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Why must our best friends grow old? (Pic heavy)

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Author Topic: Why must our best friends grow old? (Pic heavy)  (Read 192 times)
BirdCrazy
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« on: March 31, 2012, 10:00:35 am »

So, one of our poor dogs (Rusty) has what we think is degenerative myelopathy...he's losing function of his rear legs and can't walk straight. He tends to slightly drag his back feet, often crossing over each other, causing him to trip and fall.He's somewhat better after just a day of prednisone (trying it out for a week), but we don't know what his longterm outcome will be.  We might have him see a neurologist, try accupuncture, and who knows what else. Extra exercise apparently can help and some special vitamins, but it's a progressive disease. He's 11 years old and has at least 4-5 more good years ahead of him, if all goes well. He's extremely healthy aside from this problem. The more progressive cases can take the dog in a matter of months, however.  The vet said she really didn't know what was going on, or how to treat him. Neuropathy is such a hard disease to find the cause of, and provide treatment for.  We're doing a bunch of research, and she actually told us that whatever we find, especially if it's something that does help him, to bring it in for her to look at. She'll give us a referral for a neurologist if we decide to go that route. We've had him since he was 4 months old, and it's killing us to see him going through this. However, the vet did say that this type of neuropathy (typically seen in older, larger breed dogs-though the cause is unknown), albeit progressive, is painless. It's been going on for about a month now, but has taken a turn for the worse in the past week. (He fell playing in the yard...did a flip...so we think that may have aggravated it) 

Depending how progressive it is, if it does cause him to have paralysis of his hindquarters, we'll fit him up with a wheelchair so he can still get around. Of course, if he starts to suffer or really go downhill...we won't make him go through that. But...we really don't want to have to take that road unless we absolutely have to.  It's killing us to know we may not have him much longer. He's one of our best dogs we've ever had.  cwy

Just wanted to share some (fairly) recent pictures of him. (He's a Belgian Malinois and is 75 lbs)

















And some older pics of him...years older lol (or should I say when he was younger? Lol)



















(he's on the right)



































I think he was 2 in these pics.





Oh if only I could make him young again...
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 10:02:15 am by BirdCrazy » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 11:41:47 am »

 loveuk He is beautiful!!!!  And what a jumper!  I am right there with ya  hugu living with an aging pup!  It's hard for sure but you adapt to what you have to and shove forward.  I have had many patients with Neuropathy...walking like they are drunk and stumbling all over the place.  I hope you find something that works well for him!
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Sondra
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 03:32:09 pm »

He's awesome!! Good luck and please keep us posted.
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grey782163
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 06:10:05 pm »

Warm, fuzzy thoughts for your warm, fuzzy friend. I hope everything works out, he is gorgeous.
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steptoe91(tozie)
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 07:06:31 pm »

awww what a beautiful pup!  loveuk   hoping ya can find some help for the widdle (?)  angel!
it does suck when they get older, you still see that young pup in their eyes but they just arent young anymore.  sad8
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 08:15:41 pm »

He is georgeous.  I love the jumping and agility pics.  Sad when they get old.  I hate it too.  Sorry girl
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 09:16:55 pm »

OMG!  loveuk
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Debz
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 11:43:20 pm »

honest to God, I cant stop looking at these pics. I hope it's not what you think it is.  sadbigeye
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 10:26:44 am »

Thanks everyone!! *hugs*

Hopefully the Prednisone will help, and with some extra exercise, he'll start to improve. Going to go walk him around the block shortly I think, actually.

We're all going to be extremely heart broken when he passes, whether it's from us or natural causes. Dad was hinting, without actually saying it, that he wants another puppy soon. He's going to be hit the hardest when Rusty goes...those two are attached at the hip. Since Dad is home all the time due to his disability, Rusty is his guardian angel, literally. When Dad starts falling asleep due to his medication and isn't in a safe spot (usually standing or something...lol) Rusty will wine and whimper and nudge him until he moves to a spot on the couch.

Rusty is my boy....I really hope we can find something that will help him. I love this dog so much...
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 10:29:08 am »

He is truly amazing looking. Sending hugs your way!
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wishforabird
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 01:06:58 pm »

what a BEAUTIFUL DOG!!!

I am soo sorry that he is starting to slow down, it is heartbreaking  :(


hugs to you.

 hugu
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2012, 01:52:59 pm »

Hey all!

Just wanted to let you know how Rusty is doing. He's been on prednisone a week and a half now... and is doing SO much better! He's still not quite right on his right hind leg....but isn't weaving as much and his leg is no longer collapsing out from under him like it was. He's still not 100%, but things are looking better.

Currently actually waiting on a call back from the vet in regards to what the next step is..as to whether or not to continue the prednisone (they gave us 5 refills...he's on the last leg of the first taper) or if we are going to finish up this bout, see how he does, then restart it if needed.
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2012, 02:23:10 pm »

So glad to hear the meds are helping. He is still sooo pretty.  loveuk

I hate it when our four footed kids get old, I always wished they would live forever.  hmm

 I lost my most treasured poodle in Jan. of '08 at the age of 17 yrs. and I still grieve over him. His leaving me is why I have so many poodles now, I was trying to find him again. I did, but not all in one dog.  roll
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BirdCrazy
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2014, 06:24:24 pm »

Meant to post here awhile back...Wanted to say Rusty has crossed over Rainbow Bridge. He died peacefully a couple of weeks ago, presumably to a heart attack or stroke, at my parents house. :( He is greatly missed.
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 08:54:35 pm »

AWWWWWWWWW, I'm so sorry! He was loved and knew it! In time you'll be able to enjoy his memory   loveuk   without it feeling like a knife through your hearts
 (((HUGS)))   hugu  He'll be waiting for you when your time comes & he will guide others your way that need the special love only you can give.
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