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Anybody Have Experience With Lumbar Stenosis?


Guest Danabanana
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Guest Danabanana

Hi All,

 

I am new here and I hope that I am posting in the correct place. I have two senior male greys. One of them has been informally diagnosed with Lumbar stenosis. He is 13 1/2 years. He's very healthy otherwise, his back is just giving out on him. This got bad quickly. He went from whining a bit at night at bedtime to a myriad of symptoms within 6 weeks.

 

My dilemma, we love him dearly, as I know all of you love yours as well. My husband and I are trying to make a seemingly impossible decision...the only thing that will help him is surgery. That is not a guarantee and we both really dislike the idea of putting him through that. The other option is to let him go. He's still interested in food but I am afraid that every other facet of his life is being effected.

 

He is on a steroid, muscle relaxer, and gabapentin. His symptoms are, dragging back feet, falling over at times, walking on his back knuckles, hard time getting in position to pee and number 2, leaking urine. I have him wearing diapers and keeping him as comfortable as I possibly can. He walks independently for the most part but if he tries to stand still for more than a few seconds his butt starts to sink.

 

I don't know what to do. I feel if I don't try the surgery I am not doing all that I can for him, I feel if we should decide to let him go that I have failed him. I just do not have that feeling that I know the correct choice. Any advice would be so much appreciated.

 

Thank you,

Dana

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First of all, {{{hugs}}} to you and your family. It's a very difficult time, and you're stressed and feeling guilty, and wanting to do the best thing for your sweet old man. All of us have been where you are now and it never gets any easier.

 

Your already doing everything medically that you can. One thing to consider is if you have maxed out the dosage levels to help him feel comfortable. You also might talk to your vet about adding a pain reliever like codeine or tramadol.

 

If you can't control his pain then your decision is clearer. And even if you can make him comfortable for a time, it would really only be time for you all to say your goodbyes. As much as we wish it were true, there's no cure for old age, and it's better to give them the last gift of release from a failing body than to try and baby them along in a slow and painful decline.

 

There's no right or wrong answer. Only the answer that is the best one for your situation.

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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What greysmom above said.

My first greyhound, Pal, was 14.1 when his stenosis no longer responded to medications nor acupuncture. I chose, rather, he and I talked, and decided it would be best for him to leave on a good day rather than risk a crisis and have him have to go through that, as well as a crisis being the last memory I would have of my boy. Pal's last day was grand (his tribute is in Remembrance, "Pagliaccio") and it was the right decision for us. I and others here firmly believe it kinder to let them go a day sooner rather than a day too late. From what you've shared, you have not failed your boy at all, nor would you if you elect not to put him through a surgery for which there are no guarantees. Best of luck to you. :grouphug

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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Are you sure he didn't maybe have a stroke or something like that? I'm not an expert, but LS is usually a progressive disease so going from okay to what you're describing in weeks doesn't seem to fit completely.

 

If it were something other than LS where recovery might occur then that could factor into your decision.

 

If it is LS, I personally wouldn't put a 13.5 year old through spinal surgery. It's not an easy recovery. When Zuri (who did have LS BTW) had bone cancer and I was trying to make my decision I was really appreciative of the hospice vet who met with is telling me that many many dogs eat well until the end, despite being in a lot of discomfort. She didn't recommend using that as a guage. I made a list of his 5 favorite things and used that as my guage.

 

I'm sorry you're facing this. :(

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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 Danabanana

Thanks so much everyone for your kind replies. He goes to the vet at noon today as I have asked if she will give him a steroid injection and also a glucosamine injection. The more I read about surgery, the more I feel it's not the right decision for him.

 

It's definitely not been a stroke that he has had. Although I haven't had an MRI done, the vet feels very confident that it is stenosis. He presents with all the symptoms and is painful in that area if not kept on pain meds. Last night was not a good one. I know my decision is becoming clearer, I just don't want to face it.

 

Thanks again for the replies, it means a lot.

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for LS my vet opted to use oral steroids vs. a shots. she felt that there is better control w/ the dosage. i was shocked to see felix jump, yes JUMP up on the bed last night. watching and waiting, but think about it all of the athletics are always getting steroids for injuries.

 

If you dog responds well to gabapentin, the combo is supposed to be wonderful. gabapentin did very little for felix. but each dog is different.

best of luck!

 

ps. yes, pam, depro Medrol is an old drug, so i was told. it's not being used anymore and my new vet is a walking pharma encylopedia!

Edited by cleptogrey
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Guest Danabanana

Thanks for all the advice. We took him yesterday and had a steroid shot done as well as glucosamine injection. He was not well yesterday and seemed to be in a lot of pain and he kept knuckling under, he also was losing control of his bladder. We brought him home and tried to make him comfortable. Last night, all night, he cried and cried and nothing I did seemed to help. He was miserable. He kept wanting to go outside and seemed to be trying to pee. I had to follow him and stand right beside him because he was falling down.

 

We made the decision to let him go this afternoon. Our appointment is at 3:20. I can't stop crying. This is even harder than I imagined. We all love him so much.

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I'm so sorry. :grouphug

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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Im so sorry. :grouphug

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 Danabanana

Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart for your responses, I will take all the hugs I can get right now. That was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. He passed at about 3:40 today. My husband, son and I were all there telling him how much we love him and petting and loving on him. I cannot stop crying, the tears just fall and fall. I'm sure at some point this will get better, but it's been terrible. My other old fellow, Claude, is missing Monster. It makes me so sad to see Claude looking for him and seeing the confusion and sadness on his face. Thanks again all of you, for your kindness and for taking time to message.

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