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14 yr old Min Pin with Cervical Disk Problems
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14 yr old Min Pin with Cervical Disk Problems

I have a 14 year old Miniature Pinscher  that is my 1st AKC Champion & the foundation for my show kennel. Even at 11 years of age, he was cleared for his OFA Cardiac but in the past year, he was put on Lasix 12.5mg tabs, due to the fact that he sometimes gets congestion. Until about 2-3 months ago, he was doing perfectly, but then I noticed he wasn't breathing well. I also noticed that he really seemed to be hunching his back up, like a whippet or Italian Greyhound. Until this point, he'd never had any neurological signs & He's always been a very healthy dog. I took him to the vet & they did a full exam. The Vet does acupuncture & holistic medicine also. She commented that he'd do well with acupuncture, so she performed an acupuncture/chiropractic session as well. She commented that he seemed very stiff in his neck. She prescribed diluted neo-synepherine, some baytril 22.7 mg tabs for 14 days, & His lasix was doubled for 2 weeks, & switched to same dose, as before but split into 1/2 bid doses instead of 1 tab sid. After about a week, he seemed to crash, was weak and unable to even stand, & wasn't doing well at all. This was the first time I have ever noticed any neurologic signs or him walking clumbsily or knuckling over. I thought I was going to have to put him down... I rushed him back & had bloodwork run & all looked fine, PCV was normal. We thought sudden anemia may have caused his sudden weakness and inability to walk, but it wasn't that. X-rays were done on his back, spine, and skull to check for cancer, bone &/or disk problems, & to check to see if there were any tumors visable. He had no noticable disk ruptures, but much arthritis and calcifications on the cervical vertebrae. We set up bi-weekly acupuncture sessions & his improvement was amazing after the sessions. He was put on 1 5mg tab of Pred bid for two weeks, then lowered to 1/2 5mg tab bid. This helped even after only a few days.

Now two mo. later, He is able to walk, but is still clumbsy & wobbly. He knuckles over some, but not nearly as bad as when he couldn't even stand or walk. I'm wondering if there is anything else that can be done to improve his quality of life. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but I worry that with all his stumbling & sometimes falling that he will further injure his neck and spine. I do keep him confined except for short potty breaks & walks. He no longer uses any type of collar on his neck, we now use a harness & we try to keep him calm and quiet. He isn't allowed on any slippery surfaces, but he is a min pin & still thinks he can go 200 mph...   Other friends of mine with older dogs that have cataracts tell me that their dogs calmed down alot once they couldn't see. I'm not wishing blindness on him, but I wish he'd act his age... He's such a proud old man & doesn't think he's 14 nor does he believe he should act like he's 14... I don't want to see him become paralyzed or further injured, or have his spirit broken with a body that can't perform like he thinks it should... If he gets any worse, I just don't think I will be able to handle it and will have to put him down. Do you have any other suggestions??

Michele  & "Felix" CH Valdon's So Hot I Sizzle

..·´¨¨)) -:¦:-
  ¸.·´   .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´  ¸.·´ Michele L Basye
Royal Vista Min Pins & Toy Fox Terriers
Owner Handler of Quality Show Dogs
Breeding for PERFECTION not PROFIT -:¦:-    .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´  ¸.·´ -:¦:-
*** A dog is only as good as it’s owner trains it to be… Responsible ownership is the key. *** (Michele Basye 2008)
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I would continue with the acupuncture, but please find out if your vet can order some Chinese herbs for you.  Traditional Chinese medicine involves acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, since the acupuncture and herbs work synergestically.  I think that a Chinese herbal formula would help.  

One or more of the herbals that I have listed may be helpful for your dog. Choose only one at a time.  If you don't notice any improvement in 3 weeks on that herb then try another one.  All the herbs I have listed have some similarities and some subtle differences.  Please ask your vet if he or she can help you make some choices.  

1. Si Miao San-systemic anti-inflammatory
2. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San-back and neck pain
3. Xiao Chai Hu Tang-disk disease, hip dysplasia, balance problems
4. Xiao Huo Luo Dan- disk disease; lameness better with warmth; severe pain  
5. Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang-low back pain, hind limb weakness with spasm
6. You Gui Wan-hind limb problems with geriatric support
7. Zuo Gui Wan-hind limb problems with geriatric support
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll forward them to my Vet.

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