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Worried, Ls And Euthanasia


Guest Melody
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Guest Melody

hi all,

my beautiful perfect boy Charlie is now approaching his 16th birthday.

recently he has started being very wobbly and weak in the back end. he cries when trying to get up from sitting or laying down. his thighs have started to look to me (hubby doesnt agree) like the muscles are wasting. sometimes he simply cannot stand or walk.

so far my vet has only said that its lameness and old age. i am very concerned that it is in fact lumbosacral stenosis and that we may be reaching a point where the only kind option is to euthanise him.

my husband and i disagree significantly on the extent/seriousness of this issue, but my husband does tend to allow his own pain to cloud his judgement when it come to our babies. he is against euthanasia at this point (although it kills me i am thinking it should be considered).

it is breaking my heart to see Charlie suffering like this, and i really want to help him. aside from changing Vets (already doing) is there anything at all i can do to make Charlie more comfortable? he is my world.

 

he has been very healthy his whole life. he came to us after being dumped in a sack, tied to a country fence at the approx age of 2 months. he was bred for racing but lacks any chase instincts. he has only had three health issues in his entire life and both were injuries. first he had a bone infection in one of his front toes (eventually amputated), later he was attacked by a cat(!) and once he had a skin tear from running through rough prickle bushes. we have five other dogs, including four of Charlies offspring. we also have four cats.

 

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Are you giving him any pain medication? If not, that would be a place to start.


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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I'm going through this right now with Kasey (although admittedly not as severe as Charlie) http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/312456-prominent-hind-end-weakness/

 

Agreed that pain medication will most certainly make him feel more comfortable, and crying out when getting up definitely means he's in pain, especially if this is new. Gabapentin will certainly relieve his nerve pain, prednisone will reduce inflammation. These meds are relatively inexpensive.

 

If he's standing for a long period of time, do you notice his butt start drooping and he can't support himself with his back legs. - That's more like LS and not arthritis.

 

Also a harness will help you help him get up from rest.

 

Scritches to your boy. Congrats to a 16 year old. He's had a great life!

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Guest Melody

 

 

If he's standing for a long period of time, do you notice his butt start drooping and he can't support himself with his back legs. - That's more like LS and not arthritis.

 

 

 

 

yes! its like his back folds and his butt tries to tuck under. thats what made me think of LS. im so angry that my vet seems to know less about this than i do (ive never dealt with it before). we have registered with a new one that was recommended by a fellow greyhound owner. taking him in asap.

he's been having Rimadyl but it seems to have done nothing (it worked for him after his surgery a few years ago).

i would like to get a harness, i am disabled so its especially difficult for me to help him up. where can i get a good one that wont cause him any more problems?

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I am not sure how you feel about animal communicators- I have used one a number of times and found it very helpful. I use a woman named Latifa at Animals Can Talk. Maybe find out what he wants to do. He may want to stay longer and ask for more pain meds or maybe he says he thanks you for an amazing life but his body is failing him and he would like to go soon.

Sending gentle hugs!

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She makes them to order and it takes about a week to get it. I haven't yet had to use it yet though as I am fortunate the medications have drastically improved Kasey's issue, but of course I now have it on hand as he gets worse. I can't vouch for how good it is, or easy to use. I'm surprised that even telling your vet he's in pain, that he wouldn't suggest meds. Push for them. You know your dog best, and you love him like no one else. You aren't alone in the vets not knowing any better. ;) I was the one that figured out LS via help from the greyt community and pretty much told them what he had. I was fortunate that I got a second opinion from a greyhound savvy vet earlier this week to confirm. Please keep us posted.

At his age I'm sure he has arthritis. You mentioned he is taking rimadyl -you should consider giving gabapentin also. The two medications work better in combination.

 

This may be very true, but it is not for certain. Kasey has zero signs of arthritis, although he is at age 12 and not quite 16. Charlie wasn't a racer either which I hope improves the chance.

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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That is the harness that Robin wears, and that many, many of us have used to help our older guys move around. I know for a fact that it has extended my time with Robin, and my friend swears that the harness gave her 10 extra months with her boy. It really works well. They just wear it all the time, so that it is there for you to help when he needs it.

2014-03-11160223_zps954b6903.jpg

 

(This is the first picture I took of Robin in his boots. He was KNOT thrilled. :P But that is another option if you find he is dragging his back feet and scraping his knuckles. Robin was scraping his toenails to the quick and making them bleed, as well as wearing down his pads and getting booboos on his knuckles. Therapaws from GEM have really helped that.) http://www.gemgreyhounds.org/GEM-Store/thera-paw%E2%84%A2-dog-boots/

Edited by Robin1017
Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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The Help 'Em Up harness is the one I used for Sweet when she was paralyzed, and it was fabulous. Easy to put on/take off, I could leave the front section on her and put the rear section on as needed. I would definitely recommend this one.

 

To have reached the age of 16 is amazing.

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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Gabapentin. :nod Cold laser and/or acupuncture if you have access to them. Possibly a muscle relaxed or Tramadol instead of the Rimadyl if you're sure it's not helping.

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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Another vote for the Help Me Up harness and cold laser, both helped my Doodle Bug when she had FCE back in Dec. I still use the chest part of the harness to get her out of the car. I'm glad you're changing vets. You are so lucky to have had him for 16 years. What a beautiful blessing.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest Melody

thank you everyone. we had a quick consultation with the new vet today. he was only open for emergencies today but squeezed us in. (he actually owns greyhounds! yay!) he says Charlie is the oldest grey hes treated and he agrees that the most likely explanation is LS. he wants to do some injections next week (would have done today if he had my old vets notes and xrays) and has given us some leaflets to read. he gave Charlie a pain killing injection today and that seems to have made Charlie a little happier so thats good.

the vet was fairly straight with me and hubby, saying that if things are not helped by the injections then our options will be limited and given his age and the severity of it we should prepare to consider euthanasia. as sad and heartbreaking as that is to hear, i am glad that my hubby has heard it from a professional. its not a decision that either of us would take lightly but we want what is best and kindest for our boy.

in the mean time, we have been looking at the harnesses and plan to buy one tomorrow. he already has grippy socks on the back feet to help. he has trouble with boots of any kind, but we do have some here that we can try if needed.

 

Robin1017 that is a gorgeous picture!

 

thank you everyone for the advice and support. i will ty and keep you in the loop. Charlie thanks you too. xx

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Glad you've got a savvy vet and some support. Best wishes for your boy!


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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Excellent update. I am so relieved that Charlie was seen by a grey-savvy vet who put things into perspective for you guys. Most likely the vet is talking about injections of Depo or Adequan? I did both of these for Pal and they did help immensely. But, they will either work or they won't. This is a heart-wrenching time for sure, but at 16 the options really can just wear out, just like our dog friends. You are doing a wonderful job caring for your boy. Grippy socks :wub: Our hearts and healing thoughts are with you and sweet Charlie.

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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Guest Prematurelygrey

Sixteen! Wow - my jaw dropped when I read that. How lucky Charlie is to have you, to care for him in his sunset years.

We had an LS hound that we did have to euthanize in September, at 13-1/2. It was the most gut-wretching decision my husband and I have ever had to make, so you have my complete sympathy. It also took us some time to reach agreement that it was time to consider that option.

Like others have said, I'd recommend gabapentin & tramadol. Sounds like you're getting sound advice from the new vet.

We also used these on his back feet to help him keep traction: http://pawzdogboots.com/
They're basically thick rubber balloon-feet. Because they fit tightly at the top, they can't be left on all the time, but they seemed to help him on walks. (Warning - they are absolute murder to get on!)

Good luck! Hope Charlie gets some relief under the care of the new vet.

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I am so happy that you met with the new vet. Sixteen is wonderful, clearly you spoil him rotten and do everything right.

 

If nothing else, have the euthanasia discussion with the vet will let you know your options and then put those thoughts out of your mind until the time comes. Then you will know that you have a plan in place. It won't be one you like, but it will be one that you know is best for Charlie, and even for you.

 

I have always found that the booties from dogbooties.com are the easiest to deal with for my girls. They couldn't be more simple -- a rectangle you pop the paw into then velcro shut. They are also affordable at $3 each so you can have extras on hand. They are not too tight, although they will stay on.

 

I hope the new vet continues to be helpful.

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Guest Melody

we've been back to the vet today. Charlie had some injections (i cant remember the names, but have the paper work somewhere) and has some prescriptions for metacam, tramadol and something else i have forgotten at this moment. i may be crazy with hope but i think hes perked up a little already. he spent all day yesterday spread out on my bed refusing to move or be moved, screaming whenever i'd try. since the vet trip today hes been a little woozy, but has been walking around the room unaided and can curl up without crying, hes even managed to stand up by himself after having a nap. the best part for me (actually made me cry) was that whilst he was asleep he was actually doing the hound dream running! he hasnt done that in ages because it would hurt and he'd wake up. i am so pleased that its made a difference, even if it only lasts a short time. its given him some quality of life back and thats priceless. the vet said it can and he hopes it will, last but if not, at least we have given him some quality time. Charlie will be going back regularly for review.

thank you everyone for your support and advice, you've been awesome. i will keep you updated. Charlie sends sloppy hound kisses to each of you! xx

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the best part for me (actually made me cry) was that whilst he was asleep he was actually doing the hound dream running! he hasnt done that in ages because it would hurt and he'd wake up. i am so pleased that its made a difference, even if it only lasts a short time. its given him some quality of life back and thats priceless.

This is why we love them and help them. He's comfortable now and that's the best thing you can ask for. Enjoy your time with him being happy :) Thank you for the update.

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Great update and I also loved his running in his dreams.

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The handsome boy Brady, mid-morning nap. The sun, the sun feels so, so, so good.

I can't keep my eyes open ... ... Retirement agrees ...

... and the Diva Ms India, 2001 - 10/16/2009 ....

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