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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi group,

Penny's got a new one for me.

At work instead of her jumping into the back of the john deere gator I ask her to put her front feet up on the tailgate and I pick up her rear and shove, for lack of a better word, her into the back.

A couple months ago she yelped when I did it, turning sharply to look at what I had done. Weird I thought as I massaged her leg/back/rear watching for another pain response to know what/where it is hurting. No response. The only time I can get a response is when we do the routine described above where I lift her back end.

She yelped again this week, although I hadn't noticed her yelp in the past few weeks.

Had her at the vet today for rabies shot and he suggested xrays. He said she would need to be sedated and for the whole everything it would cost $200.

He hinted at Intervertebral Disc Disease and commented on acupuncture and gold beads.

What are your thoughts or experiences? I have no knowledge in this area.

Thanks!
 

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i would definitely do the x-rays usually a bulging disc will show up. you should know what you are treating before you go doing anything.

a look at the vertibrae through x-rays can tell you how bad the disc issue might be. usually if its present there are other areas that have the potential to blow.

i had a gsd with that problem. he did blow a disc in his neck regian, and it usually will keep happening. they treated him with predisone which is not one of my favorites but that is the usually standard of proceedure. we did get into accupuncture it did not help him, not saying it wouldn't be orth a try since they all react different to different treatments. the chiropractic route worked well for us for maintenence. i also changed the diet added vertr-disc as one of the supplements to nurish the spinal discs. long term i would definitely look at some of those alternatives if in fact that is what it is.

debbie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Debbie.

I scheduled Penny for an xray Thursday afternoon so we will know more then. I also looked into the supplement you mentioned and it is certainly affordable and I will try it if the xrays reveal that we should head in that direction.

I'm nervous.

Originally Posted By: debbiebthey treated him with predisone which is not one of my favorites but that is the usually standard of proceedure.
Why can't they use a non steroidal anti inflammatory?

I have avoided Prednisone like the plague, it would have been such an easy way out for Penny's allergies all this time. I would *hate* to start it now.
 

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Something similar has been happening to one of my dogs over the past 4 years. He yelps when he is picked up to be placed on the table for an exam for example (and there is very rarely a need for it). We cannot find a painful reaction or reproduce this resonse in any other way. It also happened maybe 4 times (that I know of) when he jumped on the bed. Once he had dramatic symptoms (he could not go up the stairs) which completely resolved by the time I got him to the ER. The x-rays at the ER did not show anything conclusive. My regular vet looked at them, nothing. There was no dramatic episode for 4 years now. The vet suggested MRI or myelogram if he keeps having problems and the condition worsens. Since the problems are really minor, I would not risk a myelogram and we have not pursued the MRI either.
I wish I could be of more help. We have been living with this for years now and, luckily, it did not get worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Rebel.

We went and and had the xrays done yesterday. We had the hips and lower backed filmed. The vet diagnosed her with the disc disease as evidenced by the narrow gaps in between the vertebrae.





He said the spacing on the last disc by her tail is the spacing you want to see and if you compare it to the others you could see how little space the others had in between them. He said they are like ticking time bombs- you never know when one might rupture. Nice huh.

He said the condition would also cause spondylosis in time and that the xrays already showed the arching.

His suggestion was an anti inflammatory medication like derramax for life. I didn't think that stuff was good for life. Penny is only 4 1/2 and her only symptom is described above.

He commented on the verti disc supplement saying it was using cow proteins (the Bovine Tracheal Cartilage) for dogs and how that might not work so well. Not sure about that.

So he gave me lots to think about and look into. I am curious to look on the net for other xray pictures to compare.
 

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Natalie, before I went with derramax I would try some natural antiinflammatory stuff.

Plain Knox Gelatin is a good natural Anti-inflammatory. There use to be a link on the Web but it isn't active any more that had a library list of supplements and natural things and what they did and the studies behind them. The German Athlete's use to use Gelatin to recover from work outs. It also helps rebuild conective tissue.

Val
 

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Adaquin might not help the Disc problem much, but it will help alleviate the spondylosis that has begun.

Vetri disc supplement helped my guy with intervertable disc disease, i also used chicken collagen which is a more absorbable product because its more like what the body produces naturally.

we also did chiropractic care, which did help for a while. accupucture didn't seem to do much good.

i think management of the problem through alternatives and adjusting the dogs lifestyle can help preserve things longer. no jumping, limited running or horsing around like high impact activites etc. this just causes more wear and tare on the body, especially when there are issues like this you don't want to aggrivate it more than is necessary.

so, what we did was a grain free diet, supplements containing both joint products, things that control inflammation like anti-oxidents, fish oils, then limiting the activites to moderate things, chiro, or accupuncture, Adaquin shots, and anti-inflammatories used only when needed.

debbie
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Val for the suggestions on the gelatin- hadn't thought of that one.

Debbie it sounds like you have formed a good plan- one that is very similar to one suggested by Monica Segal when I posted on k9kitchen.

Her response was,

"I've worked with many dogs that have this disease and the following approach seems to have helped somewhat:

Fresh foods, focusing on veggies for antioxidants, as well as supplemental vitamins C (I use ester-c only) and E, vitamin B compound and CoQ10 (in the case of this disease, I use 30 mg per 20 pounds of bodyweight but I haven't gone to more than 100 mg)"

So that's what I am going to try to start with.

Penny already eats a raw diet although I cannot convince her that veggies taste good and she already gets vitamin e and fish oils daily, but I am going to up her fish oils to a more therapeutic level.

I will be adding to her diet a glu.con.msm supplement, vitamin c, vitamin b complex (Segal suggested 25mg a day for Penny but I am going with the 50mg as it wont hurt and the 50mg is more readily available to me) and CoQ10 100mg a day.

I also found this reading that was interesting and brought up many of the points Debbie and Segal referred to,

http://neuro.vetmed.ufl.edu/neuro/AltMed/WienerDog/IVD_AltMed.htm

Ho hum. . .
 

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Originally Posted By: Wisc.TigerNatalie, before I went with derramax I would try some natural antiinflammatory stuff.

Plain Knox Gelatin is a good natural Anti-inflammatory. There use to be a link on the Web but it isn't active any more that had a library list of supplements and natural things and what they did and the studies behind them. The German Athlete's use to use Gelatin to recover from work outs. It also helps rebuild conective tissue.

Val
How is the Plain Knox Gelatin used?
 

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i think the chicken collagen supplement works better than the gelatin if you were to use something of that nature. the chicken collagen is absorbed and used better by the body, since this substance is more like what the body produces naturally.

debbie
 

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I started by adding smaller amounts to some canned food or if my dog like yogurt I would mix it in there. I started with 1 or 2 tespoons depending on the dog and worked up to 1 tblsp 2 x a day. I did this with any of my dogs that had Pano or had a pulled or sore muscles.

I can not comment on chicken collagen I never used it.

Val
 

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Coming in late on this discussion. Sorry to hear of your dogs troubles. Gracie has lumboscaral instability. We're doing physical therapy and chiropratic. We're also considering acupuncture. She is on NO meds at this point (other than the cosequin she's been on for 2 years before we knew of this problem).

Here's her x-ray:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Originally Posted By: JenM66Sorry to hear of your dogs troubles.
Thanks Jen.

Originally Posted By: JenM66Gracie has lumboscaral instability. We're doing physical therapy and chiropratic. We're also considering acupuncture.
I feel lucky to have a vet nearby, Dr. Melanie Donofro, that is a member of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and The International Veterinary Acupuncture Society.

I have contacted the office and she says that an initial consultation with the dog is required before a treatment plan is to take place and that it would cost $75 for the first visit.

I am seriously considering it, for if nothing else I would value a second opinion on the xray images. I feel a second opinion would be valuable since the diagnosed disease calls for lifetime treatments/preventions.

I have never done any chiropractic anything before so this is all new and feels a bit quacky, I must admit. Also Penny gets *really* nervous at the vets and shakes like a leaf the entire visit, so I am not sure how that would effect the treatment.

Has Gracie begun having adjustments and have you noticed any difference?

Originally Posted By: JenM66Here's her x-ray:
Sorry about Ms Gracie. Did your vet explain how lumboscaral instability was diagnosed through the xray image you posted?
 

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Through the "tilting" that is seen in the part I circled. I was very concerned about the "quackiness" of it too but check out the thread in the seniors section - it has calmed my fears.

The second opinion ortho we went to rotated and lifted each back leg then he bent her tail onto her back. After that she gave no pain response to his palpitation of her spine. She is JUMPING, CLIMBING STAIRS and playing like she hasn't done in a long time!!!! The first ortho we went to said surgery immediately. The second said try conservative route and re-evaluate in the spring.

We see Dr. Charles Schenck (here in NJ) on Tuesday. He is a holistic vet who does chiro in conjunction with acupunture. Gracie's new vet used to work with him and I know another GSD owner from another list who works there too. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Originally Posted By: JenM66 She is JUMPING, CLIMBING STAIRS and playing like she hasn't done in a long time!!!!
Two thumbs up for Ms Gracie!

Originally Posted By: JenM66 I'll keep you posted.
Please do.
 

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I was also going to suggest a chiropractor. I good one should help in the adjustment of the vertebrae to help space them better and relieve pressure on the bulging disc.

I would also suggest NAG (n-acetyl Glucosamine) vs. just plain glucosamine. Some of the research I read suggests that it helps in soft tissue building as it's a precursor of Hyaluronic Acid (HA).
 

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Originally Posted By: natalie559...I have never done any chiropractic anything before so this is all new and feels a bit quacky, I must admit. Also Penny gets *really* nervous at the vets and shakes like a leaf the entire visit, so I am not sure how that would effect the treatment.....
Bring lots of good treats. Ultimately, they learn that this is not the standard type of vet appointment. Max does cartwheels practically when he knows he is getting an adjustment. He is very happy about the acupuncture, but he *loves* the adjustments. It's very funny to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I took Penny to the new vet to see if chiro and/or acupuncture would be good for Penny and also to get a second diagnosis in general. I had some general doubts about the old vet and wanted his diagnosis confirmed.

The new vet disagreed with his first diagnosis of mild-moderate hip dysplasia. Thought her hips were fine, not excellent, but fine. Commented that the positioning was a bit off.

She also disagreed with his second diagnosis of IVDD. I don't know if she disregarded it because she saw a different problem or because she commented that the films weren't in the correct position to evaluate the disc spaces. Said that the xray light distorts the further from the center you travel and that can make the disc space appear as it is not. Only one or two discs are centered in the film.

She diagnosed Penny with lumbosacral spondylosis.

The spondylosis can cause pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots and with it being in this critical lumbar area can lead to entrapment of the cauda equina nerve roots which control bladder and fecal function among other things.

She said it was important to keep her back lose to keep the nerves running and healthy. She is having me use a vibrating massager along her spine for 3 minutes 3 days a week to 'wake the nerves up' but said not to overstimulate.

Suggested Standard Process Ligaplex II and Thorne Small Animal Antioxidants. Not sure about those yet, still evaluating.

Weird thing was she could not elicit a pain response from Penny. We go back to see her in two weeks and I'll get some more questions I have answered then.

Sounds like Penny and Gracie might be more similar in conditions than we thought.

Best thing was I really liked the new vet and her attitude and compassion towards Penny was stellar!
 
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