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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:15 PM
CsqU4r3d's Avatar
CsqU4r3d CsqU4r3d is offline
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Spondylosis

My poor Chum has been diagnosed with spondylosis...I had noticed over the course of the last few months he seemed to have some weakness in the hind quarters...especially when getting up or lying down. Last week I was having to assist him when he wanted up on the couch or bed. I have had him on glucosamine chondroitin and msm for the last 2 years with the occasional asprin when the symptoms were bad. He has osteo-arthritis as well. I am a retired widow on a fixed income so surgery is out for now. Are there any supplements I can add to the mix to help. I am lifting him in and out of the Tahoe. I bought a ramp for him a couple years back but he wants nothing to do with it. He never yelps or shows any sign of pain other than a slight limp and the hind end weakness...ageing is not for the faint of heart....I have given him an aspirin and now I am going to medicate my self with a couple glasses of wine. Any suggestions welcomed.
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Master Cholmondeley Esquire (Chum) English Springer Spaniel born 2003/2004(?)
Miikka Chu 4/2005 Bichon/Cocker Cross
Minnels Morgan 11/2005 Bichon/Cocker Cross
R.I.P. Boog,Pootie, Bud & Tarkha
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Where love and loyal homage shine,
And wonder where the difference lies
Between your soul and mine!
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  #2  
Old October 15th, 2014, 06:41 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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We have at least three with spondylosis. The only thing we do different with them than you're doing with Chum is to add one of the stronger NSAIDs, like carprofen or Deramaxx, when they feel sore. If you think the weakness is due to him 'tweaking' his back somehow and causing inflammation, the stronger NSAIDs can be a good compromise between something like tramadol (which eases the pain but doesn't help inflammation) and steroids (which work on pain and inflammation but are very hard on the system). Usually with NSAIDs, they work well enough that we only need them for 3 - 5 days. They can also be used long term, but Chum would need periodic bloodwork since the drugs can be hard on the kidneys.

Is there a place where you can take him swimming? The Pack hates water, but our springer (who also had spondylosis, along with severe hip dysplasia) loved it, and swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that can benefit the spine.

You might also want to look for a facility that offers chiropractic for dogs and/or accupuncture. We've never used either service, but I know people who do, with some success. And it might not be too terribly expensive

I know how you feel about the aging part. 6 of our 8 are over the age of 11 now. Hard to see them get old...
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  #3  
Old October 16th, 2014, 07:59 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Our first Lab had "significant spinal spondylosis and invertebral disk disease." All discovered at once from X-rays following an acute pain episode at age 12.5. After initial large doses of derramax (dextabs) she maintained most of the rest of her life on daily but reduced dextabs till a month or so before her death at 14.5 she needed something stronger.

I was told she would need surgery if she had another acute pain episode but she did not after recovering as best she could from the first one.

I was told she could walk only 15 minutes at a time but that was a visiting Vet. A regular Vet who knew her better said to cut her walks in half so I made sure to not be out more than an hour. No hills, rough ground, dense brush or deep snow either.

As time went on her walks did shorten till at the end we were only out for 10 minutes at a time. Something that really perked her up was we searched out new places to walk, short loops we'd never done before becasue they were too short. A new place was always an adventure to her. LOL, when we got to no more than walking around the 2 acre park behind our house, a place I never had walked before or since, two of the cats came with us.

She became fecal incontinent. Much easier to handle than urinary incontinence. We are not sure if that was from neurological damage in her back or from the pain meds. A change of food to a weight loss diet helped bulk up her stools so she could feel an imminent BM sooner and sometimes ask to go out in time. If it was today I would try adding pumpkin or sweet potato to her regular diet instead as she did not need to lose any weight, but did, and her coat suffered. An occasional Imodium also helped, say if we had to go somewhere, as suggested by Vet.

Chiropractic, accupuncture and swimming were suggested to us but she hated to be handled by strange people so I figured that would be more stress on her than it was worth and we didn't do them. There is a heated pool for dogs nearby too. If it was my current dog I would do them, he loves to be handled.

Throughout this I think the biggest detriment to our girl's life was her deafness. She couldn't hear us coming (or feel the floor either many times) and it seems to me we could manage the pain in her back but there was nothing to do about her hearing. I really think she felt isolated and removed from us because of deafness, especially since she could no longer follow me up and down the stairs and had to be alone much of the time, or seem to be alone. I really think deafness was harder than her back.

Good luck with Chum. It's hard but you may find, as we did on our short walks, that there are still good times to be had.
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  #4  
Old October 16th, 2014, 05:34 PM
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CsqU4r3d CsqU4r3d is offline
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My little man is doing much better today. I think he may have tweaked his back the other day, a friend had come over to help me chainsaw some dead wood and errant trees, he brought his dog along who is chums buddy, but since chum has had the hind end weakness I have not let them play together as Bandit is a big frisky young Pit Bull and would just bowl him over. Chum stayed in while I went out and told my friend what all I needed help with, and I am sure Chum was running back and forth jumping on and off the couch in front room, and up and down the 2 step landing at the back door and most likely aggravated the situation. He is up and down on his own today, even the 5 steps in front of the house. He tried to jump into the Tahoe on his own but I put the kibosh on that and lifted him in. Chum has been mostly deaf for a couple years and seems to have adapted very well, he can hear high end noises, I clap to get his attention and he can hear Miikka and Minni bark. I am sure he misses running free in the dog park, but with no means of recall unless he is looking my way and can see the hand signals, I am uncomfortable allowing it. We are keeping our walks to no more than an hour long. It is what it is, I will assist him as best I can and keep him comfy and happy, it's all I can do. I will look into finding an indoor place for him to swim he would love that.
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Master Cholmondeley Esquire (Chum) English Springer Spaniel born 2003/2004(?)
Miikka Chu 4/2005 Bichon/Cocker Cross
Minnels Morgan 11/2005 Bichon/Cocker Cross
R.I.P. Boog,Pootie, Bud & Tarkha
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I look into your soft brown eyes,
Where love and loyal homage shine,
And wonder where the difference lies
Between your soul and mine!
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  #5  
Old October 18th, 2014, 03:25 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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This back stuff is painful.

I've always used regular chiropractic for my dogs with great success, together with some acupuncture. Supplements vary, often depends on the dog. A foundation of glucosamine and chondroitin, with vitamin C (sodium or calcium ascorbate). I use hyaluronic acid. I have used adequan injections, though I think outside of the US cartrophen is available which some think is better?

Other supplements that can help with pain include DLPA, St John's wort (google for interactions with any other drugs, which are multiple), even skullcap (though may cause drowsiness). There are all sorrts of antiinflammatories, like boswellia, yucca, etc. Trial and error on what may or may not work. I know a lot of people use the springtime products, or DogGonePain, but I've never used either.

And, when the dog is senior enough, if nothing is working, I try the antibiotic doxycycline. A lot of joint problems are inectious, but it also is an anti-inflammatory that can give significant relief, as well as a cancer fighter. That's a bit more controversial, being an antibiotic, but there are studies which do back it up. I had an old girl who was flipping her paw over, had some neuro issues, and I used that to manage her for the last year of her life. She died of some brain stem lesion, but up until she got really really sick, she had a good quality of life.
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