Abby is deteriorating

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andrew's picture
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Hello everyone, I haven't been around for a few months. Busy with a two year old and three year old dobers. I posted a while back about a the mystery of Abbys' condition.

To recap, she was randomly yelping, cramping up and generally beginning to become less active.

The vets could not pin down anything and just started asking for money for random tests with no direction to progress. I decided to allow rest and rehabilitate over winter.

Things were looking up but then we would have some bad days, now the good days are less and less. I went back to the vets and after consultation we have booked her in for xrays and blood work five days from now.

This video was taken after the consult today, https://youtu.be/xdoJV_CrNTQ

Notice the bunny hop, long draft of the rear legs and general posture.. very worried about her.

Another topic I have spoken about before was my lawn or .. lack of because of Dobermans, well as you can see the before and after photo below, I found the way back to a healthy lawn!

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hello Andrew!

It is funny I was just thinking about you this morning on my walk out with Bella, and wondering how it was going for Dear Abby. I am so sorry to hear that Abby is no better. I sincerely hope that the new vet stuff will show something treatable for her.

In the video she looks better than I had hoped, the way she can still run and smile and have fun. But its all got to be so distressing.

Good luck, we are pulling for you and all your family.

 

ps the lawn is making me envious, here in South Calif. everyone is tearing out their lawn and putting in desert landscaping.... well, all we have is dirt and a few plants.

Lady Kate's picture
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Hi there and so glad you popped in. After watching Abby run.. my thoughts immediately went to hip dysplasia... not bad.. but it sort of appears that way.. Only X-rays will tell you for sure.

She looks happy and obviously loves her exercise... please keep in touch.

Have you done x-rays of her neck and spine? I would also look at her hips, but sometimes rear end problems start up front - she could have a blown disk or a compressed spine at some point. Never easy to diagnose this stuff!

andrew's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-12

Hi Bella, She still has a happy life with lots of love. If this is as bad as it gets she will have a great life with us. If it degenerates, which I feel could be the case it will be challenging to see her struggle. Four days to go before examinations and I'm hoping something simple will present itself.

andrew's picture
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The Vet suspects neck or near hip issue, x-rays will be taken of both points of interest.

I will upload the images when i have access to them.

Lady Kate's picture
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thinking of you and hoping for a good report.. thanks for the update.

 

karie's picture
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best of luck to miss abby !

AresMyDobie's picture
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Joined: 2015-02-28

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Poor Abby :( you can definitely see a hiccup in her gait :( has wobblers been ruled out ?

andrew's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-12

Abby has been dropped off for her tests, I then had taken jeter to the oval and filmed the difference between them both.

https://youtu.be/baYM-fMDews

I pick her up at 3:30pm and have a debreif with the vet. I asked if they could xray her entire body.

I'm looking at

Tumors - brain or spinal

Diesease (wobblers/ Degenerative Myelopathy) or virus / Spinal fluid infection

Disc or joint displacement

Will post what I can tonight.

 

andrew's picture
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I do not have her back yet, but the vet has contact me to confirm that she is suffering from wobblers and a slight case of anemia.

There is cervical deterioration in the neck, I think she said c5 but I will be getting a copy of the xray on usb to post here.

They have asked if I would like a specialist to discuss surgical options.

I would love to here from those of you who may have had this experience or know someone that has.

The internet suggests cortisone injections and cage rest, considering the rehab we have done over winter I'm unsure this will help. I'm leaning toward the surgical option but there are complications with this approach too.

 

 

I would try a specialist and look into "gold beads" it sounds weird, but I've known of several success stories with gold bead implants - you have to find a vet in your area that is trained in it. 

andrew's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-12

Gold beads seems to be a form of permanent acupuncture, unless acupuncture showed significant improvement I would consider that as a last resort.

andrew's picture
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Here they are, it was c1-(c2)-c3 the gap is visibly identifiable. The looseness of C2 means the nerves are stretched/compressed...aggravated by movement.

Its a weak point and sharp impact or strain could potentially cause irreversible nerve damage.

I have been quoted $230 for a specialist consult and approx $5000 for a surgical option.

This is where they use wire to act as a fixed ligament to limit movement between the vertebrae. Though I have been told there are 21 ways to approach this surgery from wire to plates or fusing bone. All comes with risk, outcomes can be temporary.

We have started her on a steroid / anti-inflam to aid in recovery.

It is thought with light rest, minimized exercise she can live a good life.

This non-invasive approach is ideal at this stage while we monitor her progress.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hi Andrew, 

 Thanks for posting this. ( A beautiful image on it's own, such a graceful inside form. )

 Maybe there are some Doctors that can help us read these exrays. I, for one do not know what to look for.

 I hope and believe that a non-invasive approach will work. Are there any dog Chiropractors down under?

 

Good Luck, 

 Cheers from us

Julia and Bella

andrew's picture
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Update, Abby has responded well with her medication.

Today was the first day in a long time she meet me coming home from work at the gate.

She trotted off to meet me at the back door with no leg drag and stood strong with pads of her feet remaining down. (they would flip up facing the pads forward)

We have adapted to be more company then exercise in our relationship and this seems to be working well.

Her appetite which we were warned about only matches that of jeter now, so its not that hard to manage especially when we have a bone to be entertained with in the yard.

It pains me to not let them out the back paddock where the creek/drain is but they would jump it and climb it possibly aggravating her condition.

We have discussed building a fence to partition the danger zone away, allowing them safe access to enjoy the long grass and fruits. This will be done as soon a we can afford.

Just thought I would let everyone know she is improving.

andrew's picture
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Additionally, we are building a new kennel to separate their sleeping quarters.

Jeter tends to sit on her and cause fights which i believe to be the cause of the recent progression of her condition.

I will start a new thread on the build and the deconstruction of their second home which should be entertaining!

karie's picture
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so glad to hear she is improving !

andrew's picture
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Sorry for such a long time before returning for an update.

Abby's condition progressed on the medication, in fact the medication brought further problems such as incontinence, depression and hair loss.

We investigated surgical options, which turned out to be far too expensive.

I found a research paper on surgical techniques and success rates from the past 30 years and while there are some good choices most are unavailable or too expensive.

We fenced off difficult terrain and separated the kennel so they see each other but can't sit on each other. we also had her on high quality joint formulated food.

Her condition was declining so fast that we began organizing euthanasia and cremation services as it didn't look like she would make our goal of meeting our newborn at the end of May.

As all options began to dry up our vet tried an injection of Synovan (glucosamine) to abait joint pain. from the first day I noticed a change in her disposition.

we cut back on her Predisone tablets as these were taking far to much a toll on her.

She had four injections over four weeks and is now on one per month.

Her rear foot retract (fold your dobes foot over so they stand on their nails) has improved. before the foot slowly flipped back, this is a sign of neurological damage. it should snap back.

Many trips, lots of heart ache but today while being patted she looked up to the sky.

This is a mile stone as she had not been able to stand even close to straight for almost a year.

I will write up a more comprehensive journey and detail my research at a later date for people to reference when faced with wobblers of this type (vertebra instability)

I will add pictures here soon too of this journey, just wanted to let you all know how my Abby girl is going.

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hi Andrew and Family, 

 Thank you so much for the update. It must be so sad and hard, my heart is breaking. But now a miracle is occuring, with the Glucosamine, which I hope will continue to help dear Abby.

Congratulation on the coming new arrival:)

Best reards, 

 Julia and Bella

smooches to both pooches

talisin's picture
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OMG I am so sorry to hear she was declining I was not on, but I am so glad to hear that she is improving......is this the injection that goes into the hip and alternates hips with each shot? if so Sam had those and the tech came to the car and did one and the next day he was unable to use his legs and was euthanized - please make sure they do the injections inside the building and in the right position, I don't know if the injection done in the car had anything to do with sam's issue but it was too much of a coincidence for me to not wonder.

again sorry I didn't see this I was not on due to sam's passing

andrew's picture
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No worries Tal, I read your posts as your heart was breaking. I could'nt bring myself to reply as it made me so sad. I found a picture that remindes me of your stories of Him. I will add in this post.

The injections are Synovan - http://www.ceva.com.au/Products/Products-list/SYNOVAN-Injection-for-Dogs

They are usually injected above the shoulders, thought to strengthen cartlidge and improve joint condition.

AresMyDobie's picture
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I'm so sorry about your Abby she looks like such a kind soul. Have to possibly thought of starting a go fund me for her so you could get her the surgery ? I would certainly donate at the very least so she could see your new baby. These dogs are so special I want to help in anyway I can to help her feel better. My heart aches for you and her that she is going through this.

I got my boy vet insurance it seemed like a good idea. I went with Trupanion I really like there program, they cover 90% of any surgery and so on if you'd like to check them out. 

I dont know I hope this maybe helped ? I just feel so sad about her and want to do anything to help her. 

karie's picture
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andrew your pics are beautiful ! really love the roties and the cat the sunrise is awesome !! 

talisin's picture
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OMG I LOVE that picture of the rotties thank you for thinking of us!!!

How is Abby doing now??? any updates???

andrew's picture
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Hi Talisin, I have another photo from that photographer ill post later when I have access to it.
Abby had her check up a few days ago, her reflexes have returned to normal range. While her activity remains controlled and low impact she seems to be very happy. Totally off the predisone which I would not recommend to anyone.
The vet is considering writing a paper on her. Her turn around from the synovan injections has been remarkable.

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Lady Kate's picture
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these photos Andrew, are simply amazing as is your struggles and patience with your Abby.How I love the one of her peeking out at the little one from beneath they hydrangeas.

The roller coaster ride you've been on has been horrific. bless you.Trust that prayers are being said for Abby and all our wonderful dogs every day.

Come on sweet Abs.. you can do this..

 

 

Joined: 2012-10-28

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That 2nd photo looks like the cat is taking a selfie!

 

Andrew thanks so much for sharing your Abby good news with us:) 'Just remarkable' is an understatement!! We are so relieved as you must be also.

 Kind regards,

 Julia and Bella

MommaL's picture
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Love hearing the good news!  I hope she continues to improve.

BTW, the cat selfie is hysterical!

andrew's picture
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Very busy, new bub due in four weeks but wanted to keep this thread up to date.

Abby has continued with Synovan injection and has progressed well with her change in diet and activities. Going to begin click training and trick training to improve engagement.

 

Jeter boy at front and Abby in the background..

karie's picture
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they are beautiful !!

Lady Kate's picture
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Thank you so much for this wonderful update.. the photo is stunning and I'm so happy for you

Katie Sofia and Bella

talisin's picture
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oh my I was worried as to how this post was going to end......glad there is some improvement and I love the rotties of course thanks for those pics.....

I swear I saw that pic of the rotties with the cat on FB circulating with some cute phrase attached to it