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Old 03-15-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Location: ROTTWEILER & LAB LAND (HEAVEN)
2,406 posts, read 5,347,967 times
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I'll be thinking about both of you.
I'll also be hoping for the best.
Keep all of us Aunts & Uncles updated ;-)
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,290,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barndog View Post
wow - that's funny, we are mostly all in agreement, that might be a first on the board!

barnaby has his first acupunture treatment tomorrow morning. i will report back after he has the first 2 or 3 about whether they seem to be working... maybe this will help someone else out there facing the same situation...
Your vet would certainly know better than I, but I'm curious if cortisone injections were ever discussed?
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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jimbo -- nope. no mention of cortisone shots or any other solution than surgery or acupuncture... but i'm happy to hear any alternatives if you or anyone else can think of any.

i know cortisone shots work with people, though, so i have added this to my list to inquire further about tomorrow.

truthfully, i would prefer something that is more mainstream than acupuncture but less invasive than surgery... although this is not to say that i am not happy to try the acupuncture. i just personally have no experience with it, so i don't have a basis of reference to believe in it.

anything that will help him sleep through the night again (man, the 12 pm, 2 am, and 4 am wake-up calls are kicking my butt!) and will cure the loss of control he's having with his legs will make me a believer!

thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,290,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barndog View Post
jimbo -- nope. no mention of cortisone shots or any other solution than surgery or acupuncture... but i'm happy to hear any alternatives if you or anyone else can think of any.

i know cortisone shots work with people, though, so i have added this to my list to inquire further about tomorrow.

truthfully, i would prefer something that is more mainstream than acupuncture but less invasive than surgery... although this is not to say that i am not happy to try the acupuncture. i just personally have no experience with it, so i don't have a basis of reference to believe in it.

anything that will help him sleep through the night again (man, the 12 pm, 2 am, and 4 am wake-up calls are kicking my butt!) and will cure the loss of control he's having with his legs will make me a believer!

thanks for the suggestion!
I'm not going to pretend to be medical - just relating an experience with an almost identical diagnosis in a family member's pet... My grandmother's chihuahua had a herniated disk in the middle of her back that was creating enough of a problem that imminent euthanasia seemed to be at best a probability. The vet suggested that a surgery to remove the disk would correct the problem, but this chi was almost 17 years old and our cost-benefit-risk analysis didn't really favor that option. As an alternative, she suggested that we could attempt cortisone injections before considering putting the dog down. That worked quite well. The dog improved a great deal very quickly and then gradually strengthened over the course of a few months. She's not the same firebrand that she was in her youth and still suffers from poor coordination and will occasionally lose her footing for no good reason, but she has regained continence and can go up and down the stairs without being carried. Looks like the dog will see a 20th birthday.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Hope you find something short of surgery for BArnaby. But whatever works! It doesn't hurt to start slow/non-invasive first.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:05 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,881,299 times
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Originally Posted by barndog View Post

truthfully, i would prefer something that is more mainstream than acupuncture but less invasive than surgery...
FWIW, acupuncture IS now mainstream. There's been significant research into why it works (and it's something to do with stimulating nerves or some such... I forget ) and it is not at all uncommon for it to be prescribed as a therapy.

I don't know how it is for canines, but I know in humans the cortisone shots themselves can be extremely painful.

I remember a vet I used who was a true skeptic but who changed his tune re acupuncture once the "science" of it was better understood. It's a very common therapy for racing greyhounds - that particular fraternity has been using it for years.
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,290,368 times
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Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
FWIW, acupuncture IS now mainstream. There's been significant research into why it works (and it's something to do with stimulating nerves or some such... I forget ) and it is not at all uncommon for it to be prescribed as a therapy.

I don't know how it is for canines, but I know in humans the cortisone shots themselves can be extremely painful.

I remember a vet I used who was a true skeptic but who changed his tune re acupuncture once the "science" of it was better understood. It's a very common therapy for racing greyhounds - that particular fraternity has been using it for years.
I don't know if you can really call acupuncture mainstream exactly, but there have been some studies that suggest it does, indeed, outperform placebo for pain relief and, in at least one study, outperformed conventional treatment over a six month period based on patient responses to a questionnaire.

To me, a herniated disk that is bad enough to cause spinal disruption is a bit beyond the scope of back pain, however, and a course of cortisone injections can provide some real and measurable improvement while no one knows exactly what is going on with acupuncture. I'm certainly not trying to poo-poo the acupuncture suggestion, I was just surprised that cortisone injections were not brought up by the vet - especially since surgical options were tabled.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,352 posts, read 16,768,849 times
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yes, cortisone shots can be VERY painful ..... my orthopedist would numb my knee before he shot the cortisone..... but the first couple i got were an experience, to put it mildly.......
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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boy howdy, let me tell you, somebody around here, and in order to protect the guilty i won't name names, was a very bad boy at his acupuncture treatment today.

i don't think it was the application of the needles so much as the fact that the vet had to stand behind him to reach his head and neck and then tried to go under him to reach his legs, but somebody was having none of it. (he who shan't be named never likes it when vets approach him from the rear).

the vet was able to get what looked like four needles applied to his head, three to his shoulders, and then three to his feet... but he had been trying to get an additional one on his shoulder and then another on his foot. then, in the fifteen minutes that mr. bad boy was supposed to stand still and let the needles do their magic, he instead repeatedly tried to jump off the table and so doing shook off another needle.

[i asked the vet if he had ever had another dog as difficult as this one and he said he has only been doing the acupuncture for a little while but, yes, this dog was his most difficult so far! (haha!)]

the vet did say the most important needles were still in place at the end of the treatment, but, i don't know, it all seems kind of hit-or-miss to me. we are scheduled again for next week, though, so we'll see how it goes.

as for the cortisone shots, i did ask about those. the vet said that he tries to stay away from them because of its side effects since its a steroid.

i also asked him if herniated discs ever self-heal, and he said sometimes they do if the pain aspect is managed.

so i think if the acupuncture doesn't work, i will have further discussions about the cortisone shots... i.e., what exactly are the side effects, and do the benefits outway the risk? because i really don't like the surgery option.

and, actually, barnaby is not seeming to feel a lot of pain right now... he's sleeping on his back, wanting to walk/exercise, isn't lethargic, moves his limbs and head freely. but he is still waking every couple of hours during the night (which is killing me!), so i know something still isn't right. plus, i have stay on the watch for the loss-of-control/mobility issues.

so i guess it's wait until next week and see what happens...
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:36 PM
 
795 posts, read 3,911,633 times
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wanted to add... jimbo -- thanks for the great info... and i hope that chi lives to see 20 and more!

fivehorses and latetotheparty -- thanks for letting me know the cortisone shots are painful, that is definitely something i would want to consider!
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