German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 4-year-old male GSD, Jaeger, has been having subtle but ongoing hind end problems since last fall and after ruling out more common issues (ACL tear, groin pull, etc.), we finally had an MRI done. The diagnosis is somewhat obscure so I thought I would post here just in case anyone has ever run into a similar issue.

He has a spinal lesion (inflamed spinal nerve) from the L7 to the S1 with no other abnormalities. So no spinal compression, no hernitated disc and it doesn't appear to be a nerve sheath tumor. The radiologist listed the cause as neuritis, which just means the nerve is inflamed. Physically, the problem causes symptoms similar to DM - knuckling under when tired, wobbly hind legs, some uncoordination and lameness - but it's minimal. He still runs around like crazy.

My vet is consulting with neurologists to figure out what to do next, and Jaeger also sees a chiropractic vet. In the meantime, I'm going to have the DM flash test done, just in case. Spinal lesions show up in DM dogs, but I'm not sure if it's the type of lesion Jaeger has.

If anyone has run into something similar before, any information would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,093 Posts
Cheryl,

I don't have personal experience with this, but just wanted to let you know I'm sending positive thoughts for Jaeger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Lynn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,138 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
My old GSD/Lab mix Bonnie had something slightly similar - lumbosacral disease at L7-S1. She was diagnosed when she was about 8 years old. As she aged it gradually progressed, and eventually she had a type II disk at that same area. We managed her with rest, short courses of steroids when she was severely affected, rehabilitation and as she aged pain meds (Gabapentin, Tramadol and Amantadine) and a wheelchair to help support her LS region.

Bonnie had a great, very full and happy life, passing away on September 9th last year, 29 days short of her 19th birthday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the articles, Val. I'm trying to read everything I can find, hoping something jumps out. It does sound a lot like cauda equina, except that there's no compression in the spine but something has to be irritating the nerve. I'm starting to think that Jaeger might be a candidate for the canine version of Dr. House.

Thanks, Joanne, for sharing your experience. Wow - 19 is an incredible age. It sounds like Bonnie had a wonderful life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
just out of curiosity how did they rule out a nerve sheath tumor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Originally Posted By: lawhitejust out of curiosity how did they rule out a nerve sheath tumor?
It sounds like a tumour shows up differently on the MRI than other tissue. In radiology terms, tumours typically "demonstrated marked contrast enhancement and have profound muscle atrophy" and neither of those things was evident in Jaeger's case.

He does have hind muscle atrophy from reduced exercise, but I assume it isn't considered "profound".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,138 Posts
Cheryle, just wondering in one of those links they talk about the Stand Test for Cauda Equina Syndrome. There could be nerve compression that isn't showing. Not that I want Jaeger to have this. How about some type of infection or fungal thing?

Val
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
Originally Posted By: duenorth
Originally Posted By: lawhitejust out of curiosity how did they rule out a nerve sheath tumor?
It sounds like a tumour shows up differently on the MRI than other tissue. In radiology terms, tumours typically "demonstrated marked contrast enhancement and have profound muscle atrophy" and neither of those things was evident in Jaeger's case.

He does have hind muscle atrophy from reduced exercise, but I assume it isn't considered "profound".
i was curious because that is what Ozy had and they did not diagnose it til they had a biopsy. However, he was very young, so maybe they just did not believe that it was a tumor.

hopefully you can get a good solid diagnosis and some successful treatment for jaeger!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Originally Posted By: Wisc.TigerCheryle, just wondering in one of those links they talk about the Stand Test for Cauda Equina Syndrome. There could be nerve compression that isn't showing. Not that I want Jaeger to have this. How about some type of infection or fungal thing?

Val
That's interesting, Val. I just tried the Stand test with Jaeger and as soon as I held his paws, he twisted away to get back to the ground. Same reaction when I repeated it but no yelping or obvious signs of pain. When I encouraged him to jump up on me again, he refused. I'll print out that article and show it to my vet. It just doesn't make sense that the nerve would be inflamed without anything pressing on it or irritating it.
I have possible infection on my list of questions too. Thanks for the suggestions.
Hopefully all of this brainstorming will lead to an answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Originally Posted By: lawhite
Originally Posted By: duenorth
Originally Posted By: lawhitejust out of curiosity how did they rule out a nerve sheath tumor?
It sounds like a tumour shows up differently on the MRI than other tissue. In radiology terms, tumours typically "demonstrated marked contrast enhancement and have profound muscle atrophy" and neither of those things was evident in Jaeger's case.

He does have hind muscle atrophy from reduced exercise, but I assume it isn't considered "profound".
i was curious because that is what Ozy had and they did not diagnose it til they had a biopsy. However, he was very young, so maybe they just did not believe that it was a tumor.

hopefully you can get a good solid diagnosis and some successful treatment for jaeger!
Ozy had a nerve sheath tumour? Did he show any particular symptoms? Until we have a definitive answer, I won't be ruling anything out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,397 Posts
If it is determined that a tumor of CES is unlikely, this may be just one of those "compressed disc" problems.

If that is the case, after all is said and done, I would do a few things. I would try some Cetyl Myristoleate for the inflammation, and some alpha lipoic acid with a good antioxidant supplement for the nerves. I would also consider a K9 chiro, preferably one that also treats humans, rather than a vet chiro.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Originally Posted By: LisaTIf it is determined that a tumor of CES is unlikely, this may be just one of those "compressed disc" problems.

If that is the case, after all is said and done, I would do a few things. I would try some Cetyl Myristoleate for the inflammation, and some alpha lipoic acid with a good antioxidant supplement for the nerves. I would also consider a K9 chiro, preferably one that also treats humans, rather than a vet chiro.
Would a compressed disc show up on the MRI?

Thanks for the supplement suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,764 Posts
i would think a compressed disc would show on an MRI, i know it does on humans. i assume they did an MRI the whole length of the spine, from head/neck region, to base of tail?

it very well could be some form of nerve damage.,
did anyone mention Vestibular Disease? the symptoms can be similar to DM, or spinal nerve issues.

debbie
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top