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October 6th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Hi - I just found out today that one of my dogs - 5 year old husky cross has diskospondylosis. This is a type of arthritis in the spine.

Earlier this week I noticed that when my dog had a bowel movement she whined and took her to the vet. They emptied her anal glands and sent me home. (She has a history of trouble with her glands).

A few days later still no improvement. She couldn't really squat when she was trying to go to the bathroom. Just stands and looks like her backside is sore so back to the vet today. Her tail was very sore so they did x-rays which revealled spiny projections that have developed off the tail bones and spine. I am to give anti-inflammatory meds and glucosamine.

Anyone else had this problem with their dog? I'm really upset about it because she is only 5 and I worry that her mobility will continue to get worse as she ages.


October 7th, 2006, 12:36 AM

I first check to see if there was a AVCA certified animal chiropractor in Alberta but did not see, then checked this site to see if there was maybe a CSU certified one and did not see one listed but they don't have a complete list either so possible ask at petstores or the vet to see if one exists, I then checked for an accupuncturist, there is one is Selkirk alberta, not sure how far that is from you, But if you use this site you'll find the listing for LINDA HAMILTON , DVM B.SC SELKIRK ANIMAL HOSPITAL
601 CHRISTIE AVE SELKIRK , MANITOBA she does do convectional medicine , accupuncture, as well as western herbs in her practice

I tried a few searches but not find anyone else in the province

click on search now, from the drop box step 1 select Canadian Members Only, step 2 select acupuncture and step 4 small animal and you'll find her listing.

I tried a few searches but not find anyone else in the province :shrug:

In conventional medicine mostly nsaids and steriods are used to manage pain and both have serious side effects when used long term and can severely shorten life as a result of the damage they cause. bloodwork must be done to watch for damge to organs, Both acupuncture and western herbs maybe safer ways to manage her pain on a longterm basis.

October 7th, 2006, 09:53 AM
Thanks OntarioGreys - I found this holistic vet's site here in winnipeg - this link shows they do physio and acupuncture and they can refer to a chiropractor if needed.

Right now she is just on some anti-inflammatory med for 10 days and glucosamine. The vet said sometimes dogs really improve. She said they could go to steroids but, like you, I'd feel a little nervous about that.

I'm just really shocked. She has always been a little slower than my other dog but I just thought she was less agile - she has more husky in her and is a little heavier than my hound/husky cross. It's really unfortunate because by the time you notice any problems with the dog's mobility, the spiny growths on the bones have formed - you really can't reverse it at that point.

The vet siad it is more common in pure breeds like border collies and german shepherds. Also more common in older dogs. She is a husky mix from the humane society and is only 5!

I'll see what the extra rest does and the medication but I would definately be open to seeing what other options are available.

October 9th, 2006, 08:26 AM
My parent's late beagle Max had this, diagnosed at age 10, and lived to the ripe old age of 17, with a combination of Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory that some dogs don't do well on - we got lucky as he was fine) and glucosamine supplements. His activity didn't really decrease until much later, but up until he was on pain meds and supplements, he had some trouble (first flare up was after a really long run with me). Had I had access at the time to a homeopathic vet, I would've gone that route, but we managed his condition fairly well all things considered. Good luck, I hope your girl feels better soon :pawprint:

October 10th, 2006, 09:48 AM
Thanks - that makes me feel better! :)

I was pretty shocked with this diagnosis and felt really negative about her future with this problem - unfortunately I am a true pessimist.

When I finally saw some results this weekend - perhaps the anti-inflammatories kicking in - she was able to lift and wag her tail a little more and had a normal bowel movement - I felt much better!

It has been cold and damp here with the changing seasons - I wonder if that's what brought it on because it seemed to just come on so suddenly!

October 10th, 2006, 12:30 PM
As much as the cold and damp weather changes affect humans with arthritis or arthritic conditions, it hits our pets even harder for some reason. Max forever had trouble with the Pennsylvania fall and winters, so he and my dad would hobble about like 2 little old men, take their anti-inflammatories on the same schedule and basically hung out until the weather improved. It's hard not to be pessimistic, I know I was the first time I saw his spinal xrays along with the seriously backed up colon. Total shock, dismay and a feeling of "oh my, what next?", but they can and do live long lives with this condition. Just tends to be a little more stiffly :)

October 10th, 2006, 02:11 PM
Was Max ever on steroids or just anti-inflammatories? Did he use the Rimadyl when he had a flare? or did he need it constantly?

The drug I was given is called meloxicam for 10 days. It sounds like I can get a refill if needed but see what happens.

I would be happy to take her for physio if the condition got worse - a little more wary about the chiropractor - maybe because I've never been to one myself?

Thanks for your post!

October 10th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Max was on Rimadyl daily for the remainder of his life, however, my parents cut one pill in half and gave him a half in the morning, and then a half at night if he needed it only. It wasn't until his later years that he actually required the full 2 pills a day. I can't stress enough that Rimadyl is a drug that he did well on, but not all dogs do, so working with your dog and your vet is crucial to finding something she can manage for an extended period of time. He also got glucosamine supplements with his breakfast, again, same pill regimen as my father (they were the grumpy old men of the house!) He was on a steriod after his first episode, but only then - my parents felt that they didn't want to dope him up on too many things if they could manage it in other ways.

I've never taken either of my dogs to a puppy chiropractor, but I do go to one myself and would swear by them. Many folks do take their pets to homeopathic vets, accupuncturists, etc. and I'm sure those here that do would likely weigh in with their experiences. :) Good luck and keep us posted please, I'm curious as to how she'll fare with treatment, which I suspect she'll do wonderfully :)