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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dog, Dozer, has had neurolgical symptoms since around April.
After many different tests, an MRI has revealed 2 lesions in his spine - one pressing on the cord, and another inside the cord itself.
It is believed that the first lesion may have caused/encouraged the second.

The surgeon I met with has recommended a surgical procedure (of course), and although I can appreciate his reasoning, I can not jump into it so quickly.

Here are my thoughts:
-I am getting a second opinion from another neurologist and neurosurgeon - this may produce another surgical option or viewpoint
-I am beginning a 3 month trial period where we will be using several alternative methods - after the 3 month is up (or if his symptoms seems to worsen), we will get another MRI.
-After the trial period:
if his symptoms are better and or the lesions have reduced at all, we will continue with alternative modalities.
if his symptoms are worse and/or the lesions have grown, we will have to move forward with a surgery
if there is no change at all, we will have to decide at that tme what to do.

I have a sort of plan here, but still looking for viewpoints that may help my plan to be a little better - I would appreciate any thoughts that anyone here can offer.
 

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I am very sorry to hear about your dog, how heartbreaking :(

If it was me, I would probably get a second opinion, if he also says surgery thats probably the way I would go.
 

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Definately get a 2nd opinion.
 

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What is the danger of him becoming paralyzed? Is he in a lot of pain,if so, can they curb the pain?I see nothing wrong with getting a second opinion but can there be irreversible damage to his CNS due to waiting?I am just curious what are the other options?(Not being a smart-ass I really dont know0

Edit to say: I am so sorry that the both of you are going through this
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
he is in no pain at all - only walks and moves kind of "drunk" at times.
that's the good thing - he doesn't know anything is wrong at all... just busy playing with his rope or little squeeky fish etc.
the only potential for pain would be if he fell down the stairs etc (which he has a few times)
these 'clumsy' symptoms have not gotten worse - they haven't gone away either... this is what made his situation so curious... what we thought was just prolonged puppy clumsiness just wouldn't go away.

we have no proof that these lesions are growing or causing furter irritation
he has good days and bad days. during the "good days", it's not as if the lesions have disappeared, they just aren't as irritating to the cord.

i'd like to string together as many "good days" as possible to see what the root problem looks like - not the root problem PLUS swelling etc.
that's why i've been assembling a series of modalities during a 3 month trial period to see if we can reduce the irritation and then take a look - instead of just jumping into the caveman surgery and just "dig the problem out".

there is always a risk of it "getting worse" by delaying surgery, but it is less likely considering it hasn't seemed to change much, if at all, over the past 6 months.
the fact that the risk remains, this was the reason for the 3 month trial period, and not a complete rejection of the surgeon's suggestion.

the only surgical procedures suggested so far would involve cutting through muscle and bone in the neck - comprimising some activive stability in the neck, and creating new mechanical problems... kind of a big jump to have surgery that might not be effective and may create new problems to "fix" lesions that have not proven to be getting worse.

have you ever heard that "when a person is good with a hammer, everything looks like a nail"...?
well i can't help but think a surgeon's plan-A answer is surgery, when sometimes surgery is a fine plan-B or C.

here are the modalities we are involving during the 3 month trial period:
nutraceutical treatment (specifically a natural and low side effect version of steriods)... he responded pretty well to the corticosteroids that were prescribed to him, but we can not keep him on them long-term.
acupuncture (very positive results in the past)... we now know the specific area(s) to address
chiropractic care (very very positive results in the past)... we now know the specific areas that are ok to be assertive with, and the areas that are more delicate.
in addition, i'm consulting with a dog physical therapist in the area and a homeopathic person to see if they can offer anything additional.

i am in the process of getting a second opinion from another surgeon as well, but i would be a fool to trust without understanding, or to only get opinions from a surgical-only point of view -
 

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Sounds likeyou have all your ducks in a row. Defintely get that second opinion...maybe even try to consult another specialist, not necessarily a surgeon. Also trying some homepathic-type therapies may be beneficial (from your post, sounds like you've tried some). I used to see a vet that did both traditional and homeopathic (he only used whichever methods his clients were comfortable with). I would keep asking questions until you're satisfied that you're getting all the answers possible.

I like your plan, as far as trying alternative methods and giving them a chance to work. You obviously have Dozer's best interests/quality of life at the forefront of your decisions. Just keep doing what you're doing...you are an excellent advocate for Dozer! He's a lucky boy!

And if you can, please keep us posted on Dozer's progress!
 

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What are the lesions caused from? Was he ijured at a younger age?

You know what I have been thru, and as I suggested before, do get a second opinion first.

AFTER the second opinion, weigh all options.

If not in pain, leaving him well enough alone may be the best bet.

When researching conditions for Daizy, we first thought her to have an injury. Almost all methods of treatment that I found, had a down side worse then the upside. Most like the gold bead or steel rods, were great in fixing the damage/problem, but also warned that if this was indeed performed, and another injury happened, the dog would be worse off then before the surgery.

I know my Daizy is wonderful now, and I look back and am happy I didnt put her thru all kinds of things.

Good luck, keep me informed.This is your choice, and I know you care that you will do the vert best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sajoseph said:
What are the lesions caused from? Was he ijured at a younger age?
It it thought that the one outside the cord created the one inside the cord - but what caused the first? - it's hard to know.
I've had him since 8 weeks on the day and nothing significant has happened (injuries etc)- and I know the breeder VERY well - he can't recall anything significant either...

Idiopathic.
 

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It may have been caused by his mother-accidentally of course.
I remember Dixie with her pups.......OMG! She would clean them constantly, that one started to go raw. She'd lick them and roll them from one side of the pen to the other, sound like little bowling balls! We'd have to stay by her side to corect her!

She always laid on them, one would squeal here or there, you never know!

G'luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
sajoseph said:
It may have been caused by his mother-accidentally of course.
good point - seems very possible, especially considering just how small and delicate he was compared to his littermates (about half the size)
 
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