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Ok, Duchess is 11 1/2 yrs old. Healthy as a horse except for her spine. She was diagnosed at 8 yrs old, redid her xrays this past Dec. She had started limping/weakness on one rear leg. Spondylosis has advanced of course. Toward the ends of her spine right before the tail bones start you can see where the spinal cord drops down about 1/4 inch and it's slowly being cutoff. I think this is where the weakness is coming from. You can see the spondylosis along the top and bottom of her spine really well. I was talking to a puppy buyer who has become a friend and her first male years ago had it as well. She told me once the limping starts it's not much longer. Well I just kinda blew that off, UNTIL last night.

Has anyone dealth with a dog in the last stages of spondylosis? Last night she was in the kitchen and normally she hobbles on 3 legs, last night it was like the back 2 legs got tangled and she kept falling. I picked her up and put her on my bed (not allowed to jump anymore) and I put her back on the floor this morning and she seemed ok, but I was curious as to realistically how much time do I have left with her if she's now losing control of her rear?

Carts are not an option.
 

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Sadly I think it's going to be sooner rather than later. I always thought it would be Vishnu, with the bad hips, bad elbow. Mr hopalong, lol. He's been on meds for years now. She's always been healthy. Just fine one day, limping since right before xmas, now last night and we're only about 3 months from when the limp started.


I just don't want to have her wait until she can't walk at all. DH is keeping an eye on her today and tomorrow for me.
 

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Sorry to hear that, Angela. We've not dealt with the later stages of spondylosis, though it will be coming for us in the not to distant future.

Kali was diagnosed with (already severe) spondylosis at 7. She's now 11 and so far so good. She has the occasional day where she's stiff and sore (as evidenced by difficulty getting up into her favorite spot on the couch), but those are rare and half a rimadyl gets her going and ready to chase a ball again. I'm dreading the day when she starts to show real trouble, but I know it's coming and given her age it probably won't be long.
 

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My girl Suzi was 11.5 years old. She had some weakness in the rear the last year or so but overall she did get around pretty good and otherwise she was in excellent health.

She was chasing a ball just a few weeks ago, then one morning about 2 weeks ago she woke up and was staggering and barely able to rise. She had a good appetite still and could get around very slowly and a bit off balance but still got around. Unfortunately, last week she started not wanting to get up at all and stopped eating and I knew the time had come. I had never had to make the call before and it was a hard decision but I feel the right one for her. Still hurt like **** though.

Sorry you have to go thru this, it is tough.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Last night was the staggering. She lays around more, there are times where I see her breathing is more rapid and more difficult. I've had duchess since she was 10 wks old. I do have a towel handy in case I need it to help her outside if things get worse the decision is made.

I know the staggering is just signs of things to come, but it just makes me mad as heck considering she's not sick in any way shape or form, and never has been in her life. She's been the healthiest dog I've ever owned! Rimadyl she had a bad reaction to. Cortisone shot did nothing. Deramaxx and metacam really doesn't help anymore either. With either dog sadly. Now it's just a waiting game.

Justmeuc, I am sorry about Suzi, but thank you for taking the time to answer my post.
 

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I'm so sorry Angela. I have no experience with spondylosis, but Cassidy had discospondylitis, and once it starting getting worse it accelerated quickly and we could almost see the degeneration day by day. It broke our hearts to see her standing at the edge of the carpeted areas of the house gearing herself to step off onto the hardwood floors, which she had to navigate very carefully, and to see her rear end sink lower and lower.

When we took her in to the vet for the last time I was sure that by the end of the week she'd be dragging herself around by her front legs, and we just couldn't do that to her. By then her pain was either under completely control from the NSAIDs, or the nerve damage had progressed to the point that she couldn't feel anything anyway, but her distress was very apparent. It was especially hard because she was just over 4 years old.
 

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i have had three gsd's with spondylosis, two of them were complicated with other issues, like disc problems etc. i definitely don't believe that when they start limping it is close to the end. the ones i had started showing it at 9-10 years and seemed to slowly get worse. one of mine i remember did get his legs tangled and he lived another year after that started showing.

i have one now that is showing the lameness from spondylosis, he is a little over 12 years. i didn't notice any signs until he was about 10. it has been a fairly slow progression, although the last 6 months have been more apparant in his gate. he drags his hind feet more and more. i think every dog is different in the progression, it all depends on whats being compressed and where.
eventually my other gsd's with it all lost hind end mobility. we all know where this leads. i am going through it again with my current senior, and it feels like day jah voo. i hate seeing it, and it makes me sick to my stomcah. soooooooo, i know how ya feel!

debbie
 

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Angela you could be explaining my Sita from your description. From everyone's symptom's, Sita is quite advanced. Started when she was 5 when I retired her from Obedience. She had always had a very weak rear. She comes from American Specialty lines with weak rears and severe angulation. Sita just turned 8. Last summer she bloated, and surgery itself did marked damage to her spine (full extension on her back, causing further arthritis into the spinal cord). She walks like she is drunk, her toes get bloody. So tragic as her attitude and joie de vivre still shines in her eyes and in all other respects she is in great health. She did have lameness intitally (thats what brought her in to the vet and the spondylosis was confirmed)but as it progressed she cannot feel her legs--or pain. Her back is sore and I think occasionally she has pain with the leg during stairs due to the pressure on the spine with weight-bearing. I do have some comfort in knowing that there is very little pain at the legs with this condition. Sita falls a lot just standing on the carpet!!! I did get the Bottom's Up harness to help her on occasion. I make her do the stairs at nighttime to keep up her strengthand we will swim when the weather is warm. I won't cart her. I have been contemplating putting her down, but knowing when is so ****painfully difficult. She's only eight and I can't even walk her--the peak of her life.
 

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we have been dealing with this for over 4 years now....Oeska was diagnosed and while I have seen some decline of late she just turned 12 last month and still can do a 300 pace tracks and enjoys life..I think it varies from dog to dog and she has had a 'hitch in her giddy up" for YEARS now, no nail dragging, no bloody nails..

BUT she does have fecal incontinence due to the spondylosis and for some people/homes this most certainly is a HUGE issue...we just manage her environment and do LOTS of laundry!!! Like some others have said she still is bright eyed and more but it is hard as **** at times knowing your time with them may be limited..

Love and enjoy them every day
 

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I'm so sorry your Dutchess is having such serious problems.

JR had severe spondylosis in conjunction with Cauda Equina. When I was about ready to give up on him his accupuncture doctor suggested hydrotherapy. This helped tremendously, gave him many extra quality months, he went to the Bridge when he was 13 years 3 months old.

Recently Honey, his 12-1/2 year old daughter, was diagnosed with the same thing. I was supposed to take her for her first Bowen Massage Therapy session Wednesday but I had to cancel because I hurt my back.

Honey's litter brother, Ringer, has been fighting serious back problems for the past couple years. He was taking a combination of hydrotherapy and Bowen Massages which helped but after two bouts of pneumonia which my vet suspects was caused by aspirating water, I had to stop the hydrotherapy and just stick with the Bowen Massages. I still see improvement every time he has a massage session. While he's slowly losing ground to the underlying problems (he's not getting "well"), but his symptoms show improvement after the massages.
http://www.mzjf.com/pools.html#FLORIDA - we go to the pool in Morriston
http://www.bowendirectory.com/#Florida - we go to Dr. Peck - I'm not sure which of the practioners listed work on animals

Best wishes to both you and Dutchess
 

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Angela - A good chiropractor can work wonders for your dog with back issues. I'm going to try to get mine in this weekend. It is really amazing. Try it.
 

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Sorry to hear about your girl. I have found that magnetic therapy has worked wonders for my senior and his back end issues. He has not been diagnosed with spondylosis, but the more I read about, the more symptoms I see. I had him out for a walk after work, which he was slow moving on and draging his back feet. After dinner we did about 15 minutes of the magnet and then went on a walk (double the size of the earlier one...and with a 6 month old pup) Mas did very well on the walk following the mag. therapy.
 
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