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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new here . . .

Sammy, my 11 yr old had an MRI on Friday and I'm not quite sure of actual diagnosis (degenerative disk disease, dm, ???) . I'll be talking more with specialist later today. I do recall from the conversation on Friday that my two options are surgery or palliative care?

The lumbosacral area disk is where it is. I think we caught it early but now hindsight tells me this has been going on for a couple months. He did say it is one of the better places to have the surgery but, do you put an 11 year old through that. He said 48 hours in hospital, 4 -wk recovery. But Sammy has mange in his one ear (supposedly all dogs have it but sometime older dogs can't fight it off). So how would he do healing from a major surgery. So many factors.

Inconclusive results from when he was 2 suggested he had mascatory myositis - his immune system attacking jaw muscles). Again, a concern about healing.

I just wanted to see if anyone else has had this type of surgery on an older dog. We have a two week dog friendly beach vacation planned for Oct and I can't bare the thought of him not being able to enjoy the surf!

thanks for any feedback.
 

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Karen

Karen

I am so sorry you and Sammy are going through this. Have you been going to this vet all along? How are Sam's blood tests, they usually do a wellness test to make sure a dog is in good shape for surgery.
Our Golden, Smooch, had TPLO surgery (tore her ACL) at age of 10, but she didn't have any other health issues, but she did end up getting lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma a few months before she was 12. We had to make the decision to send her to the Rainbow Bridge.
 

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Karen

Karen

I am so sorry you and Sammy are going through this. Have you been going to this vet all along? How are Sam's blood tests, they usually do a wellness test to make sure a dog is in good shape for surgery.
Our Golden, Smooch, had TPLO surgery (tore her ACL) at age of 10, but she didn't have any other health issues, but she did end up getting lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma a few months before she was 12. We had to make the decision to send her to the Rainbow Bridge.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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I would write down ALL my questions and bring them with me when you go back to talk to the doctor. I would also likely want a second opinion.
Some things I would inquire about
Acupuncture therapy?
Massage/physical therapy?

Good luck and please remember there is no wrong choice as long as you are doing what you believe to be best for your dog and you. :wave:
 
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Beware of Nestle Purina
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I would have done it for my previous golden when he was 11. He was still very active and did not look or act his age at all. He was a young 11.

If it will give him greater quality of life for a longer time I would go for it.

Only you know your dog best.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all. Taking to 3 vets at home besides the neurologist. Holistic vet is pro surgery based on as much as we know. She said she only be able to slow it with acupuncture., herbs, etc. Other vets are leaning toward not. One just had a golden have BAD reaction to anesthesia.
Still waiting to hear from neurologist.
Thanks for all the input. I'm so torn. Hank, you made me feel better with your comment about no wrong choice... God only knows how badly I want what is best for Sammy.
 

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My Joker had an emergency splenectomy just weeks before his 12th birthday. He came through the surgery with flying colors, despite having lost a lot of blood when his spleen ruptured. He recovered well and is enjoying life these days.

He also had surgery to remove a growth from his paw when he was 11. That was a tough decision, but it was a good one.

Trust your heart. You know your dog and the issues, and nobody here can really make that call for you. We'll be here for you, whatever you decide.
 

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Before you decide on surgery, get a blood panel done and talk to the surgeon about types of anesthesia if you think your dog may react.

My 12+ year old golden had a splenectomy and he was up and raring to go by that evening- not so fast buckaroo! We had a hard time keeping him resting while his incision healed.

My 9 year old had an adverse reaction to anesthesia for a sedated dental cleaning when he was about 6. Since then we've switched the type of anesthesia used. He had double cataract surgery a couple of years ago and had no reaction to the new anesthesia.

I've had a dog with degenerative disc disease but at the time (early 2000s) the neurologist and oncologist did not recommend surgery. We had some success with acupuncture. There have been some advances since then so I hope they can offer you some good options. Our 9 year old's acupuncture vet (for his eyes) is branching out into physical therapy and rehab. She has an underwater treadmill and is working with senior dogs with these types of limitations. She is working closely with neurologists and oncologists in hopes of finding what works for the individual dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all so much. My head is spinning. Neurologist is out but my vet does have mri notes. Looks like IVDD.. He's not too bad so I think we'll do rest and acupuncture and rehab and meds. He said they can improve! But it can return. And DM has not been ruled out. He did say do not do chiropractor as it could make it worse.

Then they mention nodules at a couple places. Still looking at all options and will always do what is best for my buddy. My goal is to have him enjoy our two weeks vacation in October at the beach with his "brothers".

It's consuming my head most every waking moment. I am thankful we have him this long but I'm selfish and want him a few more years!

This forum is great! I'll be hanging around. Thanks you!
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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It's consuming my head most every waking moment. I am thankful we have him this long but I'm selfish and want him a few more years!
NOTHING wrong with being selfish for reasons such as this!!! ;)
Please continue to keep us informed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just an update on sammy. It's lumbarsacral disease. But need to have an ultrasound to see what the nodule is before we think about surgery. So we had acupuncture last week, underwater treadmill this week, and he is on prednisone and on the way back off too see if it helped. He wants to play now and I have to restrict him so he doesn't aggravate the disk. So unfair... He was soooo active and healthy.
Counting my blessings with each tail wag!
 
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