Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

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Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by Molly's Mum on Thu Nov 23 2017, 11:57

Hi,

I'm new to the forum so hello to everyone Smile
My 8 year old staffy Molly was knocked over by a boisterous Labrador a month ago, she damaged a ligament in her leg and also suffered a spinal hernia.
The vet xrayed her and told us she has a degeneration of the discs, at her hips and also less badly near her shoulders.
She still has fairly good use of her back legs, they are just a little weak and swing out causing her to lose balance occasionally.
We have just started her on 5 min walks each day, she was on tramadol but she has finished her course but the vet has told us she must stay on metacam for the rest of her days.
I have heard bad things about the long term use of this medication, does anyone have any advice?
We have installed ramps around the house and stopped her using any stairs.
We have been told by our vet we have two options, to conservatively manage her condition or take her to Fitzpatrick referrals for an operation.
My concern with the latter option is she is a rescue dog with severe separation anxiety, even a trip to the vets is very traumatic for her, so the though of putting her through such a major operation worries me.
I just wondered if anyone else's dog has the same condition and how they have dealt with it please?
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Re: Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by -Ian- on Thu Nov 23 2017, 13:32

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Re: Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by -Ian- on Thu Nov 23 2017, 13:40

Hi ya Mollys Mum, welcome to the forum from Flo & me Big Grin

I have some recent experience of something similar, if you want some light reading you can read Flo's woes here https://staffy-bull-terrier.niceboard.com/t66494-a-bit-worried

I can fully understand your concerns with long term meds. In you're case I think I would at least take the referral and see what Fitzpatricks suggest, it doesn't commit you to having anything done just gives you options hopefully.

My Flo was in there for two weeks and we didn't find out at the time but subsequently were told she howled almost the entire time she was awake, not due to separation anxiety but because she doesn't like enclosed spaces, we have experience of this at home.

The staff there gave her as much love and attention as they possibly could and was certainly remembered by staff when we took her back for Physio. The separation anxiety might be a hard thought but is short term and worth the anguish if a better prognosis can be gained.

Do let us know what you decide and how Molly gets on.


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Re: Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by Molly's Mum on Thu Nov 23 2017, 18:11

Hi Ian,

Thanks so much for your quick reply and the lovely welcome!

I have given your thread a good read and it is a huge help to hear your experiences. I am so glad Flo is doing well, it has clearly been a long road for her and your family but your commitment to her recovery is amazing.

Do you mind me asking what happened with the insurance in the end? We have lifetime 'superior' insurance for Molly, however I have been waiting a month just to get the money back for the xray. I have a feeling they will try everything to not have to pay out.

I agree that the referral is a good idea and ideally she needs an MRI scan so we can see the full extent of the condition. We are going to see how she goes building up with her walks, whilst on the anti-inflammatories and take a decision after Christmas, also once we know the decision from the insurers.

Will keep you updated Smile
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Re: Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by -Ian- on Thu Nov 23 2017, 18:22

Molly looks fab and clearly a beach lover like my Flo Big Grin

Unfortunately our insurers refused to payout, initially because they said she had a pre-existing condition even though it was completely unrelated to the ailment we were claiming for. We contacted the financial ombudsman who investigated only for the insurers to claim we had ticked a box on line 6 years ago saying she had never seen a vet, we can't prove this.

The only way forward would have been for us to employ a solicitor and take them to court but if we lost we would be liable for all court costs so we've had to write it off Sad

The weakness in Molly's back legs is very similar to my Flo and is caused by the weight being more on the front legs to compensate, that's on going for Flo, she'll never be 100% but she runs and enjoys herself so all in all I feel we did the right thing.

Do let us know how Molly gets on Smile


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Re: Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by Nifty staffy on Thu Nov 23 2017, 18:46

Hello and welcome from us.
No experience but just best wishes to offer.
Do let us know how you get on Smile
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Re: Intervertebral disc disease, advice needed please!

Post by Molly's Mum on Thu Nov 23 2017, 19:44

Hi Ian,

I am very sorry to hear about your insurer not paying out, but not surprised, unfortunately. It does make me wonder why we bother with insurance! Flo is gorgeous and the fact that she can run around again means it was absolutely worth it. Will keep you updated Smile
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