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Vet Suspects Lumbosacral Stenosis


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I took Chase in Friday because not only has he continued to have problems with increased frequency of urination since he suffered from the very bad episode of rhabdomyolysis 12 weeks ago, he has also started panting while at rest and whining when he goes to lay down. I thought that these new problems were also complications resulting from the rhabdo episode. While we are waiting on the bloodwork and urinalysis to try to determine what is going only with his urinary problems the vet was able to observe the problems he was having when trying to lie down. He checked along his spine and when he pressed on the vertebra associated with L S his backend immediately dropped. I realize that this is not a definitive diagnosis and am wondering what steps I should pursue as far as further testing and correction of the problem.. For now he had me start him on Tramadol for the pain but I just heard him start whining a moment ago when he tried to lie down and it has only been 2-1/2 hours since taking his Tramadol this morning.

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Aside from surgery, which up here runs around $10,000, there is nothing you can do to "correct" LS.

 

The only definitive way to diagnose it is a $2,500 or more MRI.

 

I elected not to do that since the only reason you need a definitive diagnosis is if you plan on subjecting your dog to painful and expensive surgery with an iffy outcome. I asked the specialist flat out, "Would the course of treatment change at all if you knew FOR SURE versus you just suspect LS?" and she said no, so...I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on satisfying my vet's curiosity.

 

Regular gentle exercise to keep the muscles strong is critical, and keep the dog slim. Gabapentin helped George.

 

For what it's worth, I'm told that fecal incontinence is fairly common with advanced LS, but not urinary.


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

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I would try Gabapentin over Tramadol. Also cold laser and acupuncture have been very helpful for Zuri. He's also on a muscle relaxer in addition to the Gabapentin because his groin muscles and muscles along his spine get very tight and spasmy. Although the Robaxin doesn't work as well as I'd like in that regard.

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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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My guy is in the beginning stages of LS and he is now on a 1/2 of a 227 mg Previcox once a day and it is working fine - for now. The vet did the "Dr. Stack" test and gave him an injection first and then he was on a whole Previcox for a week. When he wasn't yelping when going up one step, I dropped the Pevicox to 1/2 once a day and so far, so good.

 

I HATE Tramadol and didn't use it on my other greyhound that had LS for 4-1/2 years. It made him loopy and worse than he was without it.

 

Mom to Melly and Dani

Greyhound Bridge Angels - Jessie, Brittne, Buddy,

Red, Chica, Ford and Dodge.

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I want to thank everyone for their replies.

 

Connie - I have read what Dr. Stack had to say on LS, but thank you for the link anyway.

 

Susan - I remember you saying what you said when it came to George's LS and whether or not a definitive diagnosis was worth it if you are not going to pursue surgery and I believe you are right. I have insurance on Chase so it would be within my means to consider the surgery, but I also have to take not only his physical, but also his emotional well being into account when considering surgery. Knowing his fragile emotional state it would be wrong of me to subject him to a procedure like that when the stress from a simple bath at PetSmart induced in him a very severe case of rhabdomyolysis. The urination issues he has been having are related to the rhabdo he suffered 12 weeks ago.

 

I will be back to respond to the other replies later.

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Mary - I have thought both about accupuncture and chiropractic adjustment. The problem with this is that the closest certified veterinary accupuncturist is over 2 hours away and to be honest I'm not sure if he could take the stress of the drive. The closest veterinary chiropractor is about 3 hours away.

 

Jen - Thanks for mentioning that accupuncture has helped Zuri. Chase's condition is not what I consider bad at this stage so maybe with a little time and conditioning I can get him used to the long drive for accupuncture treatments if they would help him. As far as cold laser is concerned I will look into it, but will probably have to go to another vet's office to have it done. The tech that does the cold laser at the vet's office where I take Chase is the one that was responsible for looking after Nadir the day I had to let him go. She brought him to me in the waiting room unable to breathe handed me his leash, then turned her back and walked away. Another tech had to come out and help.me with him. I swore she would never touch another pet of mine again. Quite frankly I would probably put my hands around that scrawny neck of her's and let her get a feeling of what it feels like to not be able to breathe if I was in the same room again with her.

 

Donna, Susan, and Jen, so far Chase seems to be handling the Tramadol well. At least so far I've seen no adverse issues when he has been taking it. I've been lucky in that both Nadir and Chase both seem to tolerate it. I do have quite a bit of both Tramadol and Gabapentin left over from Nadir so I could see if the Gabapentin would benefit him more.

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My hound had LS and we did acupuncture on him and used herbs for hind end weakness. It helped.

Can you tell me the herbs you used? The accupuncturist I would take him to is both accupuncture and Chinese herbal certified through IVAS. The accupuncture might also help with his urinary problems he has been having.

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No official diagnosis on dear Nutmeg since x-rays were not definitive. She had gradual rear leg muscle wasting and weakness, primarily when standing, over several years. In her last 9 months she stopped jumping on furniture and her last 6 months she was fecally incontinent. Tramadol and then added gabapentine helped, as did daily gentle exercise. (She loved a "moseying" walk on our hilly terrain.) She had two of the Depo-Medrol shots that helped significantly for 2-3 months each. I think we succeeded in giving her a happy last year, once we committed to a course.

 

Hugs to Chase.

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Ellen, with brindles Milo and Jeter, and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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