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I Suspect Osteo Plus Ivdd/lss -- Devastated


Guest Allyson
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Guest Allyson

Hi. Our 11 year old Grey, Gilby, was recently "diagnosed" with IVDD or a combination of LSS and IVDD, but we have not had an MRI. The neurologist did a lot of visual tests, etc. We'd had Gilby into emergency about a month ago after he was shivering, pacing, panting and would not lie down for hours. We initially thought it might be bloat, but the xrays did not show that. His blood work was also clean. Since that time he's been on a low dose of prednisone, tramadol and had some muscle relaxant. He had two more bad/painful episodes after having a chiropractor do treatments the day prior.

 

After that last episode, when we almost put him down but just couldn't, is when we received the diagnosis above. He was put on a higher dose of pred and gabapentin was added, along with staying on tramadol. We also have been adding a supplement to his food. I've been roasting turkey and chicken and using the skinless part on top of his regular dogfood which is grainless.

 

Yesterday, I noticed a swelling just at the upper part of his left front leg. I can feel that it is different than the right leg, and I've never noticed it before, although I am hyper-sensitive right now. He does not exhibit any pain when I lightly go over it, but I have noticed that he looks down at it periodically. Unfortunately, it's impossible to tell is he's limping and/or favoring this leg, because many years ago he fractured the lower part and it's entirely fused, so he's always had a significant limp.

 

Unlike many of you, I am going to just say it -- I don't feel that I have the emotional support I so need from my husband right now. I feel terribly alone and terribly afraid of what is likely wrong with Gilby. My husband just says to "watch it and see what happens," yet I feel like we need to get it x-rayed and if it is osteo, which I can't imagine anything else, then we need to be graceful and put him down since he's also dealing with the spinal issues.

 

I also just read where I shouldn't be feeding any of the dogs turkey or chicken...is this true? I would not know what else to feed them when they don't want to eat just the dry food. Also, could the swelling on the leg be anything else? I've read where pred can cause joint swelling....or is this just my "wishful thinking." I am an emotional wreck over this and love this dog to pieces, yet don't want him to suffer. I don't know what to do. I would love any input. Thanks much, Allyson

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I'd let him eat anything he wants. Nothing wrong with turkey or chicken! Pred settles down inflammation and swelling but comes with a steep price in side effects as the dose increases. I would get an xray to confirm whether it's osteo, best to know I think. Here's hoping it's not osteo, though!!

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I am sorry you are fearful of what is going on with gilby. And I'm sorry you are afraid you won't get the support you need emotionally to deal with whatever the future holds......I am blessed to have a fabulous supportive Dh, but still felt emotionally a mess when I dealt with osteo -- I found great friends in the ongoing osteo thread and highly recommend it. Sometimes you just need to rant rave and feel bad and everybody there completely understands. Good luck and I will be praying for you and gilby. Please feel free to pm me if you need a shoulder - I'll cry right along with you --------

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Unlike many of you, I am going to just say it -- I don't feel that I have the emotional support I so need from my husband right now. I feel terribly alone and terribly afraid of what is likely wrong with Gilby. My husband just says to "watch it and see what happens," yet I feel like we need to get it x-rayed and if it is osteo, which I can't imagine anything else, then we need to be graceful and put him down since he's also dealing with the spinal issues.

 

 

 

I know exactly how you feel on this subject. My husband is not a big animal person (never grew up with pets as a child) and just does not understand the bond I have with ours. He does not mistreat them in anyway but I often feel he just tolerates them for me. I love him dearly but he is also the "just see what happens" guy. I know he feels they are more of just pets while I on the other hand feel they are my children, I would do anything to help them or stop them from being in pain.

 

Have you tried sitting down with him and telling him how you feel about everything? I find this helps me, my hubby might not be able to feel the same way I do about our pets but he cares about me and cares about how I'm feeling.

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Get radiographs of that leg. You need to know -if it is the dreaded monster you need to know how advanced it is so you may avoid a catastrophic spontaneous fracture. When they did abdominal rads did they get any of the spine? It would be benefical to be able to compare images.

I'm sorry you don't feel your husband is being supportive--of course it's justs a humble opinion of mine but, it could be he just doesn't know how to deal with something that he knows is just too painful to you. Doesn't mean he doesn't care.

Feed him what he wants--nothing wrong with feeding chicken or turkey just use common sense-stay away from fatty parts. (Lord knows you don't need a case of pancreatitis right now)!

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So sorry you're going through this. There are so many of us that have been there, done that. I agree that your husband just may not know how to deal with a) a complex diagnosis for your dog; and B) your highly emotional state right now. Men just process this sort of crisis very differently than women.

 

Part of it may be that you don't have enough information. You can not tell on physical examination if a dog has osteo or not. You need an xray. A simple, good quality, xray of his leg and lungs needs to be done as soon as possible. You need to know what you're dealing with before you can make any decisions about how to go forward. If your vet or radiologist isn't sure what they are seeing, you can send a digital copy to Dr Couto (the expert on greyhound cancers) and he will give you his opinion. His email address is in the first post in the current Osteo Thread, along with a lot of links and information.

 

Take a deep breath. Try and relax. Your stress will only add to that your dog is feeling.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest Allyson

Thank you all so much. It helps just knowing that there are some people out there who understand. I think that my husband just doesn't know how to help me, and I do know that he loves Gilby. I think a lot of this is just denial. He agreed that we will do an X-ray. The strange thing about the swelling is that it doesn't show when Gilby is lying down -- you really can't even feel it. It is soft and shows when he is standing, but it obvious only to me. But I can't imagine that it is something else than the "monster."

 

I will continue to give him what he wants to eat (thank you:)), but I do avoid the fats.

 

With each dog that crosses the bridge, I really feel that I just can't do it again. I just moved an outside cushion to our study so that I can sleep downstairs to be closer to Gilby....there will never be enough time with him, no matter what.

 

Again, thank you. I appreciate being able to cry with you.

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Guest Allyson

So sorry you're going through this. There are so many of us that have been there, done that. I agree that your husband just may not know how to deal with a) a complex diagnosis for your dog; and B) your highly emotional state right now. Men just process this sort of crisis very differently than women.

 

Part of it may be that you don't have enough information. You can not tell on physical examination if a dog has osteo or not. You need an xray. A simple, good quality, xray of his leg and lungs needs to be done as soon as possible. You need to know what you're dealing with before you can make any decisions about how to go forward. If your vet or radiologist isn't sure what they are seeing, you can send a digital copy to Dr Couto (the expert on greyhound cancers) and he will give you his opinion. His email address is in the first post in the current Osteo Thread, along with a lot of links and information.

 

Take a deep breath. Try and relax. Your stress will only add to that your dog is feeling.

Thank you for your comments. I know that my stress does not help Gilby. I try so hard to be normal/happy with him, but it's so hard. He had a swelling in the same leg a year ago, and it was not osteo but some sort of cellulitis. This said, it was the entire leg, not just part of the upper portion. We had a chest X-ray when the other issues started, and it was clear, but the leg was not an issue a month ago -- at least we didn't notice it. It's so hard with this leg because of the fusion and his pre-existing limp.

 

I do know how many of you have gone through this with our Greys. So unfair that they get dealt the horrid hand of bone cancer so often.

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:grouphug for you and your sweet Gilby. I know all too well how difficult it is to not have support when you are worried about a beloved dog. Keep us posted. We're here for you.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
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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Guest normaandburrell

We went through this with our first grey Brassy. We have a very experienced greyhound vet, but he too thought it was IVDD or LSS initially. I did not want xrays as Brassy had recently had an xray on a different leg, and didn't do well with the anesthesia, even though they gave propofol, which is supposedly safe in greys. Unfortunately, he did have a spontaneous fracture when he tried to run on it after his bath, and we had him put down immediately.

I agree, if you need the xray, get it. Use the support on this forum, but if you can, talk to your husband and let him know how much this means to you. And spoil that hound as much as you can while you still have him. My heart goes out to you. I know how devastated we felt when we lost our Brassy. Our only solace was knowing that we had given him a happy life for as long as we could, and that even at the end, we did not allow him to suffer.

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I am very sorry you are going through this. I'll echo the statements of others, an x-ray will at least give you confirmation of whether it's Osteo or not. That's the first step and no matter the outcome, it's obvious you love your boy and will do what's right for him. Take care of yourself too!

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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Yep, x-ray. Not sure where you are but here we almost never need sedation so it's quick and cheap. You don't need a chest x-ray unless you're considering amputation and chemo, although it can also help differentiate soft tissue vs bone tumor vs fungal or other infection.

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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I'm sorry you're facing this and feeling alone. With the caveat that I don't know a ton about IVDD, what you described does not sound like LS. Are there other symptoms you didn't mention? With LS you usually see a sinking hind end, overall weakness in the back end (often reluctance to go up stairs or jump onto furniture) and sometimes rear feet dragging or knuckling under.

 

I would suggest a specialist - an orthopedist. Have him get a good quality HD digital image of the afffected leg and give you a second opinion on the IVDD. I thought spine x-rays could be helpful with dxing the latter, so I'd want those too. And if you end up thinking its not IVDD, get him off of the prednisone.

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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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Guest Allyson

Again, thank you all. It means a lot.

 

A month ago, the initial episode was that he was walking around the house and obviously in pain. He would not lie down. He would pant, shake/shiver, etc. We have not wanted to do X-rays that require anesthesia, which is also why we've not done an MRI. At 11, we feel that it's too dangerous. The symptoms he had during his neuro exam were of IVDD in his cervical and butt area. She did not say for certain that it was IVDD, but said it was highly possible based on the weakening in his back end, not turning his back feet over, etc. The tail upon lifting did not exhibit pain until it was pretty high. He wobbled in the rear when he walked, and his butt does sink down when he is standing. It all came on pretty suddenly. the little swelling that I can feel on his front leg is soft, and I did not notice it until a few days ago. It is not obvious really, and my husband thinks it's his muscle. Of course, I do not.

 

Gilby has been on the meds to "reduce inflammation," and after 7 days on the neurologist-prescribed dosages, he is sort of cheery today, though I am still requiring rest for another couple of weeks. Now, the issue is that we are supposed to take him back to the neurologist on Friday for a follow up, and my husband wants to wait until then to have an X-ray of the front leg....he doesn't want Gilby to have to go for a car ride twice (Gilby does not like riding in the car, nor will he sit down, so it's scary that he might fall, etc.) Anyway, one of us has to be in back with him (which is fine), but I understand my husband's desire not to traumatize him further. I am going to talk to him again about the need to get him it sooner than Friday. Although, my husband has now convinced himself that Gilby's increased happiness today indicates that nothing is wrong with the front leg, and that the meds are working on the spine.

 

At the end of the day, we don't want to do more things that will traumatize a dog that hates to be away from home, but I want to to what needs to be done for his safety and quality of life.

 

Again, thanks....I will keep you posted. I appreciate the many "shoulders" here.


Yep, x-ray. Not sure where you are but here we almost never need sedation so it's quick and cheap. You don't need a chest x-ray unless you're considering amputation and chemo, although it can also help differentiate soft tissue vs bone tumor vs fungal or other infection.

Hi. We did the chest X-ray and it was clean. I understand that they most often don't show anything until something has spread. The lump on his leg seems soft. I actually could be a muscle and I am just looking for something to be wrong, but my instincts tell me otherwise. We do have a mobile vet coming Monday morning to do acupuncture and laser, and but I've also heard that laser can increase cancer spreading, so may not do the laser.

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Honestly, I don't see the need to do an earlier visit for the leg x-ray unless something changes drastically. I'm assuming if he does have osteo that he won't be a good candidate for amputation because of his other issues so the main concern is that his pain is managed (sounds like he's doing well in that regard) and that he doesn't get to do any running or jumping down to try to avoid fracture (easily managed by you). And Fwiw, any good ortho should be able to get spine and leg x-rays without anesthesia.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

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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Guest lynne893

Just wanted to add my hugs and support. I haven't been through those diagnoses, thank goodness, but have been through other medical issues w my greys and I've been there too w a husband who sounds just like yours (and you sound just like me). DH loves our dogs as much as I do, but he processes things differently and is a glass half full person (I am empty and always pessimistic and concerned about all the things that can be wrong but he looks at life soooo differently and is a wait and see kind of person too).

 

Anyway, you're not alone. Neither your approach nor your DH's is wrong or right-- just very different. I err on your side and want everything investigated right away so we can either take action or preventative measures. I don't like to wait.

 

Please keep us updated. DH and I just had our first baby 3 wks ago and our almost-9 year old Greta is having some "structural" issues too-- just days after baby was born she was stumbling and shaking and limping so I had DH rush her to the vet right before they closed on a Friday and without xrays, vet suspects herniated disc in neck and she's been on heavy pain meds for 2 wks. Vet wants xrays or MRI if she's not better soon and of course I still see symptoms and want to get her checked again and DH thinks she's doing marvelously. The truth is somewhere in between, like with you guys. Our lives are upside down w baby right now and no one is sleeping... it's very stressful.

 

Hugs and love your way. We're here for you!

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Guest Allyson

Just wanted to add my hugs and support. I haven't been through those diagnoses, thank goodness, but have been through other medical issues w my greys and I've been there too w a husband who sounds just like yours (and you sound just like me). DH loves our dogs as much as I do, but he processes things differently and is a glass half full person (I am empty and always pessimistic and concerned about all the things that can be wrong but he looks at life soooo differently and is a wait and see kind of person too).

 

Anyway, you're not alone. Neither your approach nor your DH's is wrong or right-- just very different. I err on your side and want everything investigated right away so we can either take action or preventative measures. I don't like to wait.

 

Please keep us updated. DH and I just had our first baby 3 wks ago and our almost-9 year old Greta is having some "structural" issues too-- just days after baby was born she was stumbling and shaking and limping so I had DH rush her to the vet right before they closed on a Friday and without xrays, vet suspects herniated disc in neck and she's been on heavy pain meds for 2 wks. Vet wants xrays or MRI if she's not better soon and of course I still see symptoms and want to get her checked again and DH thinks she's doing marvelously. The truth is somewhere in between, like with you guys. Our lives are upside down w baby right now and no one is sleeping... it's very stressful.

 

Hugs and love your way. We're here for you!

Thank you for your comments. We sound a lot alike! My husband it the eternal optimist that everything is always going to be fine. I don't know how he sees things like this since we've put several dogs down to cancer, and others with other things. But....

 

Wow, I can only imagine what things would be like with a new baby and a sick dog. Sounds so stressful, but with a heavy dose of joy in the mix. I know just what you mean about DH thinking that Greta is back to normal, and you still seeing symptoms. I had no idea that Greys have so many issues with their spines. We have had four, and this is our first with spinal issues. We also have our Emma who will turn 11 in March, and she has a tremor in her back left leg. She is having her senior citizen check up on Wednesday:)

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope things settle in with your new little girl, and your precious Grey girl.

Hi again,

 

Do you think I should cancel Monday's appointment with our regular vet and just wait until Friday? If it's OK to wait, that would mean one fewer car rides and the accompanying stress. Ugh...so confused and stressed about this.

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Guest Allyson

Honestly, I don't see the need to do an earlier visit for the leg x-ray unless something changes drastically. I'm assuming if he does have osteo that he won't be a good candidate for amputation because of his other issues so the main concern is that his pain is managed (sounds like he's doing well in that regard) and that he doesn't get to do any running or jumping down to try to avoid fracture (easily managed by you). And Fwiw, any good ortho should be able to get spine and leg x-rays without anesthesia.

Thank you. No, we would not do an amputation or even chemo/radiation if it is cancer. He's been through enough. He hasn't used the stairs inside in a few years, so that is not an issue, and we are keeping him quiet/at rest as much as we can. To go outside, he has a couple of very small steps and we walk with him. The "thing" that triggers him to get up quickly and move more than he should is our 1/2 Basset Hound & 1/2 Mini Schnauzer mix who has a literal screech when he sees something outside, so we now have paper on the lower part of our windows so Rudy can't see outside. Our house has become a 24/7 care facility for our Grey boy.

Just wanted to say that I said a prayer for Gilby and for you tonight. I have not dealt with either of the issues you describe so can offer no advice. Hugs..........

Thank you, Karen. Gilby is a red and white brindle, and looks like the kiddo on your page.

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I'd get him looked at on Monday. You've got the appointment, a professional can look at him (and get an x-ray) and talk things over with you, and you can go from there. Lots of hugs headed your way.

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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I'd get him looked at on Monday. You've got the appointment, a professional can look at him (and get an x-ray) and talk things over with you, and you can go from there. Lots of hugs headed your way.

Just make sure your vet has decent x-ray equipment and can get digital x-rays if that's where you're going on Monday. That way you'll know you were thorough and you'll be able to easily send them to Dr. Couto or other specialists if you decide you need a more specialized/second opinion. I'm not sure where you live - around here most regular vets have good equipment these days, but I'm not sure how true that is in other areas.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

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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Guest Allyson

I'd get him looked at on Monday. You've got the appointment, a professional can look at him (and get an x-ray) and talk things over with you, and you can go from there. Lots of hugs headed your way.

Thank you. I am not sure that I can wait until Friday:) If it is cancer, there won't be a point in meeting with the neurologist on Friday. I guess I do need to breathe, and do a better job at taking things a day at a time.

Just make sure your vet has decent x-ray equipment and can get digital x-rays if that's where you're going on Monday. That way you'll know you were thorough and you'll be able to easily send them to Dr. Couto or other specialists if you decide you need a more specialized/second opinion. I'm not sure where you live - around here most regular vets have good equipment these days, but I'm not sure how true that is in other areas.

Hi. We are pretty much in metropolitan Denver. It's a VCA hospital, and I believe they do have good quality equipment. This is (unfortunately) where we've had two other Greyhounds diagnosed with cancer. Our vet used to have a Greyhound, so we've like that he knows their specific issues. He's also very good about saying when to see a specialist. It's good to know about Dr. Couto as well. Thanks much.

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