Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:45 pm Post subject: Steroids for leg problems?
My 10 year old pug Maggie has started slowing down considerably. I thought it was due to losing her buddy Tucker in Dec. but now I realize it's also due to some problems with her legs. I had her checked by the vet and he said her back legs are weak and it's probably spinal related. He put her on Deramaxx but I did not see much improvement. I've noticed now she always seems to hold the one back leg out at a weird angle when she's laying down. It looks quite uncomfortable. On his last message, the vet told me to try steroids. I have not yet picked them up. I have hesitations about this and need to read up. Can anyone tell me more about using this and if you think it could help? Won't it be temporary? I was also thinking about trying chiropractic.
Joined: Sep 19, 2007 Posts: 3527 Location: Tidewater Virginia
Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:13 pm Post subject: Re: Steroids for leg problems?
Have you asked your vet these questions? There may be specific reasons that your vet is prescribing steroids that we just don't know. I do know that steroids can reduce inflammation in joints, making the dog or person feel better. Write down specific questions and take them to your vet. They should make the time to answer all of your questions thoroughly.
On a different note, I would try a chiropractor or acupuncture. Perhaps in conjunction with medication, too. I know some pugs with arthritis that do really well with acunpuncture.
You could also look into an alternative vet. Someone who uses other therapies like Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, herbs, etc. to treat dogs. There could be foods that you could use with anti-inflammatory properties that might help Maggie without having to use steroids.
The University of Florida Vet school has done some research on foods that may help neurological diseases in dogs. Read this, print it and take it to your vet. The vet may be able to recommend certain additions to Maggie's food to help with inflammation in the joints.
Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:47 pm Post subject: Re: Steroids for leg problems?
Yes agree with allyzabethe.....ask your vet for specifics.....I am not a fan of just throwing steriods at an undiagnosed problem to see if it helps....firstly because steriods have side effects (yes more dangerous with long term use as opposed to short term)- but even short term can throw the immune system out of whack for a while....AND more importantly steriods can make some issues even worse-for example lyme disease. It is important in my book-to try very hard to get an accurate diagnosis of what exactly is causing the problem- before deciding on treatments (unfortunately- that route can be very costly). Without a definite diagnosis- I would feel comfortable trying acupuncture to see if there is any improvement. I personally prefer acupuncture over chiro work- only because in less skilled hands- chiro can cause more issues than it helps sometimes.....where as acupuncture can do no harm-even if done by someone not so skilled at it-the worst case scenerio is: it just doesn't help.
Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:52 am Post subject: Re: Steroids for leg problems?
Had xrays done and vet says there is no space between the middle vertebrae and mentioned herniated disc. I plan on trying the dose of steroids tomorrow. Any more thoughts on this specific problem? Tips on steroid use? She already has accidents and wants to eat all the time so I'm quite worried about this will go.
Joined: Oct 07, 2005 Posts: 2399 Location: Lilburn, GA
Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:25 pm Post subject: Re: Steroids for leg problems?
Well, it sounds like you know what to expect from the steroids. I'd get some pee pee pads or some bitch britches if it gets bad, or think about a baby gate across the kitchen so only the tile or linoleum gets it! The steriods seem to make mine thirsty, rather than hungry, but don't limit access to water. She will want it because she needs it!
As for the eating all the time, I use greenbeans to help with that. That way she will feel full from the bulk and not put on tons of unhealthy weight. I use canned no-salt added greenbeans and run them through the blender. I have found that feeding the beans whole can lead to excess pug-farts, and I get enough of them already! Then I put as much of that as I do kibble (still put normal amount of kibble) and it works great. Also works for dogs on seizure meds that are always starving.
Hope this helps Maggie. I know steroids are a tough choice to make and should not be taken lightly, but sometimes they are the best and quickest way to bring down swelling in the spinal cord area. Hopefully they will help her heal and then she can come off of them.
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