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Surgery?

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue.

Surgery?

Postby katdog » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:49 pm

My 60 lb, 12 year old lab has been diagnosed with spinal issues and the neurologist is pushing for a dorsal laminectomy. I really have no clue what to do. Now that I have researched this, I realize his spinal issues have been going on for a while, but he finally went to the vet when he began slouching his hind legs. He is walking, on pain meds, bu his hind legs are a bit wonky. No incontinence.

My biggest concern is that we would do the surgery and he would have no quality of life after that. Other concerns are more day to day management. My husband and I work long days. The neighbor that gets the dog during the day has health issues including balance ones that would make it hard for him to deal with a dog with mobility issues. I am no young chicken either. I really need knee surgery but have been putting it off. If the dog were younger, I would do the surgery, but.......a 12 year old dog? Being cared for by old people with their own health issues? We really just want to do what is best for him in the long run. Advice?
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Re: Surgery?

Postby CarolC » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:05 pm

Like you, I would hesitate to do spinal surgery on a 12 year old lab. Is he on any kind of anti-inflammatory? I know people sometimes do not want to put their dog on medication, but if it will give him another 6 months (or however many months) of mobility, it starts to sound worthwhile due to limited options. Examples are Rimadyl or Deramaxx, or your vet may have something newer. My one senior dog was on Rimadyl and it did eventually bother his tummy, but it gave him an extra 6 months of walking, and when we had to discontinue it, that was when he quit walking so I know it was working for him. I would recommend talking with an experienced vet you trust, maybe just your regular vet, not the specialist, and find out what s/he recommends, and give something a try to see if you see any improvement. It sounds like you are close to him not being able to get up, I went through it with a golden retriever the same age and same size. I hope this helps.

:gang:
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Re: Surgery?

Postby katdog » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks for your reply. He has had some liver issues so we are reluctant to put him on anti-inflammatories. He is on codeine and I know that helps a lot. I have discussed this with my regular vet and am trying to set up an appt. for a second opinion with another specialist.

I just get the impression that the original neurologist is on some sort of quota and that is why she is pushing so hard for surgery. I realize I am way in over my head here as well. She may be right. There is just no way to ever know for sure. I just don't want to do it and make the last times of his life be horrible.
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Re: Surgery?

Postby CarolC » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:36 pm

I wonder if acupuncture would help him. You can usually tell if it is helping after one or two appointments.
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Re: Surgery?

Postby katdog » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:54 pm

I had thought of that, but the thought process did not go too far. I will discuss it with my vet. Thanks.
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