffie is having the same issues. He doesn't appear to be in pain, loves walking, but is definitely wobbly on the back end and I never have to clip those nails. He is also - sadly - losing bowel sensation. There have been a couple of times when he's pooped in the house because the need to do so has come on so suddenly, and the last time, we wondered if he even realised what was happening.

He's on an anti-inflammatory (Onsior 40mg). Since the older guys at my vets are not always up-to-date with new thinking, I talked with a new, younger vet last week about options and, as a result, that evening sent her the Suzanne Stack article. She is looking into it and will ring us on Monday with a treatment plan. I'd like to give the depo-medrone shots a try with him to see if it helps. We're in Engand, BTW, so this protocol is pretty much unknown here.

 

Jeffie has slowed up a bit, but he is twelve and a half. He still thinks he's a puppy, though!

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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One of my greyhounds had degenerative myelopathy and had the same symptoms. He would wear down one of the middle nails of each of his rear paws to the quick. I used boots on both rear paws for walks, ramps for steps into the house and car, regular short walks (10 minutes fives times a day), and hydrotherapy (swimming) once a week. It wasn't a painful condition so he never needed pain meds. He did pretty well for three years, but did get progressively worse until one day he couldn't stand and I had to let him go.

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When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

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It does sound like LS, which is progressive and can lead to old bodies simply wearing out. Pal was treated initially with Depo Medrol injections. Ultimately, our protocol included different combinations of Deramaxx, Robaxin, Tramadol, acupuncture, Adequan injections. He was also consistently on a Costco supplement of Glucosamine/MSM (1500mg of each component in one tablet). He wanted to walk every day until it became too difficult and he struggled more than he enjoyed. I lost him two years ago at 14.1.

 

With our seniors, every day is a gift. I hope that you and Lincoln have many quality days ahead of you. Good luck, and please keep us posted.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Robin has the same issue. He just turned 13. Lots of good advice here. Robin is also on gabapentin....it works really well, even though he didn't seem to be in pain, the results are clear.

 

I second the Therapaws to protect his back feet. Robin's nails were worn to the quick and bleeding at one point (ow!) and the therapaws really help.

 

He has had "sleep poops", as I call them, for a while now. He will be sleeping and the poop will just come out. I have found that tucking absorbent puppy pads under his butt once he settles in allows for an easier cleanup when it happens, since it doesn't get on the bed or floor where he is.

 

Another super helpful addition to his situation has been an assistance harness. Here is a picture of him with it and his therapaw boots. It was the first time I tried the boots on him, hence the evil eye. lol

2014-03-11160223_zps954b6903.jpg

 

The harness can be found here. https://www.etsy.com/listing/78900259/greyhound-assistance-harness?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

It really helps me help him when he starts to sink, or if he is having trouble getting up the steps to the porch, or when he is having trouble getting up from a laying down position. It has been a godsend, really, and I'm not sure how he would be doing now if I didn't have that to help.

 

Lots of other good stuff has been said here. Just trying to add what I can. Good luck!

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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Thanks for the reply. I just ordered some booties, and I'll pick out a harness next. I plan to ask the vet for some gabapentin. It sounds promising. Thank you for sharing Robin's experiences and your advice. Very helpful.

 

This is Lincoln, btw:

LincWV_zpsa7f4395d.jpeg

Edited by Nick
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We have the same kind of assist harness as Robin above, which are custom made by Carol Becker Rizzo of God's Greyts in FL. (ETA: Oops, hadn't noticed that Robin provided the link!) There's solid material under the chest rather than just straps, which makes it more supportive and more gentle. We have used it to help Shane jump down from the car and to come down the stairs. The coming down is often a hard landing, and then he develops a front limp.

 

But I mainly wanted to mention that, at least for us and I think for others, LS hasn't been a linear degenerative progression in either of our GH's. They have good times and not-so-good ones, but they always recover from those (i.e., poop coming out involuntarily while on a walk or in the house vs. then going back to complete normality in that regard). Same with rear-end sinking. The one thing they both learned they could no longer do is pivot on their back legs! So if you have some bad days, don't be discouraged! Just keep up with the gabapentin and whatever until it just doesn't work anymore.

 

Oh, and we did the Depo Medrol shots for a few months with Shane, and they helped a lot. But we had to stop recently when his kidney-disease status became bad enough that he can pretty much have any kind of steroid or NSAID again. Still, he's doing fine without them too, so that's encouraging!

Edited by greyhead
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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Thanks for the compliment and the previous information, SILVERFISH.

 

And thank you, GREYHEAD, for the advice. Yes, Lincoln can no longer pivot well either. He's become rather clutsy. I carry him up and down the stairs...too dangerous otherwise. He can still hop on the bed with a burst of strength, though that's coming to an end, too. Also too dangerous.

Edited by Nick
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A friend of mine with a 13 year old greyhound just got the Help Me Up harness for him and says it's great. She took him to a vet who's a rehabilitation specialist and she recommended this one. http://helpemup.com/ She got the X-large for him based on his body measurements and says that it's a great fit.

 

I hope you find something that works well for him.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
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Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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  • 2 weeks later...

My dog Ravi is 11 1/2 and having same symptoms. It's so hard for him to stand at times with legs quivering and rear sinking. Drags toes. Slips and occasionally loses balance... and no balance in the car. Sometimes he has to eat lying down . Recently bowel and bladder loss is much worse. 4 accidents in 6 days. Ravi is on meloxicam and gabapentine. He has prescription for tramadol but will spit out the pills no matter what I hide them in. I'm so sad for him.

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Tramadol is very, very bitter. We have to hide it in very strong flavours, like salami, or very strong grated cheese, or liver paté. You might need to coat the pills in paté and then push them down his throat. You can maybe try with capsules - he might take them better - but Sid chomped down on one once which was clearly a very nasty experience for him and for a few days I had a real struggle getting them into him. He'll take it wrapped in Milano salami though. The Milano we get has no onion and is quite sticky.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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As silverfish says Tramadol is very bitter. Another option would be to use a pill gun* - Doc has to take 2 gabapentin plus one tramadol and with a bit of practice we have got jolly good at me quickly shooting them in, one at a time and as far back as possible so he doesn't gag/taste the tramadol. Then he enjoys the treat afterwards. It works well for us!

 

*The one we use is actually a 'mothering kit' for orphaned puppies and kittens, minus the silicon teat: http://www.mikkipet.com/?mikki_care=mothering-kit

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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So sorry to hear about Ravi's troubles. I like Hooked's recommendation. Another trick is to slip it into a Stella & Chewy's treat. They're spongy, so you can shove the bill inside. However, if it's as bitter as they say, or if you have to use capsules on day, Hooked's idea sounds worth trying. Getting it into his throat (too far back for him to get out with his tongue) is key. I guess a bigger question is when is it time to say goodbye. When Lincoln can't move about, it's time. He would feel trapped if he were relegated to his bed all day. He's needs to be walking and smelling everything to be happy.

Edited by Nick
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We wrap tramadol in little meatballs of cat food, and Shane gobbles them down too far to ever know what's in there! Good luck.

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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Thank you for good ideas. I'll see if any of theses tricks get tramadol down his throat!

Nick, my vet suggested red light or laser therapy to help.that would second tier strategy.

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I also put Tramadol in capsules and the campers eat them right up, usually right along with their meals. To dispense the capsule alone, we would use peanut butter, liverwurst, marshmellows (mooshies), banana, stuff like that.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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It turned out that Ravi has a UTI, which probably worsened his general health and contributed to accidents in the house. Besides antibiotics, the vet also suggested 1/4 c. of pumpkin added to his food each meal to firm his BM's.

 

So when trying to figure out which dog was having the accidents, I took my little pom-chi 5 year girl in. I'm so shocked and sad....the tests show that her liver enzymes are off the chart. Because I had been focusing on Ravi's chronic health issues, I had been less aware that Babette was less energetic, then she suddenly stopped eating. Happened quickly. We're still in the dark as to cause or treatment (besides antibiotics and change in diet).

Edited by Ravi
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Gosh, I'm so sorry about Babette. I hope they can get her stabilised.

 

I'm taking Jeffie for a Vet School visit next Monday to get an expert opinion on the latest treatments here in England. The vet I took him to was keen to give the lumbar shots a try, but she is not a partner and got overruled. *Sigh*. So I asked for a referral. Enough messing about already.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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