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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all. I have a 13 year old with really bad spondylosis and I can see that it is progressing. He also gets ulcers so I have to go sparingly on the nsaids. The vet has him on gabapentin and previcox. I also give him fish oil but he is in pain. Have any of you had surgery for this? I'm worried sick about how much pain he might be in and just don't know what to do. I think I will look for a new vet after the holidays. Sometimes I give him xanax when he is crying at night but the vet would never prescribe that, I know. When do you know when they have had enough? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

PS...the previcox is costing me a fortune. Do any of you have vets that prescribe meloxicam instead, or any other meds? One vet had him on tramodol but this one doesn't think it works. I also have to feed him hamburger and cheerios because he is sensitive to the additives in dogfood. He is 135 lbs and this is breaking me, financially.
 

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Maybe look into a natural anti inflammatory method instead of medication?
 

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Spondylosis is often characteristic in older dogs.

I think conservative management is best as opposed to operations. Also a 13 year old dog (depending on breed) could be at the end of its life. Especially if a GSD.

Maybe try physical therapy if you know of such a professional.

If you can find a physical dog therapist that indeed also has a qualification in human physiotherapy (rare to find) you will be better off.

Do NOT seek Chiropractic Care for this type of condition...

Swimming should also ease the dogs pain and build some much required strength.

A hot water bottle can also ease the pain... Cold causes much pain for arthritic dogs.

If the dog is really struggling to move at all and is always in pain.. Maybe its time to let her go.
 

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You might do a search on this forum for Duralactin or Microlactin. My dog has hip dysplasia, not spondylosis, but both conditions can involve inflammation. Hans is on a couple of joint supplements but once he reached age 3, his play/train sessions became very short-6 or 7 minutes.
I always let him decide when he's had enough and after that short amount of time, he'd grab his toy and head to the house. I added Duralactin and now he is still going strong past the 30 minute mark. He is actually only on 1/2 the recommended dose.
It is natural and can be used with or without NSAIDS, according to their website.
It is advertised as helping chronic inflammation. I can tell a huge difference. It is the only recent change I have made.
Might be worth looking into. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the replies. There are no physical therapist for dogs around her but there is one an hour away. I have tried natural anti-inflammatories (tumeric, fish oil, tart cherry) and they don't seem to work. Are there some I'm missing? I have not hear of Duralactin or Microlactin. and will check that out. He has good days and has been doing pretty well, but sometimes he cries at night. I don't think it is time to put him down yet.
 

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I was wrong about his age. I think he is only 11.
I do try a heating pad once in a while but he usually won't be still for that.
 

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are you sure it's spondylosis and not a slipped disc? Spondylosis from what I understand (and having a gsd who had it), is fusing of the vertabraes in the spine, which cuts off the nerves that run thru those vertabraes, when the nerves are cut off, there is no pain, because they have dead nerves..Mine had 1/3 of his spine fused when we discovered it, he was totally normal acting prior to taking a slip in the yard, and xraying..

Anyhow, this was quite a few years ago, he swayed, used the wall to hold him up , would fall over, knuckle under, my vet was giving him 'no time'. I wasn't ready to give up on him, looked up Dr Belfield, and did a little of my own additives as well..I don't remember the amounts (my gsd was LARGE as well, 32" at the shoulders and 125 lbs of lean body)..but I had him on Vit E, C, D, MSM with glucosamine, hylauronic acid, and Rimadyl. Maybe something else, but can't recall now, but the only NSaid I had him on was the Rimadyl .

Anyhow, whatever it was, worked for him, he did a total turn around in about a month, no he wasn't "perfect" and I monitored him closely, but he returned to jumping on the couch and getting on my bed, going upstairs, so that was a "good" sign.

Back then, there was little to none PT's around, so I swam him when I could..not alot, just minimal exercise.

He lived another year and half, unfortunately, he decided to roll around in the backyard, and the fusing 'cracked', so I had to put him down :(

I would suggest a couple things, look up Dr Belfield, his concoctions are more for dogs with DM, but it's worth a shot. And look up Degenerative Myelopathy , sometimes some of the treatments for 'that' help with spondylosis.

I might add, Kodi was NEVER in any physical pain, because those nerves were basically 'dead', so no feeling..

Good luck to you, it's a rotten disease, especially when the mind is still there but the body doesn't want to cooperate..
 

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oops should have added, ask your vet about the meloxicalm the HUMAN form of metacam. It is Sooooooooo much cheaper..I got it from walmart, 90 days for like 10 bucks.

The thing with the meloxicalm is, you have to figure out the dosage per the dogs weight.
When I had my other gsd on it, she weighed around 75lbs, the dosage my vet figured out for her was, the 7.5 mg pill, one HALF per day. It comes in different mg's, and it's not the same dosage as the metacam,,you have to figure out the what dosage of meloxicalm=the dosage of metacam the dog would get..

so a 90 day supply would last me 180 days..
 

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1. Acupuncture -- vet-acupuncturists are worth finding for older dogs with back issues (treatment costs $50-$100 per session, depending on the region and level of expertise of the acupuncturist).
2. Cold laser therapy (not offered by every vet clinic, but there's likely a larger clinic in your region that invested in the machine)
3. For fish oil, were you giving a high enough dose for anti-inflammatory properties? We worked up to 4,000 mg (divided between two meals) for my old one and could have gone even higher. (You won't get the effect from just giving a 1,000 mg capsule...)
4. Adequan -- it's mostly for joints, but I've seen it help some dogs with spinal issues, so it's worth talking to the vet about

Also...you might also dig through the archives for Gatorbytes & Carmen's chicken bone broth recipe (using chicken necks and sternum bones) -- the Type II collagen/hyaluronic acid in it may be helpful for arthrtis of the spine, as with other arthritis.
 

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Let There Be Light: Why Laser Therapy Is Evidence-based Medicine - Veterinary Practice News - June 2012

Not an actual study, but good information. And as someone who has seen the proof in the pudding. I say go for it. And there is some mention of the studies that are happening.
Very bad information...

Show me a single study and I will show you its flaws. (in humans) no way to actually measure the effects of laser in animals... Its mostly subjective questionairs based on Visual analogue scales or Numeric rating scales...

Laser can not 'cure' arthritis or spondylosis... It does not reverse anything... In fact we dont have any treatment that does that...

Laser therapy has a very strong placebo effect.. If you did fake laser compared to no treatment... You will likely find a positive effect. (again based on human studies)

Also your single case, you didnt see anything... You take a dog that is very weak and imobile to be treated...
Most of the cases the dog will eventually feel better than his worst point even with no treatment.
I can promise you laser therapy alone is as good as petting your dog as a treatment teqnique...

Laser is overused in physical therapy because it is an easy treatment that you charge large sums of money for...

Strengthening the dog and keep it moving is a lot better treatment option...
Rather find a therapist who has the time to get the dog exercise in some way...
I.e. hydrotherapy...

Each dollar spent on laser treatment is one less dollar spent on something more effective....
Unless you can afford daily treatments/rehabilitation for your dog, this rings very true.

Warm water bottles are great for arthritic pain.
 

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I would NOT consider it bad information to suggest laser treatments, unless you've had a dog who didn't do well on it.

I have had several dogs treated with laser and it DID help them.

I agree hydrotherapy is a good suggestion as well, but don't dismiss laser unless you've 'been there done that'.

What works for one dog may not work for another.
 

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I would NOT consider it bad information to suggest laser treatments, unless you've had a dog who didn't do well on it.

I have had several dogs treated with laser and it DID help them.

I agree hydrotherapy is a good suggestion as well, but don't dismiss laser unless you've 'been there done that'.

What works for one dog may not work for another.

It is good advice Jakoda. I have seen enough empirical evidence to believe in it's benefits. Is it a cure all? No, but no one has suggested it is. Use as part of a multimodal therapy for pain management, is a good idea.
 

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I would NOT consider it bad information to suggest laser treatments, unless you've had a dog who didn't do well on it.

I have had several dogs treated with laser and it DID help them.

I agree hydrotherapy is a good suggestion as well, but don't dismiss laser unless you've 'been there done that'.

What works for one dog may not work for another.
Your observation on a few of your own dogs is completely non-relevant... You need huge samples and study to prove/disprove anything...

Also the dog getting better has most likely absolutely 0 correlation to the laser therapy...

Again the only studies positively supporting laser therapy are either multimodal.. Or they are tested without a placebo... Or they are tested against equally non-scientific treatments... And simply by chance or selector bias the results are skewed.

I had a friend who swears a blessing on her photo from a tantric healer healed her and made her quit smoking...

I am not saying dont use the intervention... Just beware the treatments you are 'forgoing' in order to get this therapy... Could your resources and time not have been spent better, to actually give the dog an adequate treatment?

Again the amount of faith belief on this forum and humanity in general is bewildering.
 

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You could do 100's of things to help any condition...

However have you seeked the most important accepted interventions?

In human physiotherapy certain interventions options would look something like this: (Cervical sponylosis)
Cervical spondylosis - Treatment - NHS Choices

Why is laser not part of std. protocol...

Dont accept this treatment unless your therapist is also actively trying to get the dog moving in some way...
Non-impact exercise is the most important thing... In dogs this is harder to do... maybe slow walks or maybe hydrotherapy containers/pool...

You do what is right... then you add the gimmicks...

Most competent physiotherapists don't use laser therapy... Infact most regulated universities i.e. based on CSP etc. dont even include it in their course...

Again its easy for a therapist to use laser instead of massage/mobilisation... or hydrotherapy... They can charge more... They can make you think you need more sessions with them... Basically you are stuck going back... The work is easy...

You guys talk about different wavelengths... some work some dont... The fact is each individual/case will need a different setting... The therapists dont even know which wavelengths may produce good results... Its best guess..

Beware people.
 

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Laser therapy works on inflammation. It does not "cure" anything, nor did anyone state it did.

Lykoz- You seem to have some strong opinions but post nothing to support your theories. What is your experience in medicine? Where is your evidence that laser therapy does not reduce inflammation? What information are all these opinions based on? You demand studies of others, how about you provide some yourself.
 

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Laser therapy works on inflammation. It does not "cure" anything, nor did anyone state it did.

Lykoz- You seem to have some strong opinions but post nothing to support your theories. What is your experience in medicine? Where is your evidence that laser therapy does not reduce inflammation? What information are all these opinions based on? You demand studies of others, how about you provide some yourself.

I am a physical therapist by trade. (humans).

I can provide many conflicting studies... They are easy to find.. There are no good ones.
Its not a good first line approach. Its something you could do on the side as an extra..

Again dogs dont enjoy the same level of expertise as humans, nor the same amount of resources...
We need to chose the interventions we afford our dogs more carefully.
 

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and your opinions are based on what scientific evidence?
 

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and your opinions are based on what scientific evidence?
I read many articles on these matters... Here I just found a few for you to read... I dont have the time to present a full paper to you based on years of experience...

Quite frankly I am telling you it is not a good idea.

It will do no harm.. Just know thats its relevance/cost ratio compared to other forgone treatments is worry-some.

Meaning: Systematic Review: reports based on cumulative appraisal of available literature.

Using Laser Therapy... Systematic reviews for OA

Does low-intensity laser therapy for osteoarthritis work? | Arthritis Research UK

Low level laser therapy for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis... - PubMed - NCBI

Systematic Review: literature on how cervical spondylitis should be managed, i.e. most important considerations in treatment approach:
http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/2042618611Y.0000000011
 

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Thank you. I will read them later. As I'm in engineering, I don't put any stock in any internet article unless it comes from a peer reviewed source.
 
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