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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone experienced this with their gsd. My boy at 2.5 years old was diagnosed at the UofFlorida vet school after exam and MRI. He has had two steroid shots into the L7 vertebrae. The symptoms are similar to a hip dysplasia- he has a hitch in his left leg. the shots are not working.
The other consideration is back surgery which they are not too keen about as it requires a fusion of the L7 and S1 joint- apparently the dog bones are small and hard to screw together.
Apparently the military is doing a lot of this on their dogs and taking them out of service afterwards.
 

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I've had several dogs diagnosed with CES over the years (all related), all have been seniors when they first started exhibiting symptoms. If they were younger and healthy and if surgery has an excellent chance of success, I'd opt for it DEPENDING on the recovery period.

I don't know how much CES surgery would cost for the procedure, but I paid almost $3,000 for "routine" stomach torsion surgery up there last Wednesday, the 15th ... no complications ... he had EXCELLENT care, I wish human hospitals were as nice as the small animal emergency area and surgical unit.

GOOD LUCK AND PLEASE KEEP US UPDATED AS TO WHAT YOU DECIDE TO DO!!!
 

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Pozzi and Hudson the surgeons say the success rate is 75% which is low by their standards and requires 3 months of total rest. I have been going to the School since 2009 when I had a gsd diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease there. I go there with all my difficult situations with these breed has been quite a bit.
An MRI there with spinal injection is $1800. I do not care about the $$$ but just want cures.
 

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My regular vet is up in Micanopy, she's a graduate of the university along with the two other vets in her practice, I just love her. She refers me up to the university when it's a problem she can't handle which isn't often (the only reason Slider went to the university last week was because it was so late in the day and they don't have anyone who works nights so he'd have had to go up there anyway). My single most expensive vet visit I ever had was about 6 years ago up at the university when Ringer was diagnosed with several spine and disc problems including CES.
 

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I have no wisdom when it comes to this, but wanted to say I'm sorry and I hope you can find some relief for him:(
 

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I'm going through this right now with my 2 year old GSD. Our plan right now is 3 months total rest, we are hoping that will decrease the inflammation and reduce compression of the nerves in the spine (cauda equina) his prognosis is poor without surgery. My neurologist said that with surgery the success rate in military dogs is about 50% (back to work) and in pet dogs it is 50-75% successful (back to normal dog.) My boys main symptom has been a limp tail caused by nerve compression. He is on Percocet and gabapentin for pain control.


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With JR, Ringer and Honey I tried acupuncture, Bowen massage, hydrotherapy, different medications, remedies, they all worked to some degree but as the condition got worse the various therapies weren't as effective as they originally were. I want to look into laser therapy, see if it's available anywhere around here. Ringer kept getting aspiration pneumonia from the hydrotherapy so I finally stopped taking him there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My guys only symptom is a left leg hitch- does not put weight on it- he is on gabapentin but that is not really working and only masks the issue.
The whole thing really sucks! the vet school is not high on surgery- which is ironic since I am dealing with surgeons- they claim they do two a month at the school. I guess we will try one more steroid shot and then rest him which is hard with a pack of other gsds at home. He needs to be in a home as an only dog with an older couple who leash walk him a few times a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also any back surgery is a difficult call- I have three bulging discs which when triggered gives me pain down my right leg- sciatica- three shots in 6 weeks cured the inflammation- the surgeon in NYCs Hospital for Special Surgery would not operate.
The big issue is the fusion of the bones taking hold- they use screws but the bones in a dog are small. they think my guys problem is being exaggerated due to the instability in the joint which the fusion would fix..
 

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I hear you on the sucking part!!! My neurologist does seem to want to do the surgery, I'm hesitant because my guy also has many other health issues and I just don't think the odds are worth it. I am trying to rest him as much as I can but then he does things like runs down the hallway and I can literally see him get worse. I don't know what I am going to do this summer when we go camping and stuff... I'm really interested in trying these shots, are they cortisone shots? The neurologist said that acupuncture does help...haven't tried it though (we would have to sedate him, he's not an easy dog to do stuff to:()
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My dog has had 2 steroid shots so far- will do a third next month- the research says it is an inflammatory condition that causes the symptoms caused by the nerve compression- I have thought about acup.- did it with an IBD dog but did not work. My dog was fine with the needles in the back.
 

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I would find a really good acupuncturist and try it. I have been using it for myself for more than 25 years and have used it successfully with several of my dogs. Laser therapy is also something worth looking into as is hydrotherapy and some of the other modalities that Gayle mentioned above. The idea is to slow the progression and keep everything else working well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Spoke with surgeon today who first diagnosed him on 2/13. Have to go to vet school on Tuesday to get revaluated/tests ie it is hip or back. Depending on diagnosis he might get surgery next week.
A 3 hour drive each way- a pain but must do what I have to do. Problem is back surgery will require 3 months confinement which will be hard with other gsds around.
 

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I'm sorry about his diagnosis. My dog was diagnosed with LS at the UF vet school in October via xray. Luckily, he doesn't really show any symptoms besides some pain upon palpation and sometimes has a wide stance. So the Dr. said he would not recommend surgery.
As you mentioned, it's important to get rid of the inflammation. So, we rested Mikko for a month, I believe, and gave an anti-inflammatory for the first few days. We took off every ounce of weight we could on him - which is really important. We also did a few rounds of acupuncture. We make sure to take him swimming at least once a week, which my vet highly recommends for almost anything. We also give Adequan shots and microlactin (natural anti-inflammatory in pill or powder form).
My current vet is a holistic vet and knows a lot about acupuncture and Eastern medicine. She is all about treating the whole dog, and doesn't actually use acupuncture a lot, she starts with Chinese herbs and changing the diet. But I have heard and feel that acupuncture is a good treatment for LS, as well as laser therapy.

Good luck with your visit next week, I hope things go well.
 

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Spoke with surgeon today who first diagnosed him on 2/13. Have to go to vet school on Tuesday to get revaluated/tests ie it is hip or back. Depending on diagnosis he might get surgery next week.
A 3 hour drive each way- a pain but must do what I have to do. Problem is back surgery will require 3 months confinement which will be hard with other gsds around.
Please keep us updated as to what you decide to do.
 

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...
But I have heard and feel that acupuncture is a good treatment for LS, as well as laser therapy.
Mikko ... where in this area can you get the laser therapy ... I'm seriously considering trying it on Slider.

THANKS!!!
 

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Mikko ... where in this area can you get the laser therapy ... I'm seriously considering trying it on Slider.

THANKS!!!
We did it at UF for an unrelated issue. Dr. Medina does it there- I believe she is the head of the rehab department. She is excellent! She also does therapeutic ultrasound, which you may want to look into.

My old vet, Dr. Tash did it too, but she just retired. I think it was about $75/session for both the ultrasound and laser.
 

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Thanks Mikko ... I'll contact her!!! Don't know if it would work or not, but have heard so many positive results from it I really want to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well my dog is being operated on as I type at the Florida Vet School- doing a disc removal to reduce the pinching on the nerves- no fusion as it is too risky.
Dog has pain and must be corrected or......
 
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