Not good news

Posted By: DarkEyes

Not good news - 01/14/18 12:47 PM

About a month ago, I noticed Abbey taking awhile to poop. Normally, she poops and goes on, but she started taking up to two minutes to poop. We kept an eye on her, thinking she probably got a little constipated from maybe foods being dropped to the floor and she snatched it up before we got to clean up after meals. Poop texture was normal, sometimes runny. So, pooping was the first sign, and what prompted me to take her to the vet was her legs shaking as she did her business, though it was clear she was not constipated. I was concerned that there might be something going on that could not be attributed to her age....

Well, the vet listened, took her for a walk, and checked her out all over. Not constipation, not sick, but he said she could be having hip pain. The way she was walking, and the sway of her hips and her struggling to poop are early signs of hip displasia. teary We talked about options and for now, start her on pain medication to block the pain signals so she might do better, and up her supplements with additional glucosamine.

We have already started her on supplements last year and are incorporating two daily walks instead of one, or substitute with good play in the house if the weather is unsuitable, or if we can't take our young kids with us. I am so sad this is happening! We are going to try to make her comfortable. I have a natural obstacle course outside that I used to have her run through, but I am eliminating that as it takes stairs and jumping, which are not good for dogs with hip displasia.

We were looking for another GSD, a very young dog, to get him/her started on her training and have Abbey to look up to. Considering things did not go well with the last prospective young dog and her current condition, we are going hold off on the search and focus on Abbey. Though we are now in the early stages, I worry about her being comfortable and the stress this may cause us.
Posted By: Codmaster

Re: Not good news - 01/14/18 04:14 PM

X-Rays of her hips?
Posted By: Woodreb

Re: Not good news - 01/14/18 04:24 PM

My old girl Rica had HD, diagnosed at 7 years old. We did a low dose of pred, glucosamine and other supplements. She did well until almost 13, even though the ortho vet said she would be crippled by 8.
The right set of supplements will probably be a big benefit to keep her comfortable and happy. Some mild hills in her walks will help to keep the muscles strong.
If possible, chiro and/or acupuncture could help as well.
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 01/14/18 11:23 PM

No x-Ray. I asked if it was needed, ready and willing to pay for an X-Ray to confirm and he said no, confident in what he has seen from her and what I have described. I trust him. They have GSDs in their family.
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 01/15/18 10:18 PM

Here is a photo from our outing today. It was a little warmer and we got winter weather moving in, so I kicked everybody outside to soak up the sunlight and get Abbey exercised.

Doesn't she look so young!
Posted By: Woodreb

Re: Not good news - 01/15/18 10:52 PM

Yes, she does. Caleb has a lot more gray in his face and he is only 8!
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Not good news - 01/16/18 03:04 AM

You'll want a combination of supplements to help with the health of the joints and to keep inflammation down. If you're going to use arthritis drugs, be sure you are monitoring bloodwork and giving liver support.

I definitely agree with a chiro and acupuncture consult. My experience is that those are huge benefits, particularly with the GSD backs.

Make sure a tick disease has been ruled out, and for some of the tremoring, sometimes making sure the anal glands aren't stuck full is also helpful.
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 01/17/18 12:21 PM

The glands are good and I looked into the tick disease. I will keep the symptoms in mind, for now she seems far too active and alert to be showing sickness. She eats well and has always been lean. For now, age and hip displasia best fit what is happening with her. I will check about her blood work when she has her annual, the vet may plan to do that anyway. She is on Deremax (spelling?). We discussed side effects and the vet is confident this is best fit for now. He has recommended consistent exercise, heat packs, and massages.

I checked with my friend who works in vet emergency care. She knows a couple of people that do chiro and acupuncture and will get me prices. Thanks for the suggestions! Your input is appreciated!
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 01/17/18 12:24 PM

Heres a photo from yesterday. We had a lot of fun, and Abbey loved playing in the snow, but after awhile, we could tell she was starting to have a hard time and was randomly limping. We sent her inside to give her the chance to rest and be in a warm place. What doea she do? She jumpes onto the couch (not allowed) and got her paws on the window and flipping out about not playing with us. That dog! She was NOT ready to go inside while we are outside.

Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 01/18/18 12:41 AM

She looks wonderful. wub
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 01/18/18 02:12 AM

She was really happy today! Another outing in the snow with the kids this morning and this evening. But my heart was breaking this evening. We ran out of her trial pain blocker med and her first supply ia late coming in. She has been sleeping, and got up to come to me. She was limping initially. I after a minute, she did walk normal but the difference was there. I let her out to potty, she was normal with the occasional limp, and when she came back in, I offered her my arm for her to jump up on, like she normally does to put her front paws on my arm and stand on her hind legs. She stumbled, and then wouldn't try again. That never ever happened. She always take every opportunity to jump up when permission is given. I really hope this isn't our last winter with her being able to come out and play with her family.
Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 01/20/18 04:41 AM

I'm glad to hear you had a good day with Abbey. Based on her condition I can see where she wouldn't want to jump up on you so try not to worry about that. I know it's hard seeing our pups not being able to do things they use to enjoy. My suggestion is to find new things they find happiness in doing. Staying on top of the pain is critical, is there an alternative pain med she can take until the others come in?
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 01/22/18 04:17 PM

I finally told my husband Saturday that if the medicine doesn-t come in, I am calling my vrt and will pay them for what they can give me. Fortunately, it came in that day just before I was going to call them.

The snow days probably took a lot out of her. Having to maintain balance and the cold air must've impacted her. She is still mischevious and will still play. I think what I should consider doing is instead of a lot of physical activity, I should invest in mentally stimulating toys. She is not treats driven, so getting treats as a reward for figuring out things won't work. She just wants attention from us. Hide and seek with toys seem to help.
Posted By: Braverhund

Re: Not good news - 01/22/18 09:21 PM

Iím so glad the meds got to you! Iím sending warm wishes for positive results! thumbup hugging
Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 01/23/18 12:15 AM

I'm glad to hear her meds came in smile I play doggie board games with Eli which is low impact and yet keeps his mind going. I know you said she wasn't too thrilled with treats but there might be something you could use that would get her interest.

If she's laying down you could sit down beside her and play catch or maybe a little tug game. Grab a blankie and play a game of peek a boo!! When she's feeling good go back over her training, practice sit, stay, things that don't require her to get up and down much. I could go on and on but you get what I'm saying, there's so much we can do to keep them stimulated.

Please keep us posted as time allows.
Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 01/26/18 12:15 AM

Just checking for an update. Hope Abbey's doing well.
Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 01/28/18 05:44 PM

Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 02/05/18 05:13 PM

Sorry, I have been so busy! I am tired, haha.

Abbey is doing WONDERFUL! She is running again and just sprinting all over the place and acting like a puppy. She is even taking on her obstacle course like it is nothing. I am actually trying to hold her back some so she does not overdo it. She is constantly trying to engage us in play with her. We find ourselves saying "Enough, leave me alone" haha. This brings much joy to my heart!
Posted By: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Not good news - 02/05/18 10:05 PM

I am so glad Abbey is doing so well right now.
Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 02/05/18 10:16 PM

What a wonderful update and so worth the wait. I'm so glad your little girl is doing so well. Enjoy all of those happy times.
Posted By: Mary Jane

Re: Not good news - 02/06/18 04:54 PM

Originally Posted By: DarkEyes

Abbey is doing WONDERFUL! ....

fabulous- can you rename the thread smile ?

Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 02/06/18 11:09 PM

I can do that? How do I change it... I keep looking around and checked FAQ bht not seeing a change topic help.
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: Not good news - 02/06/18 11:36 PM

I was asked by the mods a long time ago to not change the title.

I had done it because I noticed others did. shrug I was told it was confusing I believe.

That may have changed, of course.
Posted By: Mary Jane

Re: Not good news - 02/07/18 01:51 AM

Originally Posted By: DarkEyes
I can do that? How do I change it... I keep looking around and checked FAQ bht not seeing a change topic help.

Hey-I'm sorry. It was supposed to be a joke because your news about Abbey is good. Actually-the only important part is that Abbey is acting like herself.

Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 01:26 AM

Ahh, gotcha!
I really thought we were heading toward unstable times. She was getting worse and worse and just too stubborn to show her pain. The medicine gives me hope, and it is making such a difference. I never thought she would be like a puppy again!
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 09:32 AM

Originally Posted By: PositiveDog
I was told it was confusing I believe.

The problem is that the title is in each of the replies, so the title would have to be changed on how many replies there are in the thread.

Anyone however can change the title to later replies if they use the Reply window rather than the quick reply at the bottom of the page.
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 03:32 PM

Is it normal for this to be sort of a roller coaster? She seems to be doing so much better and playing, but she is still having her bathroom issues. Her legs are not shaking, which is still an improvement. She just takes while to finish her business. Also, I think she might have peed on herself... Can't find the accident spot. Will be washing her bed tonight. And give her a bath. Bad timing, I have a lot to accomplish after work so it looks like I may be up very late!
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 07:52 PM

I don't know what the meds are, but many require regular blood testing because they are hard on the liver and kidneys. Blood test are supposed to be taken before most of these meds are taken, and then evaluated again shortly after they are started. The meds will tend to make nearly all digestive issues worse.

Also, if some of the issues are from an underlying tick disease, the meds won't help in the long run if the disease is progressing.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 08:17 PM

Do you have any recent blood results? What are the meds she is on?
Posted By: Shilohsmom

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 08:54 PM

Shoshi started peeing in her sleep a couple of years ago. We used Proin and it worked like a charm. It is an RX but its not expensive and can be bought on line. I understand that's common in a older pups. I know many people who have had success with it.
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 02/09/18 10:23 PM

Ahe is on 25 mg Deramax(spelling?) I think thats the lowest dose to start with. I remembered later today from a conversation with the vet that her bathroom issues may not improve so she may still take awhile to poop. I don't know why I expected it to improve. She just seems to do so much better overall. They did not schedule a blood test.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Not good news - 02/10/18 06:12 AM

Many believe that deramaxx is a bit safer than some of the other NSAIDs,but initial testing still should be done, as well as testing after the med has been started, and then periodic testing. I would be upset if your vet did not discuss this with you. I do believe that dog deaths from nsaids have decreased since vets are more aware of dosages and testing overall, I think higher dosages were initially used which caused more problems.

Usually when things get that severe, in terms of joint pain and maybe ongoing gut issues, you have to attack it from many different angles.
Posted By: DarkEyes

Re: Not good news - 02/10/18 11:56 AM

We have discussed side effects, and my impression from the conversation is if there were issues with the drug, this is usually because there other issues going on when the drug was taken. There will be side effects, as would any person taking a drug, and the risk vs benefit would be weighed. Abbey had been pretty healthy, except for the occasional illness the last few years, but been pretty healthy overall. I can only speculate why he chose not to run a blood test, but I am not going to smile she does have her checkup in a few months and I already plan to have blood work done to make sure she is still doing good. I think they will do one anyway because of her age and the medicine she is on.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: Not good news - 02/10/18 02:59 PM

Any drug has side effects but vets *should* blood test before prescribing an nsaid and then discuss a schedule for testing. These drugs can be used safely, but i've seen a healthy dog die in three days from rimadyl (Labs seem more susceptible). For those of us who treat holistically, we also need to know how to best support our dogs - dogs on these drugs should be on liver support, thought I don't have a favorite product right now since they changed it

Jazz internal medicine vet prefers previcox for safety profile, but since he gets the dogs that have issues, he tries not to use them.

It is true that these drugs greatly improve quality of life for many dogs, but vets should be proactive in monitoring, particularly in dogs having digestive issues already because of their action on the gut, liver, and kidneys. Many dogs can be on them a long time before there are issues, and some dogs never have issues.

Let us know how the blood results turn out when she has her checkup.
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: Not good news - 02/10/18 07:08 PM

I have no suggestions, but understand the roller coaster ups and downs. Worry is so tiring.

I hope for you mostly good days during these times.

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