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Early Signs Of L S


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DH just took Sweep to her annual checkup and she's showing some early signs of LS. They had mentioned in the past that she seemed a bit sensitive, but today she apparently yelped and whined when targeted pressure was applied to that area. We have not observed much at home except perhaps a lower tolerance for long walks, but it's summer in Nashville with heat indexes in the high 90s and beyond, so we aren't pushing them anyway. Occasionally she's a bit stiff when getting out of bed after being there awhile, but she works it out quickly. She goes up and down the stairs to our bedroom fine. The vet offered to give us Rimadyl or Meloxicam (probably? DH wasn't positive), but he wanted to talk it over with me first. If she's not really symptomatic except when pressure is applied (and has never shown any sensitivity with us) and still zooms around the yard when weather permits, are painkillers advisable at this time? Or just a good thing to have on hand? The vet said we could do an xray but that they weren't always reliable for spotting LS and would likely require light sedation. She didn't see or hear any reason to suspect anything else that would merit an xray. (This is Grassmere, by the way, so they know greys.)

 

In other news, Sweep's gained 6 pounds (!!) since last year so we're making that our first priority and I assume that could potentially help the other issue. She's walked three times per day, but this time of year it's only 10-15 minutes each and I doubt that's going to get much better until fall. The humidity is a killer even before 8 a.m. She eats 2.5 cups of Iams green bag per day (1 cup morning and night, 1/2 cup in Kong) so I guess we'll be lightening up on the fillings--so long, peanut butter.

 

Any thoughts? Anything else we should be doing/looking for? She will be 6 in October.

Edited by ramonaghan

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Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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If you need to get weight off of her quickly, try replacing some of the kibble with green beans. It took us a while to find the right formula to maintain Rocket's weight, but we cut out 1/2 cup of kibble at breakfast and replaced it with a 1/3 to 1/2 can of green beans. It has worked well, and he loves them. His weight goes up in the extreme summer heat due to the lack of walks, so the green beans sort of balance things out.

 

I buy the can of green beans that is marked "ends and pieces" because it is full to the top with green beans. The whole green bean cans have way less product in them. Ends and pieces are about 59 cents a can compared to the whole or french cut green beans which can be up to a dollar a can.

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If you need to get weight off of her quickly, try replacing some of the kibble with green beans. It took us a while to find the right formula to maintain Rocket's weight, but we cut out 1/2 cup of kibble at breakfast and replaced it with a 1/3 to 1/2 can of green beans. It has worked well, and he loves them. His weight goes up in the extreme summer heat due to the lack of walks, so the green beans sort of balance things out.

 

I buy the can of green beans that is marked "ends and pieces" because it is full to the top with green beans. The whole green bean cans have way less product in them. Ends and pieces are about 59 cents a can compared to the whole or french cut green beans which can be up to a dollar a can.

 

Thanks--I'll try that. She likes frozen green beans so she'll probably take to canned just fine.

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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I wouldn't start medication without symptoms and if I were going to, an NSAID wouldn't be my first choice for treating LS anyway. I would focus on making sure you maintain muscle strength, especially core strength to slow the potential progression. In months where it's difficult to exercise as much, that means PT exercises, underwater treadmill, walking hills, swimming, etc. In the hot summer months, I try to get in walks in a wooded creek nearby. The creek is about knee-thigh high and it's relatively shaded - keeps the dogs cool and is really good core strengthening exercise for the greyhounds (and Skye gets to swim!). In the winter when it's icy Zuri goes in for underwater treadmill sessions.

 

ETA: I would also x-ray before proceeding with anything else. Typically with LS you see hind end weakness, probably the first thing you'd notice other than a stooped back would be difficulty jumping up onto furniture or into the car or doing stairs. I wonder more about arthritis given the reported AM stiffness (in which case an NSAID would be appropriate, along with some supplements potentially). You should be able to get x-rays without sedation.

Edited by NeylasMom

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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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Re: LS - I didn't notice you specifying any hind end weakness - which is classic LS. To properly diagnose LS you'll need an MRI. Has she seen a chiropractor? Targeted pressure to what area? How long can she stand without her back end starting to sag? How is she with jumping up - in the car, on the bed, up stairs?

 

Typically Gabapentin is given, which is a nerve pain drug. It wouldn't do any good if she's exhibiting other kind of symptoms.

Edited by XTRAWLD

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Re: LS - I didn't notice you specifying any hind end weakness - which is classic LS. To properly diagnose LS you'll need an MRI. Has she seen a chiropractor? Targeted pressure to what area? How long can she stand without her back end starting to sag? How is she with jumping up - in the car, on the bed, up stairs?

 

No chiropractor, because we haven't seen any telltale symptoms such as hind end weakness, only the couple of minor things I noted above (some exercise intolerance which could also be weather-related, stiffness upon rising that seems to resolve quickly). I just saw that Grassmere's website lists chewing at feet or tail as a symptom, and Sweep does chew at her back and licks her feet fairly regularly. She reacted to pressure applied at the lower spine near her hips and to her upper inner back thighs. I would assume the vet was using Dr. Stack's "thumb test," but I wasn't there personally so this is all filtered through my husband.

 

This is just a presumptive diagnosis; we know we'd need an MRI to get confirmation but since Sweep doesn't actually appear to be in any pain yet, we're not sure if there's any point to doing that right now. She has never tried to get on the furniture but jumps into the car easily and is fine on the stairs. She'll stand until you stop petting her. :) I just wasn't sure if this is something you treat preemptively or wait for more definitive symptoms, and it sounds like she'd be best served right now by diet and exercise rather than drugs.

Edited by ramonaghan

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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I just wasn't sure if this is something you treat preemptively or wait for more definitive symptoms, and it sounds like she'd be best served right now by diet and exercise rather than drugs.

Yup, you hit the nail on the head! If anything, consider going to chiro based on these early signs. It really may do her a world of good preemptively, but it doesn't sound like she needs meds just yet. Have you tried any other joint supplements, etc?

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Yup, you hit the nail on the head! If anything, consider going to chiro based on these early signs. It really may do her a world of good preemptively, but it doesn't sound like she needs meds just yet. Have you tried any other joint supplements, etc?

 

We've given Missing Link in the past (mainly for skin/coat) but now she just gets fish oil. Anything specific you'd recommend? Cosequin?

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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ETA: I would also x-ray before proceeding with anything else. Typically with LS you see hind end weakness, probably the first thing you'd notice other than a stooped back would be difficulty jumping up onto furniture or into the car or doing stairs. I wonder more about arthritis given the reported AM stiffness (in which case an NSAID would be appropriate, along with some supplements potentially). You should be able to get x-rays without sedation.

 

I wondered about arthritis too. They watched her walk up and down the hall and didn't see anything amiss there. She mentioned two xray options: one lying on the side that didn't require sedation but gave less visibility of surrounding areas like hips, and one on the back with legs extended, which usually requires light sedation. Given Sweep's relative lack of symptoms and the lower odds that very early-stage LS would show up on an xray, she advocated a "wait and see" approach but ultimately is willing to proceed however we'd like.

 

Are there supplements you'd recommend?

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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For arthritis I would do fish oil and a joint supplement. Those certainly wouldn't hurt regardless if she's not already on them.

 

Re: reacting to upper inner thigh, do you mean up in what would be the groin area on a male dog? Zuri has very tight (our ortho calls them "crunchy") groin muscles as well as very spasmy muscles along his spine, particularly in his middle back. PT has helped at various times with the groin muscles and we have him on Robaxin (muscle relaxer) and he gets cold laser and acupuncture to help with the muscle spams as well. This is all from him compensating for his weaker hind end from his LS fyi. So if she reacted in those places it could just be muscle stiffness, soreness, or spasms from overcompensating for pain, which could be anything including arthritis. The Stack test for LS is to press on only one specific set of points back near the hip bones and what you see with a dog with LS is the dog quickly sinks to the ground. Often LS isn't actually painful - the dog tends to experience weakness or numbness over pain.

 

Might be good to go straight to the vet to clarify what your husband is telling you and/or consider a specialist down the road if you start to see more issues or want to consider medication or x-rays.

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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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We've given Missing Link in the past (mainly for skin/coat) but now she just gets fish oil. Anything specific you'd recommend? Cosequin?

I've used SpringTime Fresh Factors and Joint Health chewable tablets together. When Kasey couldn't jump up on the bed without effort at 10 I turned to it and it really helped over the last 2 years before the LS diagnosis. He also started growing in some nice fur! Now he also gets MSM/Chondroitin/Glucosamine vitamins as well.

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I've used SpringTime Fresh Factors and Joint Health chewable tablets together. When Kasey couldn't jump up on the bed without effort at 10 I turned to it and it really helped over the last 2 years before the LS diagnosis. He also started growing in some nice fur! Now he also gets MSM/Chondroitin/Glucosamine vitamins as well.

 

Okay, thanks, I'll check Amazon. (Sweep doesn't need any more fur, though! She is the rare fuzzy-bummed greyhound and has always been that way :lol)

 

For arthritis I would do fish oil and a joint supplement. Those certainly wouldn't hurt regardless if she's not already on them.

 

Re: reacting to upper inner thigh, do you mean up in what would be the groin area on a male dog? Zuri has very tight (our ortho calls them "crunchy") groin muscles as well as very spasmy muscles along his spine, particularly in his middle back. PT has helped at various times with the groin muscles and we have him on Robaxin (muscle relaxer) and he gets cold laser and acupuncture to help with the muscle spams as well. This is all from him compensating for his weaker hind end from his LS fyi. So if she reacted in those places it could just be muscle stiffness, soreness, or spasms from overcompensating for pain, which could be anything including arthritis. The Stack test for LS is to press on only one specific set of points back near the hip bones and what you see with a dog with LS is the dog quickly sinks to the ground. Often LS isn't actually painful - the dog tends to experience weakness or numbness over pain.

 

Might be good to go straight to the vet to clarify what your husband is telling you and/or consider a specialist down the road if you start to see more issues or want to consider medication or x-rays.

 

DH showed me what he meant by "upper inner thigh," and I'd say it's more toward the tail/butt than the groin, but the idea of using other muscles to compensate makes a lot of sense. She did not react to us rubbing her back there this evening. Thank you so much for your help and input. I think for now we're going to start a joint supplement in addition to the fish oil she already takes, focus on the weight loss, and watch her closely (easy since I work from home) for any changes.

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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I've used SpringTime Fresh Factors and Joint Health chewable tablets together. When Kasey couldn't jump up on the bed without effort at 10 I turned to it and it really helped over the last 2 years before the LS diagnosis. He also started growing in some nice fur! Now he also gets MSM/Chondroitin/Glucosamine vitamins as well.

Okay, thanks, I'll check Amazon. (Sweep doesn't need any more fur, though! She is the rare fuzzy-bummed greyhound and has always been that way :lol)

 

We use all three of these products: Joint Health and Fresh Factors from Springtime, Inc. and Costco's Kirkland brand MSM/Glucosamine contains 1500mg of each component. I've seen no change in the seniors' fur due to any of these supplements. Good luck!

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We use all three of these products: Joint Health and Fresh Factors from Springtime, Inc. and Costco's Kirkland brand MSM/Glucosamine contains 1500mg of each component. I've seen no change in the seniors' fur due to any of these supplements. Good luck!

Thanks for the link. Just ordered both the Fresh Factors and Joint Health. :goodluck

17369590311_3d5eeef92f.jpg

Rachel with feline rivals Tootie and Richard and squatter cats Crumpet and Fezziwig.
Always missing gentlemen kitties Mud and Henry, and our beautiful, strong, silly
 Sweep:heart

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