Severe lower spine arthritis

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Severe lower spine arthritis

This is a discussion on Severe lower spine arthritis within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My dog Bear is 14, he has severe arthritis in his lower spine/back. To quote my doctor while looking at his X-rays, “his back is ...

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Old 07-15-2018, 08:52 AM
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Severe lower spine arthritis

My dog Bear is 14, he has severe arthritis in his lower spine/back. To quote my doctor while looking at his X-rays, “his back is really messed up”. We have had treated him with all sorts of NSAIDs, pain meds etc, nothing really seems to work at this point anymore. Currently right now he is on just gabapentin and I will be adding Meloxidyl to his regiment. No matter what he gets he is always stiff, he basically walks with his two back legs straight, no real range of motion. I have numerous dog beds all around the house for him but he usually chooses the floor to sleep on. He has a hard time getting up and now a new thing is, sometimes when he gets up, he holds up one of the back legs for a minute or two. He also can’t hold in his poop since his arthritis is so bad, he doesn’t have to control to hold it in, so more often then not now, I wake up to poop on the floor. As of now he hasn’t had any issues with peeing in the house, and he has moments when he will try running outside with the other dogs when something exciting is happening and sometimes still tries to play. While he has his good moments, and can still walk though obviously painfully, just watching him you can tell he is in pain. I’m just unsure at what point is it too much. I am friends with my Vet and also Work at the animal hospital. I’ve had long talks with them about Bear, and how I don’t want to be one of those people who try to hold on and keep them going when they are obviously in pain. As much as I love my boy and the thought of loosing him is heart breaking, I really don’t want him to suffer. My Vet and Co workers all assured me they will let me know if they think it comes to that point. However when I take him to the hospital he always seems better, but I’m with him the majority of the day and evenings and I see all this stuff. I was looking at videos from just a year or two ago and see the huge difference in him. I had friends who have known him since he was a baby come over a week ago, they both said that Bear didn’t recognize them, that he is different. It’s just so hard. I do believe he still has some time, and I’m gonna see if there is any improvements once I add the meloxidyl, also I had his blood work done and it was fine so that’s good, seems his only issue is this severe arthritis. It so hard seeing him struggle, then I get happy seeing him when he has a moment of trying to run around with the other dogs. Any one else been in this situation? I feel like I have done everything I could, and it’s just hard when nothing seems to work. I would try laser therapy, but he is 80pounds, lifting him in and out of the car is hard on both of us.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:56 PM
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How about a portable ramp to help get him in and out of the car? Laser treatments certainly helped a neighbors dog when she had arthritis and hip dysplasia.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:45 AM
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After I posted this he has been getting worse. Lastnight he couldn’t get up on his own though he tried, and when my roommate and I would try to help he would try to snap at us, cause he is painful. I went to bed and at 3am I heard him struggling to get up by more door. I got up to help and when I open the door he was there trying to get up, there was fecal matter everywhere, not like a normal poop but like kinda splatter everywhere, on the walls too, I got him outside while i scrubbed the floors, I’ll have to try to clean him up too if he lets me. When I first woke up I was annoyed/angry cause I had been woken up, but as I’m sitting there scrubbing the floors, I keep thinking to myself what kind of life is this for him? I started crying, I started thinking that this might be his time. He is suffering, progressively getting worse daily, has to be in pain, can’t get up on his own now. I can’t stop crying.
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:41 PM
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. I had a dog who had severe spinal degeneration, and it got to where he could not get comfortable, and cried out every time he moved. We took him to the emergency vet when this happened, and they ended up putting him down. He was in such pain. I wish I would have had him put down sooner, because I would have called someone out to the house to do it, so he wouldn't have had to endure the trip to the vet. I think you have to think about the quality of life they have. It's going to be painful letting them go, but I think it's worse when you regret hanging on too long. Not saying that this is your situation, but it's just something to think about. I hope you and your pup find comfort and peace.
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