Tia

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Julieh
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Tia

Post by Julieh » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:30 pm

Thinking of you all and hoping everything goes well xx

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Hoonercat
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Re: Tia

Post by Hoonercat » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:26 pm

Thanks for the messages of support :thanks.gif: We got back from Belgium today with mixed news. Initially 3 herniated discs were found, one large one in the middle of Tia's back and 2 in her neck. However, on further inspection another 5 were found along her back. To add to this, she also has arthritic bone spurs on both front elbows smiley-sad010.gif

I had hoped that we would visit and the consultant would say 'there's the problem', operation and a few weeks recovery but it hasn't worked out as I'd have hoped. The consultant has said that operating is not an option at the moment because it is impossible to know which hernias are causing the loss of control of her back legs, this will only be apparent when paralysis sets in. She will be on anti-inflammatories and pain killers for the next 3 months and we should see a marked improvement in about 2 weeks time, as pressure on her spinal cord is relaxed she should regain more control of her back legs and lose the 'scrunched up' shape to her back.

There is a chance that her condition can be managed with medication and careful management but I feel that's based on a short life-span, plus long-term pain control and anti-inflammatories can come with their own set of problems so we have to monitor her carefully. She has had a form of gel injected into her front joints to help with the arthritis and of course the medication will also help along with supplements.

I'm feeling pretty guilty at the moment as the consultant said the large hernia has been there for some time. You ask yourself 'should I have known?'. She started slowing down about 18 months ago but I just put it down to her getting older - she'd spent the previous 9 years doing everything at 110%, take her for a 2 hour walk and she'd still play with every single dog who so much as hinted at being up for some fun. After a few months she began to have trouble keeping a firm footing on hard surfaces but it was only when she started to struggle sometimes with stairs that alarm bells rang. We had vet visits but it was always put down to a knock and anti-inflammatories were given, and while they helped a little it was beginning to look like an underlying issue was present. The problem was that she never showed any signs of pain, and 2 vets said she would if it was a disc problem so it was looking more like degenerative myelopathy, which has exactly the same symptons but without any pain and is incurable. She's been having acupuncture for the last 12 months which, despite my initial scepticism, really helped her mobility. Then about 5 weeks ago for the first time she showed signs of pain so the wheels were set in motion to get her to the clinic for assessment. Typical Staffie never complains until it's too late smiley-sad010.gif

So we have 3 months of careful management, short but frequent on-lead walks, no stairs, furniture or even playing with toys in the garden in case she rags them - if there is improvement with the meds one knock could set her back weeks. I also have to keep a video diary of her walking and send them to the consultant. The short walks won't be a problem as she's really struggled over the past week but her mind hasn't caught up with her body yet, she still tries to play with other dogs but then her legs go and she hobbles off looking really dejected smiley-sad010.gif

I have no idea if paralysis is an 'if' or 'when' and to be honest I don't want to know. I got the impression that it will happen at some point but the coward in me didn't want to ask the question as that would mean having to ask myself whether I could sit by and watch her reach that point. So for now we'll just hope the meds do their job and we'll make the most of the time she has, we can worry about the hard questions when that time comes

Julieh
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Tia

Post by Julieh » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:52 pm

Really feel for you, the worry is horrendous. I've been on so many forums since Billy ruptured his disc and there are many dogs out there with the same issue, and they are doing the same as you and having really positive outcomes., so hang in there. Not easy I know , I feel like I'm walking on eggshells in case it happens somewhere else.
But that's because we care so much , big hugs for you and Tiaxxx

xxlynne
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Re: Tia

Post by xxlynne » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:25 pm

Sadly it seems this is the way Tia's little body is ageing. Its taken vets time to awake up to her problem, and as so often we catch up with life or/ and life catches up with us. It is the wonders of medical science that you are now able to come to terms with a clear diagnosis and to obviously be under the care of a dedicated vet team who want to stay involved and guide, and help as they can. You have a very clear image of her needs; what aggravates; assists her, and are able to assist her pain relief in different ways. Dear Tia is an elderly person now and she has to slow down a little bless her. It is always better to gain a correct diagnosis even if there isnt a miracle cure to take it all away and or put us back to how we were.

As with our elderly treasures every day takes on very special importance. The love you feel for Tia is intense to being painful at such times but she is your partner and true friend and will be for a while to come. Sad news but a much better understanding and much better for Tia that you now truly understand where her pain is coming from. Thinking of you both.

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staffylevi
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Location: Hertford

Re: Tia

Post by staffylevi » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:24 pm

Oh John I feel for you... Sonny had degenerative myelopathy and it's hard, bloody hard to watch your bestest bud go through something like that... but you know our staffies are made of stern stuff and never complain ... Tia is a little cracker and a tough cookie. Thinking of you both! xx
Doin' it for the staffies ...

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nina
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Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:02 pm

Re: Tia

Post by nina » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:19 am

Hi thanks for sharing all about Tia John. It's really tough as they get older and yes it's so easy to feel guilty or to think you should have done something or seen something sooner, I still have those thoughts about my Bessie.

You obviously adore her and are doing everything in your power to make her life the best, she's very lucky.

Oh and very gorgeous too love4.gif

MandaTK
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:09 pm

Re: Tia

Post by MandaTK » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:59 am

Thinking of gorgeous Tia and of you and your family John. I so hope Tia does manage to improve. She knows she is loved to the moon and back by you and all at RR. xxxxx love4.gif love4.gif

Pegmilly
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Re: Tia

Post by Pegmilly » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:18 am

I hope the meds and new exercise regime keep Tia happy and comfortable for as long as is possible. I too wouldn't have asked or wanted to know the hard question or answer. 'Tia is very obviously much loved by you and your family - when the time comes you will know but that could be a month, a year, five years so just enjoy her as you've always done. 'Tia is a shining ambassador for her breed and does so much to expel the aggressive bully breed myth - and I hope she does so for many years to come. Xx

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Hoonercat
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Re: Tia

Post by Hoonercat » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:26 pm

Tia was really down in the dumps all the way back from Belgium on Tuesday, but as soon as she sniffed that we were close to him she brightened up and it wasn't long before she was back to her normal chatty self. I have to say it's very easy to forget yourself when she comes running up with a ball in her mouth, instinct says grab it and play then you remember that you shouldn't in case she tries to tug it.


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Tia is doing really well, the length of her walks has been cut right back and all rope toys put away. She is allowed to have a kong and a tennis ball but only when I'm watching her - we seem to have discovered an endless supply of kongs and tennis balls, long thought lost but obviously just hidden away under various bushes :D
We have a great walking routine, get in the car and drive for 2 minutes (so we avoid pavement walking) to a field where a 5 minute walk brings us to a stream (her favourite). We spend about 30-50 minutes just relaxing (depending on time of day), Tia is allowed to potter round the stream, explore etc and I bring some dry food (having cut down her breakfast) to scatter now and then to keep her mind busy and free of any stick-like thoughts :D Then a 5 minute walk back to the car. We're usually out for about an hour each time (1.5 hours today) which gives her the impression that we're still having long walks when she's really only getting a few minutes. Now that the lighter evening are here I'll be able to continue doing this once back to work. The lack of having a ball to chase does seem to be turning her attention to other potential sources of fun though


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Enjoying the stream
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Snuffling in the grass for her dry food
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Relaxing in the sun
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On the scrounge for more food :D
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She has been a bit perplexed at the lack of playtime. We've spent hours in the garden and Tia thinks garden = play and has told me off a few times for ignoring her attempts to get me to throw her ball or kong. Yesterday I was mowing the lawns while ignoring the 'please throw my ball' face, so she began to drop the ball directly in the path of the lawnmower, assuming I would kick it out of the way so she could chase it. Each time I just picked the ball up and placed it to my side, she makes some very funny noises of frustration :D but eventually got bored and went off to chew her kong.

She's snoring away on the sofa now (courtesy of her dog ramp), the first time she's slept all day.

Julieh
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Tia

Post by Julieh » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:50 pm

Bless her heart, she sounds like she's having a wonderful time , it may be a little different than before , but just as wonderful .
Can I ask where you got your ramp from , my husband has made a make shift one for the steps in the garden but I think I'll need to get one for when Billy's allowed to walk a bit more for the settee.:-)

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