Nicole S wrote:
...At this point in time they have her on pain killers and steroids and on bed rest. They say that doing surgey isn't really an option so she'll be on steroids from here on out.
I can't believe that at almost six she has this!
I'll throw this out there in case it's something that helps. If my vet was telling me it was steroids from here on out I'd be seeing what other opinions I could find. I've had a dog with Cushings (not caused by steroids but long term use of steroids will cause it and the result is about the same...not fun at all) and would do anything I could to avoid that one. Please, if you can, get another opinion from someone who has experience with other approaches to see what you can find before subjecting Bailey to steroids long term. No point in pulling out the big guns if there are other things you can try first IMO.
Just a week or so ago one of the local pet shops here ran a free 'see the vet' and had a holistic vet in to do some consultations for people. I took Eb who blew her knee (ACL) in Feb just to see what approach she might take (so far the vets she's seen here (I don't have a regular one yet as we're new here) want to operate etc but so far she is doing just fine without it). She noted some calcium buildup around the joint (typical for an injury) and told me the Glucosamine I have been giving her was okay, but she had something better that would help keep the calcium from building up. If memory serves, it may even help reduce some of it. It's called Bio ISO G and I don't know if it's available where you are or appropriate for Bailey's problem but I am mentioning it as an example of how alternatives are worth trying (I just started Eb so can't say how it works yet).
I can also tell you that I have calcium buildup in my back and it hurts like crazy sometimes but just taking Glucosamine and going to a chiropractor when I need to helps more than any drugs or painkillers doctors have given me. I was literally drugged senseless and nearly ruined my liver from the drugs before discovering Glucosamine. It really works and you can get it with MSM included which is good for inflammation. It takes about 3 weeks to see and feel the effects but I can tell you I started taking it after giving it to my last dog and seeing how after a couple of weeks, she just was moving like her old self again. I can only describe it as feeling like my joints and back got oiled and started moving smoothly again which is, I assume the same for the dogs.
The other thing that truly helps me stave off pain from my back is avoiding sugars and starches. Strange but true, and I imagine it probably helps dogs too since they weren't built to eat the stuff either. If I eat sugar in any form or starch I can count on 3 days of pain. Never fails and still has me wondering why but it's obvious now to me that is a factor.
So, all this just in hopes there may be some other things you can try from diet to supplements to other treatments rather than resigning yourself to giving Bailey steroids. I'd only accept that treatment as a last resort.