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Chris
12-09-2011, 12:59 AM
We were curious about how the cold would affect Mr. Al. The winter before he went down, he did have a little pain and grumbliness when we had the first cold/damp snap but nothing very mild pain relievers couldn't fix. Then, of course, last Christmas we all knew what happened :(

Anyway, he has been doing absolutely great and doing a small part of the "big dog walk." He doesn't do the whole walk, which is a mile, but does the "home stretch" of it and really enjoys it which is really not that far at all. But all the sudden Friday morning we were back to wobbly legs. Luckily, I had some pain meds left over and was able to give him something and that seemed to really help and make it better. I did do 100% crate rest from friday morning on just in case.

He went to the vet promptly on Monday and while he is not "down" he is definitely crossing or his bad leg isn't keeping up as quickly. She prescribed him 2 weeks of a low dose of pred and modified crate rest (he can be out of his crate to lay in his bed at my feet when I work and can walk from there to his water - but no jumping/running/belly flopping/walks and outside only for brief potty.)

I have been a bit more conservative and am crating him the second my eyeball isn't on him. So long as he wants to lay in his bed, I let him as that makes him happy. The vet said because we know what the extent of this is, unlike last time, that she is comfortable with him having a half ounce more freedom than last time so he doesn't lose total muscle mass. Hopefully this is just a blip and we caught it before it gets worse and can prevent it from it too.

I can tell when the pred is wearing off because instead of standing perfectly while drinking or walking a few steps for potty that he's wobbly again. I may see if i can divide his dose somehow, but for now I am following instructions of the divided piece once a day. But then again, we really only started Monday night on pred so its too soon to tell anything but the effects were great.

He does not appear to be in any pain. The first day, I did give him one pain pill because he was licking his back leg a lot but he has not done it since. His atitude has been very curious/upbeat and not in any obvious pain.

btw, his vacc are due and i was going to titer him because I do not want to risk any other changes and the vet recommended that I not titer him for dhlpp which i was surprised. She doesn't believe in over vaccinating. She said at his age, as long as he has rabies, he is well immune, especally because he is not boarded and he pretty much sees the same 2-3 dogs occasionaly who are also older. If say there is an outbreak, he could get a booster but she doesn't want to upset the apple cart with any unnecesary vaccs or injections, etc.

So that's our story and we're sticking to it. We are working to make sure that Alex doesn't go down - that this is just a little oopsie and that he was caught early enough with the pred to head off any major swelling.

Anyways = so not good news, but not "bad" news either.

Two Red Smooth's
12-09-2011, 01:39 AM
Sending :bigrayz: you and Al's way.

Ps. I really like how you think about the situation (keep up the good outlook)
:crossfin:

Alex's Mom
12-09-2011, 07:20 AM
Tons of :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: coming at ya!! And a bunch of :hug99::hug99::hug99: too!

This so reminds me of how it was with Maxe, my first dachsie who had all the back problems. They started when she was 6 and went on intermittently until she crossed at 15. She was never "quite" fully down, but through management like you're doing, I kept her going. Ever vigilant!!! And I think you're wise re: vaccines. I've never vaccinated a dog for anything other than rabies after the age of 9. My vets have always said the same thing as yours...limited exposure to other dogs, and by that point in life, the antibodies are there for good.

Lisa
12-09-2011, 07:43 AM
Chris, it is beyond bizarre that you posted, because yesterday I was thinking about you!! Weird.

Blips happen. Thankfully, you jumped on it super early. Sending lots and lots of rayz for your boy. :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz:

If it were me, and he does not show any further deterioration, I would keep doing what you are doing (not the drug part, but the restricted activity) for 8 - 10 weeks. He might have had some minor leaking, and you really want to make sure that the area re-calcifies itself again.

ITA with your vet about the vaccines, they reek havoc on the body and while he is going through a period of healing you do not want to be injecting him.

areese
12-09-2011, 08:25 AM
:bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:
be really really conservative with his activity like Lisa said, for 8 weeks at least.
and I totally agree with the vaccination protocol too!

lotsadox
12-09-2011, 09:46 AM
Chris, it is beyond bizarre that you posted, because yesterday I was thinking about you!! Weird.

Blips happen. Thankfully, you jumped on it super early. Sending lots and lots of rayz for your boy. :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz:

If it were me, and he does not show any further deterioration, I would keep doing what you are doing (not the drug part, but the restricted activity) for 8 - 10 weeks. He might have had some minor leaking, and you really want to make sure that the area re-calcifies itself again.

ITA with your vet about the vaccines, they reek havoc on the body and while he is going through a period of healing you do not want to be injecting him.

I agree. It took Bogart 10 weeks of crate rest and pred. We decreased the pred dosage very, very gradually. I went from one twice a day to 1/2 twice a day to 1/4 twice a day to 1/4 once a day to ween him off of it.

When I first allow him some freedom which as I remember was about 6 or 8 weeks, I would leash him and let him sit at my feet or on the floor next to me and it did make him happy which probably helps them heal but he couldn't make any sudden dashes anywhere.

Sending tons of :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: and :hug99::hug99::hug99:

Chris
12-09-2011, 04:28 PM
Hmmm... that is interesting about a leak. It IS the same area, because its still just his right leg. Last time that is where it was. But he is nowhere near as bad because he just wobbled a little rather than down. Good news is that his tail is working just fine, and the potty functions are fine. He seems pretty happy - just doesn't like his feet cold.

I was happy to see his happy tail come back. He had held it between his legs for at least a full month after Ollie passed :( Or so it seemed. part of that was probably him drawing off my emotions but he was that way even when I was out of the room or not present and with others.

Its kind of like everything worked out - I was so bummed not being able to swing Amy's workshop, but it was good that we didn't go because Alex was having a slight case of the wobbles that day. Maybe the next one would be in the warmer weather if there is a next :)

Prob is that unlike before where he just wanted to sleep - he wants to wiggle and dance because he is feeling good and so that's the challenge.


Chris, it is beyond bizarre that you posted, because yesterday I was thinking about you!! Weird.


I'm like a bad penny :)

LexieLuvr
12-09-2011, 07:23 PM
Sounds like you're doing everything right - more :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:!!

Chris
12-16-2011, 09:42 PM
Al is enjoying the attention he is receiving, not like he wouldn't get it anyway :) He slept last night with a Kong under his paw...so funny. Luckily, he didn't go totally down. But he's still on crate rest. His pred is up to one a day vs half. The only caveat to the whole pred is that you have to really be prepared to take him outside - leash hooked up and crouching next to him with hands on him, etc. otherwise he will RUN. He can stand on his own, for sure, but having my hands at the ready and being prepared to scoop him up immediately after prevents the zoomies.

He hasn't needed his tramadol in a few days - its an as needed thing versus daily the last time. But looking back - gosh darn it, two Christmases in a row he's on crate rest. Ah...Christmas Eve or the day before at the neuro :( Luckily, this time, he doesn't need to go there.

LexieLuvr
12-17-2011, 09:07 AM
Such bad timing - but it certainly could be MUCH worse! More recovery :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:!!

SaxLady
12-17-2011, 03:43 PM
Ditto on the vaccines!! My little Nixie came down with severe anemia and loss of thousands of platelets a few days after having booster shots. Sending mega :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for Al.

Chris
01-30-2013, 09:00 PM
Hi all,

Haven't been around in forever. Just thought I would update in case there are fans of Mr. Alex on the forum still.

Alex has had a pain free winter so far. Has not gone down AT ALL. No grumpiness either. I don't take him for hikes anymore - I will take him on short/reasonable ones again once the weather is warmer. In the winter he just does the show trot around the house.

He is pretty much permanently on Rimadyl and i think that is the key. He has grown back the hair on his belly and tail that he lost when he was on Pred. In general, I would say he is a pretty happy guy and loves his extended family member dogs.

Oh...and he'll be 14 this year. Very tiny bit of gray around the eyebrow, but he doesn't have a frosty senior face. I think he's doing great and he seems to be feeling good.

Rae
01-30-2013, 09:04 PM
Yay!!!!! So happy with this news. Duchie was on rimadyl the last several years of her life and it truly gave her quality. Glad you are finding the same result!

Chris
01-30-2013, 09:23 PM
Yay!!!!! So happy with this news. Duchie was on rimadyl the last several years of her life and it truly gave her quality. Glad you are finding the same result!

I have not heard of really any side effects. Did Duchie have any that you know of? I am glad that he was weaned off pred. He takes a quarter of a 25 mg tablet twice a day. He has not needed any pain medicine at all.

SasatheRusty
01-30-2013, 09:42 PM
Glad he us doing so well. Do you have to give any Pepcid when they are on Rimadyl so long?

lotsadox
01-30-2013, 11:06 PM
Hey, Chris. Good to see you! I'm glad Mr. Alex is doing so well. I hope we keep getting updates on him :)

Lisa
01-31-2013, 07:26 AM
Hey Chris! So glad you popped back in and very happy to read such a great update. :cheer3: :cheer3: :cheer3:

Chris
01-31-2013, 03:16 PM
Glad he us doing so well. Do you have to give any Pepcid when they are on Rimadyl so long?

He was on pepcid when he was on pred. I have not been told to do that - he doesn't seem to have tummy upsets, but will ask my vet about it.

Chris
01-31-2013, 03:17 PM
Glad he us doing so well. Do you have to give any Pepcid when they are on Rimadyl so long?

He was on pepcid when he was on pred. I have not been told to do that - he doesn't seem to have tummy upsets, but will ask my vet about it.

:) Hi Lisa and Patrice! I thought there was a waving smiley but I guess not.

oceangirls
01-31-2013, 07:39 PM
CHRIS!! Where have you been??!! Glad to hear Alex is going well, and hope you are too :).

Long-term suppression of stomach acid can have its own risks (infection, cancer, and bone damage, for instance - stomach acid is there for a reason). I wouldn't push Pepcid if he's doing well without it.

With Rimadyl, you do want to keep an eye on kidney function and use the lowest dose possible, but at 14, quality of life is most important and it sounds like it is working great for him :woohoo:. Give him a hug from me and the girls :hug99:.

LexieLuvr
02-01-2013, 09:12 AM
AWESOME update! So happy to hear that.