I have had "Sid" since he was 6 weeks old, and have never been away from him for more than a couple days at a time. He is the most loyal and loving friend/child/pet I have ever had. I absolutely consider him a member of my family and love him with all my heart. 5 days ago, my brother called me to say he had awoke to find Sid acting like he couldn't move his back legs. I told him to get him to the vet and I jetted home as quickly as I could. They were already back from the vet's office when i got hime. The doc said Sid has slipped a disc in his back & couldn't move him back legs or tail. BUT - he did yelp when the vet pinched the toes on his back legs. He prescribed Prednisolone and absolute rest for 3 weeks. Then he would refer me to a surgeon if necessary.
Needless to say, it has broken my heart more times than i can count to see my baby in pain, and I am wondering if there is anything else I can do for him. A good friend/fellow animal lover suggested giving him baby aspirin occassionaly if he seems like he's in pain, and that has seemed to help. He has lost control of his "potty" parts, but I have no problems cleaning him up and making sure I change his potty pad frequently.
I keep him as still as possible, but he comes to work with me now, so there are a few times I have to pick him up and change which side he is laying on, but I am always extremely careful with him and have begun giving him food and water through a plastic syringe/turkey baster. He has alway been a finicky eater, but seems moreso lately. On night #3 his back legs began to twicth, and if I gently touched a spot on his back his tail would move. This has stopped however. I can still see muscles twitching in his back legs, but there is no tail movement if I touch his back anymore. Something else that is troubling me...the day of the injury and for a couple days after he would still sit up. Now, (5 days later) all he wants to do is lay on one side or another. I am scared to death that I am doing or have done something to deter his recovery or even injure him even more.
I've seen some previous posts in here about this topic - and have took all the information I can from them. I am just hoping someone out there can shed a little more light on this for me. Am I wrong for moving him each day - would he be better off staying in one spot? Should I be giving him the baby aspirin? Why would his legs and tail move one day and then stop? Should I gently "force" him to eat?
If anyone out there has any suggestions - PLEASE let me know. I am desperate to help my baby. - Michelle
It's early days yet, since it's only 5 days since he was injured. I would definitely stop giving him the baby aspirin right now. I'm assuming he's not very big, and aspirin can easily be given in toxic doses to dogs. You would be far better off asking your vet for Rimadyl, for pain. Since your dog isn't eating well, the aspirin will be hard on his stomach and could cause an ulcer. I would be very cautious about the way you move him, and I'm sure you are. Just make sure you move him with his back aligned in a straight line, and don't let it curl.(just as straight as he lies normally.) I'm sorry to hear about the poor little guy's injury, but have faith,time really is of the essence here. I wish you both luck, and hope to hear good updates on him.
I ended up taking him to the vet around 3:00am. He was laying in his bed next to mine when I noticed he was having trouble breathing. It was like he had to exhale through his mouth. He was whimpering every time he took a breath and began "chomping" at the air.
I live in a small town & knew my vet wouldn't be in his office, so I googled for am emergency vet nearby. i finally got ahold of a Dr. in an emergency pet hospital who was a complete jerk. I was upset and crying but trying to explain to him the situation. After he told me to "slow down or he was hanging up" I told him I didn't care what the cost was, I wanted my dog looked at. So he said "What's your question for me?" I asked him what I should do, and he said "it sounds to me like he's dying and I doubt there's anything you or I can do about it." I asked again if he would just come in so he could look at him and he said "it's 3 in the morning and I live an hour away." So I kind of paused because I was completely shocked at his callousness when he asked "Is there anything else?" I hung up on him and DO plan on writing a letter to his office and encouraging EVERYONE I come into contact with to avoid him and his practice. If you live in the Husker state and would like his name, please send me amessage.
After that horrible conversation, I looked up my vet's personal number in the phone book (bad of me I know, but I HAD to get him some help). He agreed to meet me at his office shortly. Once there, he examined Sid and found that he had lost all feeling in his hind legs and back. He wasn't trying to stand up and seemed very lethargic, coupled with the breathing spells. His front legs were rigid and he seemed to be having seizures when he took a deep breath. The vet gave him some Penicilin as he was worried about an infection. He kept him overnight and said he would call me today. I was terrified that my baby wouldn't make it through the night.
I had my father call the vet this morning (because i become a blubbering mess when talking about this) and the prognosis is not good. The Dr is fairly sure that the disc in his back had completely ruptured, that he had contracted some kind of infection and it was now affecting his nervous system. He said he believes Sid has a brain leision. He was keeping him on the steroids plus antibiotics to see if he pulls through. I have made it very clear that as long as Sid can not be in pain, I would be more than willing to purchase a wheelchair and take care of him for the rest of his days.
So - where we stand now is, we're going to see how Sid is in the morning...and if it's not good - we have to "make a decision."
I don't know what to do. I have cried so much (as I am now) that I can't think straight - but the one thing I am absolutely sure of is that I don't want my dog in pain if he's never going to recover. And if I have to make the decision to let him go, I want the last thing he sees to be my face, so he will know how much he is and always will be loved by me. I want to go see him so bad as I dont want him to think I abandoned him - but the vet works out of the office alot, so I left him a message to let me know when he will be there.
What do I do? Should I accept this diagnosis? What if something I did or didn't do caused this? What if he's scared and alone... what if he does think I just left him there to die. I'm not looking for pity here, I just want to know how a dog in perfect health can go from a slipped disc to a brain leision and on death's door in less than a week???
Funnygal, I'm so sorry for your little dog's injury, and what you're going through. Your dog had a spinal injury, and if an infection ensued, since the whole central nervous system is connected, that could be why he has the brain lesion, or he may have had a stroke. Don't feel guilty about your care of your dog. It's plain to see how much you care for him. My advice is to go and see him, talk to the vet, and get him to explain everything to you; so that you understand his condition. I think you've done everything that you could possibly do, and his condition has nothing to do whatsoever with the way you treated him. I'm sorry that you may have to make such a hard decision, but your little dog knows how much you love him. Take care ((big hugs)) I will be hoping for the best, for you both.
O funnygal, I was tearing up reading your post. I am so sorry for your situation. I don't really have any advice to give, just my sympathies. Trust your heart and you will know what is the right decision for your dog. You have done nothing wrong and should not blame yourself for Sid's condition. Good luck and let us know any updates please.
I went to see him yesterday morning, and he just looked awful. The vet said he had been on a strong round of anti-biotics and sterroids for 48 straight hours and his condition had only deteriorated. I asked if I could hold him and went to pick him up. When I touched him, he was so cold. His eyes were partially open, but he wasn't moving at all. The vet said he was mystified at how quickly all of it happened and how Sid didn't seem to respond to anything he did. I held him close to he and he moved his head up to my face a couple times. I think he was trying to lick my cheek - that was his thing. I just kept telling him how much I loved him and what a good boy he was.
So, we made the decision to put him to rest. I told the vet I wanted to be there. He actually gave me a hug and agreed that I could be in the room when he gave Sid the gas to put him to sleep - but that he didn't think it was a good idea I was there when he gave the final injection. That was good enough for me, so i laid my baby on the table and bent down to his level. I watched his eyes and petted his face while I told him how much I loved him and I always will. I decided to have him cremated. I know this may sound weird to some people, but the thought of having his body hauled off or buried somewhere makes my stomach turn.
I asked the vet afterwards to explain to me what he thought had happened. He performed a mini-autopsy to see what he could find. Sid's bladder was "hard," so septicitis seemed like an option. He also said his kidneys were enlarged - so poisioning was also a possibility...which would mean it really wasn't even his back to begin with. Or - it could have been something that was laying latent in his system - and if it really WAS a slipped dics, the sterroids supressed his immune system enough to let it take hold. I don't know what to think. I can tell you that if someone poisioned my dog - I will go to the ends of the earth to hunt them down and make them pay. Since there was never a "moment of injury" or a time when Sid yelped or whined like he was in pain when the injury first presented, I am leaning towards the poisioning diagnosis. I would give anything to go back in time to make the vet do x-rays when he was first brought in.
My only adive to anyone is to make sure your vet gives your dog a THOUROUGH examination and finds out exactly what the problem is before you accept their diagnosis. I don't blame my vet for assuming Sid had a ruptured disc. 99% of any other times he's seen a doxie with the same symptoms as Sid's he would have been right. I should have taken my guy back to the vet after he didn't get better after a couple days - not waited until he was in respiratory distress.
Thank you both so much for your kind words on here. They really have hepled. The silver lining here is that I still have Sidney's son "Denzel" at home, and though he misses Sid too and has been looking for him, I know we'll eventually be ok. I'm just glad my baby isn't suffering anymore. It just sucks coming through the door at night and not seeing his face...not having him sleep next to me...not having him on the couch with me watching TV. I will always miss and love him more that I can explain.
Again, thank you both for your kind words. Do me a favor and go home and hug your pets a little longer for me tonight - because you never know when they might be gone. Treasure each moment you have with them.
Funnygal270, my heart goes out to you and I was so hoping this would'nt be the news that it is. That is a cruel blow to finally find out it may not have been the ruptured disk. I'm glad you have a little Sid; so that your house isn't totally empty, but I know that's no replacement. Once again, I'm so sorry for this rotten outcome, sending you ((big hugs)).
Funnygal: My husband and I love Dachshunds, and had two, Schnitzel 4 and Braut (brot) 3. One day I came home from work and when I picked him up he yelped. We had thought that our larger dog, a German Wire-Haired Pointer had stepped on him. Later that night I saw that he was walking "funny". I immediately called the vet, who even though it was well after office hours, came into the office to examine Braut. He told me that Braut had a slipped disk and gave him a steroid injection and anti-inflammatory injection, as well as these medication to give him at home. He told me to keep him very still, even putting him on a leash to "potty" so that he would not walk any further than necessary. This was on Monday. By Wednesday night he had not improved and had gotten worse, I called the Oklahoma State University Veterinary (training) Hospital on Thursday morning. The only words out of my mouth were, "Dacshund with a back injury" and I was interrupted and told to get him into a surgeon immediately. The cost -- $3,000. On Friday, we had an appointment with a surgeon that specializes in Dachshunds and back injuries for examination. By the time we got Braut into the surgeon's office at 7:30 a.m., he could no longer move his hind quarters and could not control his bladder or bowels. (There was another woman in the surgeon's office with a Dachshund with a slipped disk also) The surgeon did an MRI and found damage over a 5 disk area. There was nothing he could do. We had to make the decision to put him to sleep, as you did. We too had Braut cremated, and he sits on our shelf in our living room, next to our Rottweiler, Jake (whom we also had cremated 4 years earlier). I still cry every time I think or talk of Braut or Jake. They were both special, special joys in our lives.
We have found out that Dacshunds (as well as a few other small breeds, i.e., Min-Pins, Shih Tzus, and Miniature Poodles) are prone to slipped disks without any trauma -- it just happens -- and that immediate surgery is required. No ifs, ands or buts. The slipped disk not only causes the inability to move, but also causes other bodily functions to shut down. I am diligent and careful now with Schnitzel when we need her up to or down from a high level area, picking her up with both hands, supporting her whole body.
My heart goes out to you, as I have been through the heartbreak and know of what you are feeling. Just know that through you, Sid had a wonderful life and knew that he was loved.
Funnygal....Just read your posts and want to add my sympathies. We had a ten year old boxer who suddenly exhibited neck pain and was initially treated for a ruptured disc. When we saw that she could not be weaned from her pain meds we were sent to a specialist who ordered an MRI. It was a malignant spinal tumor and we had to make that awful decision. She was my first dog and I was devastated. I held her as she went to sleep and still cry everytime I remember that day. I never wanted to go through that again but my husband pushed and we welcomed another dog into our lives. I love our Reggie but will never forget my beautiful Roxy. This is a difficult time. I hope you find comfort in loving Denzel and in the words of others who understand what you are going through.
Funnygal, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I have a min. dach. and I went through what you did the first time with a better outcome, my Georgie made it. Then 3wks. ago it happened again and this time it was up in her neck. Right now she is walking, she still has a slight limp, but she is walking and that makes me feel so thankful. I had to stop her med. because of the diarhia she got. It was so very bad. I was so scared she was not going to get better this time. She still has a very. very long way to go yet, but at least she is not yelping every time she moves. In fact, it's been a few days since she's done that, but she's so sad looking all the time. It is breaking my heart to see her like this when she used to be all over the place, barking at animals on the TV & now she seems to care less, she just isn't my Georgie, YET!! I say yet because she is going to go back to being herself. She's got to!!!! Again I am so very sorry for your loss. I will say a prayer for both of you. Maria/marbar
Thank you all so much for your kindness. It's been awful, but I know now that at least Sid sin't in pain anymore. It's actually helped a lot to learn more about the nature of dauschund back injuries and how simple or complex they can be. I was having HUGE waves of guilt thinking that I had or hadn't done something to hurt him even more...now I'm at least 95% sure I didn't - but I think I will always question if i did everything I could.
BUT, I (we) have to go on. I have Denzel to look after and play with. Besides, Sid hated it when I was upset or crying - he would lay his head on my lap and growl at me until I petted him...lol.
For those of you that responded, THANK YOU so much. Your posts helped me tremendously, and continue to help me find my way through this process and figure out how my life works without my lil guy next to me. Even though I hate to think of anyone going through that kind of pain, knowing there are kind people out there like you all, and knowing that you have experienced similar things and have come through it...makes me feel better.
I SINCERELY hope your little girl gets better. I will definitely pray for a speedy and complete recovery for her. Again, thank you all so much. I wish you nothing but the best of luck with everything!
One thing I was wondering...is there any kind of brace for daschunds when they do something like this? A couple days before Sid passed away i was thinking about trying one of my old knee braces to help keep his back straight. It would have needed modifications of course to allow him to potty and not restrict his breathing, but that would at least help with making sure the back stays straight right?
I realize this topic is a couple of years old but I just wanted to briefly share a similar story about April, my mini dachshund. Same symptoms with the exception of reacting to a pinch test. She did yelp but absolutely could not walk. She would just drag her back legs behind her. I took her to urgent care the same day and was told she may need surgery if steroid shot didn't help in a few days. Three days went by and she still could not get up or walk so I took her to see a neurologist and they said they considered this to be an emergency and operated the same day after determining which disc had slipped. Now she is almost back to normal. The total cost was around $4,500. I was shocked at the cost but she was only 4 years old. I actually had to borrow the money but it was worth every dollar.