Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

Greetings!I've been browsing the forum posts off and on for the last few weeks trying to find into on hind-end weakness and/or arthritis and am not finding what I'm looking for.

Bentley is our 10 year old male Irish Setter. He was surrendered at the approximate age of 3 years to a shelter and my husband found and adopted him after Bentley spent about 3 months in the shelter. Nothing is known about his life or health prior to his surrender. Bentley was in reasonable good health with the exception of stomach issues and poor coat. He was also understandably depressed in attitude. After several weeks with my husband, Bentley's demeanor improved significantly and his personality emerged! His stomach issues took almost a year to resolve and he has been doing very well on Taste of The Wild grain-free Pacific Stream which also seems to have improved his coat as well.

To say that Bentley is spoiled would be an understatement! He has his own side car motorcycle and LOVES going for rides. Four years ago we purchased a farmette and he now has a 12 acre hay field with a tree-lined border to play in. He has learned the perimeter of our property and thoroughly enjoys his "yard." He flushes the occasional pheasant, chases hawks and eagles and other birds as they fly over and once tried to "meet" three cranes that had taken up residence in our field for a week (he quickly changed his mind as they didn't respond well to his friendly advances.) We enjoy watching him zig-zag the field chasing down the scents of the deer, coyote, fox, rabbits and other creatures that have visited during the night.

Last summer we noticed that B was slowing down. He was still enthusiastic but he didn't run like he used to do and occasionally exhibited a limp the day after a particularly active day. We started adding glucosamine and MSM supplements to his food at that time. Last fall he seemed weaker so we took him to the vet who, after a brief exam, diagnosed him with reduced muscle mass in his hind legs secondary to arthritis. She put him on carprofen (an NSAID) 50 mg in the am and 75 in the pm. This seemed to help his discomfort and he was enjoying some "better" days but he continued to slow down. We then took him to another vet who did a thorough ortho exam and diagnosed arthritis specifically in his right front shoulder and right rear hip along with in his toes. His back was weaker as well. This vet put him on Deramaxx (deracoxib) 100mg once daily. He also sent us home with literature on everything from stem cell transplants to cold laser therapy to acupuncture. The new medication seems to be working better for him as well.

This summer Bentley's hind-end weakness continued to worsen. He has started slipping and falling when he moves too quickly on our kitchen linoleum floor. We're putting down throw rugs for better traction. He still loves to play in his field but his gait is like that of a bowlegged, old man with hip issues. He walks more and occasionally "canters". On bad days has trouble getting on the couch or making it up the stairs to the bedroom. When he has trouble walking we give him a dose or two of aspirin which seems to help a lot. We started acupuncture treatments and he has received one a week for the last three weeks now. He has three more sessions scheduled.

And so... after all that, I'd like to ask for others' experiences with similar problems. At what age did your IS have problems and what did you do for it? What worked, what didn't? Is this deterioration rate fast or do we need to accept this as inevitable and untreatable? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

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Thank you Silvia :-)

Best wishes to your brother's bracco!

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for the update. He has done incredibly well given that it has been a year since you posted about it. Sincerest thoughts & prayers that Bentley continues on for as long a life as possible. Best wishes.

I haven't posted on here for ages for various reasons.  I have my girl who was diagnosed with myleopathy when she was 7 years old and given no more than 9 months to live, which is the usual prognosis with this condition.  She was falling from her hind legs, also had laryngeal paralysis. She was in a bad way. The good news is - she is still here at 13 years old, with a great quality of life, she is in heart failure, but so far I am managing it for her by adjusting her medications,  but I have to accept that she could now just slip away at any time with her heart like this. How did we get here? lots coming up on my facebook blog Dog Tails - Human Tales and a new website which is still being developed but due to go live in the new year.

In a nutshell - right from the diagnosis stage. I accepted the diagnosis, which was made by some very eminent neurologists at Cambridge UK - but I didn't accept the prognosis that there was no cure and her disease terminal.  She was on a good raw food diet but still failing, so I asked why this was and researched as much as I could, and everything pointed back to absorption. This tied in with the gastro-intestinal issues she had suffered all her life.  I put digestive enzymes into her food (enzymes for dogs). Probiotics to provide good gut flora, krill oil as this is the safest and least polluted oil to get into a dog. She then started to turn the corner, and then over the course of about a year other problems including the laryngeal paralysis started to reverse.  To say that the vets are delighted is an understatement, and one of those involved in her original diagnosis in Cambridge is still in touch and just loves the fact that she is still with us and doing so well (apart from her now failing heart). But to make it to 13????  I have also reversed a lot of my own health problems using the same protocol, including the shrinkage of a tumour.  I know there is a nut case on ES who likes to jump in and criticize everything I have done - but what i would say to you nutter is - how the hell has my girl made it through to 13 when most - if not all other dogs with this condition would have died a l-o-n-g  time ago,  Fortunately since I first started writing about Tallulah's conditions on here so much more has happened in the alternative health area on human medicine and there are people all over the world by the millions now who are reversing diseases.  I have also been involved in courses with some of the worlds best functional medicine practitioners and applying all that I have learned to myself and my dog.  The old saying "you are what you eat" has been reframed in functional medicine now to "you are what you digest" or "you are what you absorb". And there I rest my case on how I pulled my girl back from the edge of certain death. I got her digesting properly and absorbing the good nutrients I was giving her which because of underlying dysbiosis - she was unable to absorb.  And to you anti raw feeding cruds on here who always hooted that if she was fed a "proper dried food she wouldn't have got into that mess" - whatever a proper????? dried food might be - no way. The science is now behind me.  ALL processed foods are causing diseases in dogs and humans alike. They are lacking nutrients, dehydrated by their very nature - alter gut mcrobiome which then affects digestability and the immune system, creating leaky gut/dysbiosis - so had I been feeding her a dry food and blindly accepted this was the "proper" way to feed - my girl would NOT still be here and enjoying a great quality of life at 13., and it would have been most unlikely that anything would have reversed.    If you cannot accept this - then tough. It's happened and your explanations don't and never have added up.   If other people want to learn more, help to reverse metabolic disease then either do your own research as I have. Find a good functional medicine practitioner, and or come onto Dog Tales - Human Tails on Facebook and await the launch of my website early in the new year to learn how to take control of your and your dogs health.     My motto - accept the diagnosis - but not the prognosis and that's always the best place to try and start finding a way forward.    One extra thing to note. I have used the word "reversed" deliberately. There are no cures. I have to bear in mind with my own condition and Tallulah's that the underlying disease is still there - so once I have found the protocol which works for me - her - then it's a lifestyle change.  So no - we won't be following anyone's advice to now start feeding "proper" processed foods, or cutting out enzymes and probiotics.  Also there are enymes/probiorics and enzymes/probiotics - nothing is quite that simple - hence the facebook page and new website, because getting the right one's is a minefield of marketing spins and false claims.  You need to learn what you are looking for.  Bye all. It's unlikely I will be back here again for quite some time due to some of the nutters still being around.

Hi Fran,

Thank you very much for posting the above. You never know when you might need it. I do hope you come back...I have no idea who you are talking about as I thought now on this site ,all members seem to behave in a very friendly manner. 

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