Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
Crawford Dogs

WTH? Lumbosacral Spondylosis

Recommended Posts

My 5 yr old Border Collie Loki went to work with me at my weekend ER job (I'm a registered vet tech) because he was vomiting blood. Luckily it was simple gastritis. However the radiographs showed an advanced stage of lumbosacral spondylosis. The vet was suprised that Loki didn't have any neurological signs and was able to walk. I was cautioned not to let him jump etc. Obviously, there is no way my active 5 yr old is going to be careful. . he is called the "red rocket" and "wild child" for a reason. I was told his condition is most likely genetic due to his young age and it's advanced stage. Ugh. .

 

Loki is still busy being a normal dog and we're waiting to find out what we can do to support his spinal cord (supplements, physical therapy). I'm not considering surgery at this time as he is still asymptomatic although it may lie in the future. Has anyone else had this happen to their young dog and how quickly did it progress? I do not plan to stop Loki's favorite activities as he lives to work stock and hike in the timber. Yes, I'll cut back on things according to the vets recommendation but I think Loki would rather do his favorite things than live a little bit longer.

 

Bethany, Rose, and Loki-mon

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also want to say that I am sorry to hear about Loki's diagnosis. I agree with you that a good quality of life is better than putting him in a bubble. Best of Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing to add either, other than to wish you and Loki all the luck in the world. The fact he's asymptomatic sounds good - maybe his fitness level works in his favor. Acupuncture may also be an option. It helped my Nick when he injured his back and also my old dog when his spine was degenerating. Do keep us posted.

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May sound strange but I would try not worry too much in your place. The findings were coincidental, Loki is symptom free.

This is a known fenomenon in human medicin, actually there is a suprisingly low correlation between presentation of arthrotic changes on radiographs, MRI etc, and pain/functional changes.

I would just carry on with Loki as you did before this discovery, maybe avoiding unneccessary heavy stuff.

I also would not give him special medical treatment for this as he has no symptoms at the moment ( but of course keeping a sharp eye out for those).

I think your chances for Loki to grow old woth a symptom free back are a lot bigger than those pics suggest.

(had they not been taken you would have lived in ignorant bliss).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try to find a rehab vet, there is a lot that you can due to strengthen the core which will support the spine. I have an almost 14 year old with LS stenosis/spondylosis. She has some ataxia/ weakness in back which can be due to other things, also urinary incontinence which can also be due to other things. But she still gets around fairly well. She became symptomatic around 7-8 years of age, difficulties with agility weave poles was the first symptom. Her rehab vet, who sees a lot of police/working dogs with LS issues has been underwhelmed by surgical fixes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's feeling for you and Loki, but also seconding what Blackdawgs said about seeing a rehab vet or therapist (for many rehab therapists, you have to see a vet first for diagnosis which you've already done).

 

The rehab therapist that I've taken my dogs to has done some amazing things for some seriously-compromised dogs. For a dog with a diagnosis that is symptom-free, a therapist could work with Loki and design a program that you can implement at home to maintain strength, balance, stability, and activity.

 

Very best wishes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wishing you all the best, but I would agree find a Rehab vet, if you don't have one local there are a couple that will work with you by email which is what I am doing. Watching the transformation in my dog who was no longer able to play frisbee, fetch or agility without discomfort from very mild hip dysplasia to 3 months later being on his way to being stronger and more powerful than ever, and back to playing all his favorite games with just a simple work out routine done most evenings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loki does have a phone consult with his chiropractor on Monday (she's reviewing the rads) and she may be sending him back to the vet who did his physical rehabilitation a few years ago (shoulder injury). I'm hoping most of the physical therapy can be done at home as I have yet to win the lottery. ;)

Finally it's Friday and we've got herding lessons planned this weekend! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sucks to learn that! But I agree that sometimes overknowledge isn't helpful, especially when there's no guarantee of symptoms.

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loki does have a phone consult with his chiropractor on Monday (she's reviewing the rads) and she may be sending him back to the vet who did his physical rehabilitation a few years ago (shoulder injury). I'm hoping most of the physical therapy can be done at home as I have yet to win the lottery. ;)

There is a well regarded local physiotherapist (she is not a vet) who seems to do all the work at her clinic with the tank, laser etc, I was told that Rievaulx would have to visit twice a week, for at least 4 months and at 40 euros a visit it was not in my budget. We have done all his work at home, under supervision from a rehab vet in the States and it has worked out really well.

My suspicion is that she gets better results with regular pet owners this way, as it does take a lot of dog training to work the exercises at home, something I am guessing most pet owners are not going to be able to do well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You pointed out a big key to success - learning how to do the exercises that you can at home and doing them!

 

I have often been envious of friends who were able to take their dogs to a therapist on a frequent basis but for me, it was all I could do to take Celt once a week when he was still in the hydrotherapy stages, and now I just take Celt and Megan once a month for laser (as much as I'd like to be able to take them weekly). We just have to do what we can do, and I feel very fortunate that our therapist is a big believer in at-home exercises and so is very supportive of helping me learn how to do what helps my dogs - and making sure I do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Speedy was diagnosed with spondylosis of the lumbar when he was 5. He was showing symptoms.

 

I did all manner of therapies with him.  We started with supplements - I did DogGonePain for a while. I also got someone to teach me how to do massage and accupressure. He continued his Freestyle and that helped him stay strong and flexible.

 

Later he needed more and we went on to Adequan and Tramadol. I also found a good chiropractor and she did adjustments and laser on him. It was expensive, but he only needed to go several times a year to stay mobile.

 

Keeping him active was a big key to keeping him comfortable. I know he was in some measure of pain throughout his life - he lived to be 12. But it was very well managed and he was a happy and active boy. He ran and danced and did everything he loved right up until the end. I did cut out sport jumping, although he jumped on and off the furniture just fine.

 

I hope you find the right protocols and are able to keep Loki comfortable and mobile!! I just wanted to share my experience with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You pointed out a big key to success - learning how to do the exercises that you can at home and doing them!

 

I have often been envious of friends who were able to take their dogs to a therapist on a frequent basis but for me, it was all I could do to take Celt once a week when he was still in the hydrotherapy stages, and now I just take Celt and Megan once a month for laser (as much as I'd like to be able to take them weekly). We just have to do what we can do, and I feel very fortunate that our therapist is a big believer in at-home exercises and so is very supportive of helping me learn how to do what helps my dogs - and making sure I do it!

Dr Leslie Eide who I am working with, told me she feels that it important that the dogs learn the exercises, not just be lured into position. As she said it takes longer but it is much more consistent, especially a long-term program which we are doing, also by working at home we do exercises 5-6 days a week.

After my experience of working with the local vet/physio who did not provide me with a good program or real guide how to do it, and as a consequence I broke my dog I am becoming evangelical that you need to find a pro to work so you do it right. After the initial month I pay $70 a month for feedback and advice that I am comfortable paying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mick was diag. at 3. he had 2 fusions.

I retired him from training but he worked lightly and still does.

We swam a lot and played ball with no jumping. I think the key was to not train long periods. He would do anything I ask or try, and that's when I think he was prone to get hurt. Self regulating he was fine.

Now at 13, if we walk and he gets tired he stops. We walk at home so no biggie.

Funniest thing is to let him go get sheep. If they are close no problem. If they are up the hill at a distance he will run about half way up then sit down look for Dew and wait till she goes and gets the sheep delivers them to him and he proudly brings them back like he did the whole job.

It's the same with ball play. He isn't fastest or nor does he want to run after the ball. He runs out a bit then lets his girls get the ball, they both return it to him. drop it in front of him where he picks it up and does the final return to me.

 

He is old he knows his limits. It was my job to know them when he was young and not expose him to more than that.

 

He does love a light back rub when ever I do it. and he rolls around on his back in the grass everyday. I think the stretch it gives his back feels good.

 

We used to do chiropractic visits but these days he just does his thing and is quite happy!

 

His brother ended up in a wheel chair. Blew a disc out from spinal pressure during a trial. They didn't know about the issues these pups had. He had surgery to try and remove the shrapnel but was unsuccessful.

Can't really say the difference between the 2 dogs except I found out and retired Mick from stressful activity and the other owners didn't know so continued to trial and train their dog. but who really knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is so sweet!

 

He runs out a bit then lets his girls get the ball, they both return it to him. drop it in front of him where he picks it up and does the final return to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heard back from Loki's veterinary chiropractor and she is going to look into physical therapy options. He may end up with one visit with a veterinarian certified in physical rehab and then do exercises at home thereafter. It may take a few weeks to get all our ducks in a row. Hopefully he'll soon be getting the care he needs. His chiropractor thinks that until he becomes symptomatic (they'll be doing another thorough exam before starting physical therapy) he can continue with normal activities although we may need to start cutting back on jumping and take some breaks on our longer hikes and herding lessons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is Loki doing now?

our 4 year old Buster has same problem.

we are trying chiropractic treatment and acupuncture. 

Would love to hear of anything to help him his is a working dog loves to work our cows, especially the calves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...