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I lost my 4 year old boxer this week and in the grieving process decided to check out the online information about boxers to help with the transition. We had experienced some health issues that I thought would be best shared in case they could be useful to someone in the future.

We have had experiences with many of the normal boxer issues. We found that dog foods or table scraps involving any kind of bird caused a highly undersirable level of flatulence. Early on we moved to a beef based food with a high level of protien which kept him very lean, muscular, and fit. Regular exercise was done both at home and at a great local doggy daycare where he could socialize, run, and swim with various breeds and play. We have Benedryl for his alergies in every car, camper, and backpack that we take with us. Alex had a love of chasing flies and bees that was insatiable, problem was he was very alergic to bee stings. I knew that joint problems and hip dysplasia were also common, so we had memory foam beds (4 of them in various parts of the house) from the beginning for comfort and support. On occasion, digestive problems would occur that required a visit to the vet to determine the cause and that is where this story really begins.

Alex was just over 4 and had been diagnosed with a severe case of Spondylosis at three and a half. Spondylosis is a degenerative disease of the spine. His vertebrae were fusing together and the scar tissue around the area cause discomfort and pain in the form of arthritis. Alex's diagnosis was by accident, we had gone for a digestive problem and the xrays brought his spinal condition to light. Alex had not shown signs of pain that we were aware of but the vet wanted us to take Rimadyl with us to help in times of discomfort.

This diagnosis led to a lot of research and made us almost paranoid when observing his daily routines in search of any discomfort that we might had previously missed. He just did not exhibit any of the signs the vet had warned us of and life continued for the next few months normally and without any pain medicine.

Suddenly one day, the pain was present and was present in a remarkable way. I'm not sure exactly the cause of the change, but he would look at a single step like it was a mountain and would not climb it. This began the Rimadyl as directed by the vet to help, but some days he would not want to or felt unable to get out of bed without significant pain. We were hoping that rest for a few days would help and I began to research more about his Spondylosis and possible treatments. We scheduled a visit to the vet and discussed our options. Alex began a series of injections with a drug called Adequan. This is a wonder drug. The treatments begins with 2 injections per week for 4 weeks, then monthly or as needed. The change and improvement in the first 2 doses was remarkable. His life was renewed, movement came easier, steps were no longer an issue, and he would RUN again outside. He had stopped going to daycare because of the pain and over the next 3 months I was thinking about sending him for a day again because he enjoyed it so much. Alex did have occasional pain and sometimes nights of discomfort where he had difficulty sleeping, and the Rimadyl was still available to help with those times. We were establishing a communication system with Alex to understand when he was uncomfortable and trying to keep him from over exerting himself (good luck with that).

One day we had been outside working in the yard and he had been out most of the day with us. Everything about the day was normal and routine. Shortly after we came inside for the evening, we noticed that Alex was dragging his left hind leg as if he could not control it. He exibited no pain, was not on any pain medication, and was acting normal except for the loss of control of this leg. I took him to the ER immediately to have him examined. In the 15 minute trip, he was now unable to use either of his hind legs and his anxiety level over this was noticeable. The ER took xrays and we discussed his Spondylosis condition. Their diagnosis was either a damage (ruptured or bulding disc) or a fibrocartilaginous embolism or FCE for short. The FCE is also referred to as a stroke of the spinal cord. Our options for recovery were limited and surgery on the spine was his best chance. An MRI on the spine would reveal more information and determine if surgery would be helpful. The closest facility capable of performing the MRI was a little more than an hour away, so he spent the night in the ER for monitoring. The next morning he was seen by the Neurological specialist and the MRI confirmed that Alex had suffered a FCE. The specialist assured me that the pre-existing Spondylosis did not contribute to or cause the FCE, it was just a random event or accident. I was told that normally, with physical therapy and treatment, recovery from this was good. In rare circumstances the FCE causes damage to the spine that then begins another condition and the spine litteraly starts to die, traveling in both directions from the point of injury. This rare condition is what we were facing. The spinal cord dying was slowly paralysing his entire body and would result in death in a couple of days. At this time we decided to make the hard decision to let him go.

We wouldn't trade our time together for anything and thought that sharing this experience may be helpful to others that are diagnosed with arthritic joints or Spondylosis as the Adequan injections really gave him a normal last few months.
 

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Thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry for you loss. You did everything you could and you made the right decision. Cherish the good times :)
 

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So sorry for your loss! Another dog lost much to soon. I had never heard of this?? In essence it sounds like a fast acting form of DM???

Boxers are beautiful, goofy, people loving dogs and they fill our lives with joy! But it seems that a lot of us when we bring a Boxer into our lives can be jumping on board the "Heartbreak Express!"

Sometimes... that train arrives at the station much to soon!

Next few days are going to be very hard on you and it's hard to believe now but it will get better with time.

Take Care of your self
 

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Thanks again for sharing this story. So difficult to lose a seemingly healthy fellow. I'm so sorry . Thanks you for sharing this with all of us.
 

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Thank you so much for sharing your story. How tragic. I'm so sorry for your loss :(
 

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I lost my 4 year old boxer this week and in the grieving process decided to check out the online information about boxers to help with the transition. We had experienced some health issues that I thought would be best shared in case they could be useful to someone in the future.

We have had experiences with many of the normal boxer issues. We found that dog foods or table scraps involving any kind of bird caused a highly undersirable level of flatulence. Early on we moved to a beef based food with a high level of protien which kept him very lean, muscular, and fit. Regular exercise was done both at home and at a great local doggy daycare where he could socialize, run, and swim with various breeds and play. We have Benedryl for his alergies in every car, camper, and backpack that we take with us. Alex had a love of chasing flies and bees that was insatiable, problem was he was very alergic to bee stings. I knew that joint problems and hip dysplasia were also common, so we had memory foam beds (4 of them in various parts of the house) from the beginning for comfort and support. On occasion, digestive problems would occur that required a visit to the vet to determine the cause and that is where this story really begins.

Alex was just over 4 and had been diagnosed with a severe case of Spondylosis at three and a half. Spondylosis is a degenerative disease of the spine. His vertebrae were fusing together and the scar tissue around the area cause discomfort and pain in the form of arthritis. Alex's diagnosis was by accident, we had gone for a digestive problem and the xrays brought his spinal condition to light. Alex had not shown signs of pain that we were aware of but the vet wanted us to take Rimadyl with us to help in times of discomfort.

This diagnosis led to a lot of research and made us almost paranoid when observing his daily routines in search of any discomfort that we might had previously missed. He just did not exhibit any of the signs the vet had warned us of and life continued for the next few months normally and without any pain medicine.

Suddenly one day, the pain was present and was present in a remarkable way. I'm not sure exactly the cause of the change, but he would look at a single step like it was a mountain and would not climb it. This began the Rimadyl as directed by the vet to help, but some days he would not want to or felt unable to get out of bed without significant pain. We were hoping that rest for a few days would help and I began to research more about his Spondylosis and possible treatments. We scheduled a visit to the vet and discussed our options. Alex began a series of injections with a drug called Adequan. This is a wonder drug. The treatments begins with 2 injections per week for 4 weeks, then monthly or as needed. The change and improvement in the first 2 doses was remarkable. His life was renewed, movement came easier, steps were no longer an issue, and he would RUN again outside. He had stopped going to daycare because of the pain and over the next 3 months I was thinking about sending him for a day again because he enjoyed it so much. Alex did have occasional pain and sometimes nights of discomfort where he had difficulty sleeping, and the Rimadyl was still available to help with those times. We were establishing a communication system with Alex to understand when he was uncomfortable and trying to keep him from over exerting himself (good luck with that).

One day we had been outside working in the yard and he had been out most of the day with us. Everything about the day was normal and routine. Shortly after we came inside for the evening, we noticed that Alex was dragging his left hind leg as if he could not control it. He exibited no pain, was not on any pain medication, and was acting normal except for the loss of control of this leg. I took him to the ER immediately to have him examined. In the 15 minute trip, he was now unable to use either of his hind legs and his anxiety level over this was noticeable. The ER took xrays and we discussed his Spondylosis condition. Their diagnosis was either a damage (ruptured or bulding disc) or a fibrocartilaginous embolism or FCE for short. The FCE is also referred to as a stroke of the spinal cord. Our options for recovery were limited and surgery on the spine was his best chance. An MRI on the spine would reveal more information and determine if surgery would be helpful. The closest facility capable of performing the MRI was a little more than an hour away, so he spent the night in the ER for monitoring. The next morning he was seen by the Neurological specialist and the MRI confirmed that Alex had suffered a FCE. The specialist assured me that the pre-existing Spondylosis did not contribute to or cause the FCE, it was just a random event or accident. I was told that normally, with physical therapy and treatment, recovery from this was good. In rare circumstances the FCE causes damage to the spine that then begins another condition and the spine litteraly starts to die, traveling in both directions from the point of injury. This rare condition is what we were facing. The spinal cord dying was slowly paralysing his entire body and would result in death in a couple of days. At this time we decided to make the hard decision to let him go.

We wouldn't trade our time together for anything and thought that sharing this experience may be helpful to others that are diagnosed with arthritic joints or Spondylosis as the Adequan injections really gave him a normal last few months.
I am really so sorry for your loss and to hear what Alex went thru, My Boxer Sandi 11 & 1/2 was diagnosed with Spondylosis today and my heart is broken But I'm being strong to go thru this till the end with her, I'll do anything to keep her happy and healthy and out of pain making the same hard desicion most dog owners have to do she is my first dog eve, she had given so much joy to my life. hoping to do whatever is best for her, including to be right next to her holding her when gives her last breath., I am the only family she ever met. Oh my baby girl
 

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Hi,
Thank you so much for the posting it is very useful and sad story. It is not too hard to imagine what kind of sadness you had gone through.

we have a 7 years old female boxer with the same disease and our hope is to find a cure to treat the dog. We are now on a diet as the dog has a couple of extra kg. The vet suggested that dog should lose weight so that the pressure on the back part of the spine will decrease, and physical activities should also be limited. So no running, no jumping etc, but it is really hard to handle a boxer without running and jumping. The vet gave us gabapentin for nerve pain, and we have been using it for about a month now, and the benefit of this medicine seems not working. In addition, our dog tends to lick her back legs and her back part which probably is a sign of pain, as also said so by the VET. Our dog sometimes cannot hold her pee and her pee drain from her place drop by drop for which the VET said nerve contraction is the reason for that, and gave rimadyl for two weeks. However, the pee problem is still on from time to time.

When we massage the dog, by not touching anywhere close to back side where the problem exists, it kind of sooth her and she feels better at least from her face less anxiety is being seen.

Do you guys have anything similar to that condition, or have you ever heard anyone having their boxer with the similar problems. We are waiting for suggestions and ready to hear your stories which could possibly help not just us but many others as well.
 

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Hi,
Thank you so much for the posting it is very useful and sad story. It is not too hard to imagine what kind of sadness you had gone through.

we have a 7 years old female boxer with the same disease and our hope is to find a cure to treat the dog. We are now on a diet as the dog has a couple of extra kg. The vet suggested that dog should lose weight so that the pressure on the back part of the spine will decrease, and physical activities should also be limited. So no running, no jumping etc, but it is really hard to handle a boxer without running and jumping. The vet gave us gabapentin for nerve pain, and we have been using it for about a month now, and the benefit of this medicine seems not working. In addition, our dog tends to lick her back legs and her back part which probably is a sign of pain, as also said so by the VET. Our dog sometimes cannot hold her pee and her pee drain from her place drop by drop for which the VET said nerve contraction is the reason for that, and gave rimadyl for two weeks. However, the pee problem is still on from time to time.

When we massage the dog, by not touching anywhere close to back side where the problem exists, it kind of sooth her and she feels better at least from her face less anxiety is being seen.

Do you guys have anything similar to that condition, or have you ever heard anyone having their boxer with the similar problems. We are waiting for suggestions and ready to hear your stories which could possibly help not just us but many others as well.
I just have a couple of suggestions may or may not be of help one is check with your Vet about adequan injections they do help with arthritic conditions and the other is for the urinary issue has she been checked for UTI? If she doesn't have one I would suggest maybe getting some bed pads they make for humans and putting them under her dog bed for leakage problems I used them for one of my dogs I had a couple of thinner beds I could wash all the time and put the pads under and washed the other bedding everyday. I am sorry you are going thru this but maybe another Vet would have some suggestions.
 

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First of all, thanks for the suggestions and concern. Here i need to give a little more details of what i have explained previously.
1- The pee leak is very limited lets say a few drops and that happens sometime once in two weeks or so.
2- Regarding UTI, urinate samples were tested twice and both were clear of any indications of a bad kidney.
3- Licking the legs might be related to the arthritic conditions but no vet really said so at least so far, and we have visited various VETs. But, that adequan injection is now under our radar to check with other vets.


Hopefully we will find a vet who can help us more.
 

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We had an older rescue dog at one time who later suffered from urine leakage on and off, her vet put her on proin, it worked .
 
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