Maggie Porkchop and Bubba avatar image

Lumbosacral Stenosis

Our 10 year old bulldog was just diagnosed with lumbosacral stenosis. It started out by my noticing she seemed to have a problem with her right rear leg. After xrays by our vet this was the diagnosis. She has been on prednisone since her diagnosis. She will contining taking it every other day for the remainder of her life. Does anyone else have experience with this problem. Please share what happened and how it was treated. We were offered a referral to a specialist for a MRI but was told the treatment plan would remain unchanged that nothing else can be offered because of her age.

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Maggie Porkchop and Bubba

I would opt for the MRI for definite diagnosis.

An xray will not show much it will show bone.  Since this has to do with the spinal column and nerves CT or MRI best bet shows soft tissue.  Then again you may not want to spend the money on an MRI if surgery is not an option.  I know stenosis in people can be pretty painful.  Pain medication might be an option also.

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My recommendation

As you can see from my post from a few days ago, “Surgery for slipped/herniated disk,” our nine year old bully is dealing with spinal cord issues.  He had an MRI 3-4 weeks ago and spinal surgery five days ago.  After the MRI we opted not to have surgery because he had use of his leg; however, last week it significantly got worse and he lost all function of the right leg and began to have problems with the left leg.

Your vet’s recommendations concern me for several reasons: (1) disk problems cannot be diagnosed with an X-Ray, you need and MRI, (2) prednisone should not be used long-term because it can have bad side effects, and (3) disk issues can cause pain.  Has your vet mentioned using pain meds such as gabapentin? Gabapentin is typically used for pain management associated with slipped/herniated disks. 

If your bully is getting around OK, I would hold off on the MRI.  If I were you, I would have her evaluated by a neurologist to discuss how to manage the issue with medications (i.e., short term use of prednisone and long-term use of pain meds).  

Brett

Deborah and the NC gang's picture

no experience but if

you are giving prednisone you should give milk thistle to help with liver functions...i give my guys that daily which helps out...

Cali girl's picture

My experience with this...

Was with our Rottie. She was a rescue off the streets and we didn't know her history or her real age. A year or so after she came to live with us, out of the blue she was in extreme pain and was not wanting to walk. She would cry getting up or moving really. Our vet kept her for a few days and sent her home with a Fentanyl patch. She had a horrible reaction to it and we pulled it off in the middle of the night. Next day we were sent to a teaching vet clinic where they did an MRI and diagnosed her with the stenosis..they were talking surgery but wanted to try a new medicine on her. When we left her, she was so pitiful looking. Couldn't walk and hurting so much. We arrived the next day and were shocked to see her doing so well. One dose of Gabapentin and she was pain free and moving freely. After more tests, it was determined she was not a candidate for surgery and we opted for accupuncture and the continued use of Gabapentin, along with Robaxin. The Gabapentin is a neurol blocker that doesn't let the brain and nerve endings send pain signals. It is used in humans for epilepsy and other things. Since then, Gabapentin has become pretty widely accepted and used for back and spinal issues in dogs. It does need to be given regularly in irder to maintain the blocking. It's not horribly expensive and if I were you, I would definitely try it. Sorry for the long explanation..but it's so much better than steroids and has very few side effects.