About 78% of all dachshunds who display symptoms of back problems recover without surgery. It does however take a lot of nursing care from the owners. First and foremost cage rest! We here excuse after excuse as to why owners "cannot" cage their dog..... it's more like... will not. They may cry, and beg to get out but if you want to help them, ignore them. If your dog still refuses to keep quiet and calm your vet can prescribe a sedative such as acepromazine. Cage rest means just that, no going outside and allowed to chase squirrels, or running with the other pets. Unless you have been given the ok by your vet. It's very upsetting when we do call backs and hear that your dog is feeling sooo good that he/she was running around the yard. Your dogs are on medications which make them feel better, and unlike their human owners they don't comprehend "feeling" better and actually being better.
In many cases the long term cage rest is due to availability of funds; which is completly fine. But if you are trying to avoid refinancing your house then stick with the medical suggestions your vet has made. No one knows your pet better than you, but no one wants to euthanize your dog because you couldn't keep them cage rested either. (I hate for that to sound that way, but this is how we feel, honestly)
In most cases just two weeks of cage rest and meds will do, but if your dog has lost bladder control and use of the back legs you may be in for a lot more time.
In surgical cases time is of the essence, the longer the disc material presses against the spinal cord the more damage it does. Your dog can go from walking to not walking overnight. Durning that time they start to loose nerve impulses, the last is deep pain, which is bone pain. This is tested by pinching the dogs toes and watching for a response. A withdrawl is not a "real" response, it is a reflex. Deep pain response is dialation of pupils, crying, if the dog is panting it may stop, they even turn to look at you or the toe you are pinching.
If a neurological exam determines the dog may need surgery they will undergo a procedure to determine where the herniation is. Either a myelogram (dye study of the spinal colum) or MRI can determine this. Spinal x-rays cannot and are generally not helpful to a neurologist. Myelograms generally can take from 30 minutes to an hour start to finish depending on the size of he dog and how well the dye flows through the colum. MRI take significantly less time, but in most cases they are not always accessible. Surgery is usually performed in the same day, they animal goes from myelogram to the OR. Depending on your surgeon it could be another hour. The process is quite simple, locate the lesion, clear it out and get out.
Expect you dog to stay overnight at least for 24-48 hours depending on the extend of the lesion, and their condition prior to surgery. After surgery you will be required to keep your dog on STRICT cage rest for 2-3 weeks. This means carrying them outside to potty and right back to the cage.
Picking a surgeon. It is my personal experience that I would recommend you find a neurologist/neurosurgeon instead of a general surgeon. no offence to the good ones out there, but they tend to cut corners. Dr. Chauvet (the neurologist I worked for) was adament about fenestration. Fenestrate means window, and it is when the surgeon creates windows in the discs above and below the herniation, this process helps in the event of a second herniation. If that happens the disk has a place to go and is directed away from the spinal cord. If you choose to go with a general surgeon ask if they do this, if not, ask why, and if they will, or can. Consider a university for the surgery, but don't expect it to be much cheaper than a neurologist :)
you can expect to pay between 3000 and 3500 for the myelogram, surgery, medications and nursing care. That was the basic cost where I worked. Depending on the area you live in it could be more or less, but in this type of case (it kills me to say this) I would go with a higher estimate. This is not something you want to bargain with.
be prepared to go home with lots to do! If your dog has lost bladder control, you will either need to catheterize (if a male) or manually express the bladder. depending on how long you have to do this you may have to deal with UTI because even with catheterization or expressing you cannot fully empty the bladder, and so urine stays trapped inside causing infection. After two weeks you will have rehab homework, excercises that consist of weight bearing, massage, and range of motion. This is all very important because it helps retrain the nerves that were damaged from the herniation.
It's a tough road, and it requires determination. I hope this helps and the info isn't too overwhelming. If you have any more questions just ask! Dr. Chauvet has a website with some information..... www.petneuro.com
I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and if I can't answer them I will find someone who can lol.
Thank you for the post. My mini doxie just got out of surgery and has yet to regain use in his legs. I hope this changes soon. I know he will need cage rest for a long time. He should be comming home tomorrow; other than no running (or attemping), jumpping etc. anything you suggest I do to help him? I will be taking a week off so I can be there 24/7 his first week out to help him.
Generally the vet who did the surgery will send you home with rehab exercises. They can range from massage/range of motion, to swiming (after stitches come out) For a dachshund I recomend a baby pool, this time of year they can be hard to find, but in some cases your local walmart, or dollar store may have them stashed in the back :) so just ask. The bathtub is alright, but it's hard to manage them in beacuse they can only swin in one direction and cannot really turn around (unless you have a whirlpool, and in that case I'm coming over lol). Also with a weenie who is completly paralyzed the baby pool is a great cage. When I worked in neurology I would occassionally bring home a weekender or two post op. I kept the "down" babies in the pool because it was easy maintenence when it came to potty accidents. They also cannot get out. Also portable cribs (pack 'n' play) can be used as well, they aren't as closed in so your dog doesn't get too closterphobic.
As far as other rehab exercises, we usually recommend the massage and Range of motion first (this helps to make up and stimulate muscle and blood flow) so always start and end your rehab with massage at the very least. I beleive Dr.Chauvet has some rehab videos on her website (www.petneuro.com) they give a better example and explaination than I can over the net lol. As I said before though, your surgeon should give you post op instructions. Some facilities offer their own rehab (it can be costly) but well worth it.
I used to do the post op rehab for Dr.Chauvet. Underwater treadmill, land treadmill, the whole nine yards. It's tough work and takes a lot of determination on your part. Time, time, time is the most important thing to remember. I hope this helps, and again ask away I am more than happy to help!
Back problems are common in long-bodied dogs like the Dachshund. Massage away the trigger points. To relieve temporary pain and inflammation, treat it with ice. If the back problem is long-term and unaccompanied by inflammation, a hot pack or heating pad will relax muscles and relieve painful stiffness. Protect joints and connective tissue. Watch your dog's weight. Keep the dog moving. Magnetize it. A back problem that causes paralysis of the hind legs is an emergency, so get your pet to the vet immediately! Their backs provide relatively little support for their spines, which can make them more prone to injuries, such as herniated disks and subluxations. When a dog has a back problem, nature has a method of stabilizing it. (This is usually for new injuries, not a chronic condition.) Both heat and cold can be applied three times per day. Glucosamine can heal the tissue fibers between the vertebrae. Extra pounds put extra pressure on the spine. Most vets will recommend that pets with back problems stay immobile until it heals. Any back problem is potentially serious, and can be recognized by the following symptoms: hunching of shoulders, neck or back; trouble moving; crying when being petted or when picked up; limping; or wobbly back-end.
My dachshund Huxley had surgery on his back on Wednesday. The surgeon told me that she would call me on thursday to tell me if he had regained feeling in his legs. When she called on Thursday she told me that not only does he have feeling, but he had recovered beautifully and is already able to walk! She also told me that he can come home that day! So a day after surgery we picked him up and brought him home. He can walk 'drunkingly' and goes to the washroom by himself. The vet told me that is was good to let him walk around a bit but I am frightened of havng his excellent recovery turn around. I have read that post-op a dog should be crate rested for up to two weeks. Is this the case? or should I be encouraging him to walk a little (i.e. around the room)? Also, in makes sense but I get nervous, his back is still a little swollen along the seam.
My 3 1/2 yr old dachshund,Ginger, had back surgery for a burst disk a month and a half ago. The doc went in there and did something to the surrounding disks to prevent future problems. She recovered extremely fast and we made some serious changes around our house to keep her safe. This meant no stairs, no sleeping in our bed, no couch, etc. Well, this morning her back legs were immobile again. The doc semi-examined her and said it was another slipped disk and she needed another surgery. We cannot afford another $3,000.00 surgery so he prescribed us a steriod treatment for two weeks in hopes this will correct it. Anyone have any advice on what to do? I trust my vet but when is it enough and too much on my pet?
I have a mini dachshund who is going thru back problems herself. She started walking around in a circle and hen just not want to walk at all. I took her to the vet and she told me that she had a dics that had a calcium deposite on it and that was causing her the pain. Sassy was given pain meds along with an anti innflamitory medicine. She has started to show improvements in just a day and a half, but no jumping, no stairs, and lots of rest. She has to go back and the vet is going to do accupuncture on her. I hpoe that it works.
I have a beautiful mini dachshund who hurt his back a week ago. We realised something was wrong when we got home from work. His little body was so stiff and he walked slowly.
We took him to the vet and he diagnosed a herniated disc and prescribed anti-inflammatories and prednisone and a morphine injection for pain. They didnt think it was too bad and said he had a good chance of recovery.
Caging him has been traumatic for him and us, and every day so far he has got progessively worse. Its been 1 and a half weeks now. We have made numerous trips to the vet. We spoke about the operation option, but they didnt seem keen to go that route. We were given medicine in case he got tummy ulcers and medicine to help the tummy work.
Earlier in this week, when it lookd like he was not making any progress, the vet doubled the prednisone dosage.
Yesterday I noticed he cannot stand anymore. He still urinates on his own and tummy still works. If I help him stand to urinate I notice that one leg is weak but still trying. The other is limp. Tail still wags. But if I leave him he will try and move by dragging his body around.
When is it too late to try the surgery option, because I'm thinking if nothing else has helped up to now, maybe we should go that route? Or am I too impatient? Can they come back from paralysis like this on just the prednisone and weeks of cage rest?
My little Dachshund is having surgery on his back as I type this. I have been a nervous wreck so I thought I would do some research. There were no warning signs, it just came all the sudden. First indication something was wrong was him yelping when I went to pick him up. I noticed he wasn't following me around like he normally does. This was around 8 Saturday evening. He was walking fine so I thought maybe he just hurt his paw in the yard or something, although I could not pinpoint his pain when I was pushing around. Just when I would lift him he would yelp a little bit. That was around 8 Saturday night, woke up Sunday morning and noticed he was dragging his right hind leg and was walking wobbly. Took him to the vet around 8 a.m. they gave him a strong injection via IV and sent us home. Said he may not get better right away but he should not get worse and if he does get him in right away. It took him a while to come out of the anesthesia, about 5 or 6 hours. I actually had to put him on a heating pad with hot water bottles to raise his temp to help metabolize the anesthesia. It was 99. After about 45 minutes of his temp being 101.5, he got up to take his first few steps and could not walk. He was dragging both legs. His appetite was good, he wanted water, but he would not use the restroom and could only drag his hind legs. It's now around 9 p.m. same day, took him back to the vet and he was showing "deep pain" and good "anal tone" (these are all terms you will become familiar with during this process) but both legs were paralyzed. I was told he needed surgery right away, the faster the better. Less damage is done. Since he did not respond well to the medical method they didn't think I should waste any more time. Also, the sooner the surgery, the best chances for recovery which are around 80-85 percent, from what the Dr.'s have said. Anyway, I am waiting for the call from the surgeon now to let me know how Jackís surgery went. When faced with the options, I guess I decided with the high rate of success it was worth the try. If the success rate was much lower I canít say that I would have made the same decision. There is a lot of recovery, from the way it sounds and although my dog means the world to me, I have a very busy schedule, one child going to college this year and another right behind and living on a budget so I had to look at this realistically. The cost of surgery is around 3500 and already spent 500 in one day of ER visits. I ended up driving 2 hours away and back in pee soaked clothing at 2 this morning to a well known surgeon who specializes in these types of surgery. Yeah, never thought I would be so happy to have my dog pee a on me Ė yuck I know, however because he was able to go it was a good sign Ė might be good information for someone to know, got back home at 5:30 this morning. Had to be to work at 8 am, and so here I am at work searching for any information I can to give me piece of mind waiting on the call. Iím not sure if I made the right decision or not. I will keep anyone interested posted. I know this came on very sudden, all in one day and has taken me by surprise so I figure if this little blog helps anyone else thatís good, and if not, well Ė it has helped me vent a bit anyway. Thank you for listening!
I will add one more thing. In making my decision, from a finacial aspect, I took into considerat the amount I could be spending taking him for injections, vet visits and all of that and thought if spent 500 in one day, i could be spending more than the surgery itself. In my case, because both legs were paralyzed I didn't want to play the waiting game with the meds only to find out they were not working. I will still be waiting to see how recovery goes but I just felt I could be saving myself financially as well. Kind of hard to think about at a time like this but in most cases anyway in the big picture its a pretty big part of the decision making process.
I just thought i would pst some info on my little dog and his back to help you owners worry less.
Dillon is nearly 9 now and in 2008 we noticed he was upset and wasn't walking. We took him straight to the vets (who had daxies himself) and he told us it was the discs in his back. After being xrayed and put onsteriods and muscle relaxers our little pooch was still feeling bad. We left him in over night he was that bad. When we brought him home he lost all ocntrol over his body. He culdn't walk, had no control over his bowel movement and was just not acting himself. We bought a cage and rested him four 6 weeks solid. The only time he came out was for the toilet. Two months later and dill was back up and running around like he normally did.
We thought that was the end of it until 6 months later when it happened again, all the same symptoms so we put him straight into the cage and back to the vets. After more xrays it showed he had 4 discs ready to rupture and it didn't look good. The vet advised not to operate as it was only a 60% chance it would work so we persisted with the cage and medication. Again a full recovery from our dog and he was back and running within 2 months.
This happened agan 2 weeks ago but h is still in control of the toilet area. Dill is still wagging his tail, crying with excitement when you walk through the door and is still eating his food. The only problem is so far we haven't seen an improvement. We took him back to the vets last night but this time saw a different one who was harsh and straight to the point. She advised to put him down as it's cruel to him. I don't know whether we are being selfish but my mum and me feel dill isn't readyfor that yet? He's still the same personality but just can't move very well. I've searched and searched and searched the internet for other ways around this but the only thing i can find is slings and wheel chairs. Someone said the give him vitamin c but apart from that we are stuck. Please if anyone has any ideas send them to me asap!!
For all of you who's dog's are going through this for the first tie, don't panick yet! It can take upto 6 monthsfor their back's to heal so just persist with the cage rest, medicines and plenty of attention!
My mini dachshund has been dragging his hind legs at times; usually coming out his kennel, so I always thought it was because he was stretching on his way out. (I've mentioned it to the vet and she did not seem concerned.) This week, I've noticed that he is sitting to one side when he sits down, instead of sitting normally. I felt his back, he didn't yelp or pull away, but when I got to a certain spot, he turned around and began licking and biting at the spot and wiggled away from me. When he's running around, he seems to be hopping with his back legs instead of running with them.
He is still running around, chasing after toys, so he's not lethargic, and he seems to be in a good mood. His appetite has been okay, some days he doesn't eat as much and he had a bout of diarrhea earlier in this week. I'm not sure exactly what to do because I cannot take him to the vet until Monday; I have to go out of town for work this weekend. (I did make an appointment for Monday though and my boyfriend has agreed to stay with him the entire weekend.)
Is there any suggestions, has anyone else seen these signs in their dogs? Should I keep him crated and only out for potty breaks? I want to nip this problem asap and make sure it doesn't turn into a huge problem now.
Our mini Dachshund, Chloe started getting paresis last night in her left leg and this AM in both legs. We took her to the vet yesterday during the day and after $300+ had no diagnosis. She wouldn't pee for them and they wanted a urinalysis too. Well, we were up with her all night. Then this morning we took her back to the vet because she has paresis in both hind-legs. The doctor wanted us to get an x-ray, which my husband who had back surgery knows you wouldn't be able to see much (waste of $150 dollars), and then a MRI and possibly surgery. I am a teacher and my husband owns his own photography business. We are not made of money and cannot afford all of that. We talked the vet into giving her a steroid shot w/o the xray, anti-inflammatory meds, antibiotic for a UTI, muscle relaxers, and stomach coating pill so she doesn't get ulcers ($165 later). We are not allowing her to do anything but rest. After a couple days we are going to cage her for a couple weeks. I have had to express her bladder 3x and her bowels 1x today.
Description of Chloe: 4 years old 9lbs Female Fixed at 4 mo The sweetest dog in the world and our baby!
My 3 yr old baby, Jet is currently at the vet's office recovering from surgery. About 2 weeks ago we had went on a trip, and when we came back she started yelping when she went down the steps outside. I immediately took her to the vet, where they diagnosed her with a sprained elbow. A few days later, she wasn't getting any better so I took her to the ER vet and they said she had a herniated disk in her neck. They have her tramadol for the pain. 2 days later, she started having diarrhea and not wanting to eat, so I took her back to the vet, and they said she had stress colitis. She was having blood in her stool too. This past Friday, I took her to a specialist because she was not getting any better, and my vet said surgery was the only fix for her. They gave me the option to cage rest her for 6 weeks, or do the surgery. I was debating back and forth, because they quoted the surgery $3500-$4200. It's just me working a not so high paying job, and I can't afford it, so I was going to wait. Unfortunately, the decision was made for me. Friday night she lost the ability to move her back legs. I rushed her to the ER, where they kept her under pain mgt. She had surgery yesterday morning and had 2 ruptured disk in her lower back. The surgeon says this could possibly happen again, because she has more calcified disks. Since it's the weekend, this has turned into an emergency situation so now the price has went to $4200-$5400. Not sure what I'm going to do, but did not want to put her down. that was never an option. I am so afraid she will not be able to walk again, that is my biggest fear!! I'm waiting on the vet to call me for an update on how she is doing. It makes me so sad that I caused this by letter her jump occasionally or take the stairs every now and then. I'm hoping to get her home soon so I can take care of her. We have a LONG road ahead of us.
hello my nini wie haired daschund sceamed in pain when picked up for no apparent reason we took him to vets as was told he may have pancratites but a few days later he started to drag his back legs an could not walk properly we took him back they did spine xrays and he has one disc displaced he was prescribed prednisolone and benerva and told to get plenty of rest its now a week later he is back on his feet all be it very gingerly he as control of his toiletries however still cannot hold the position unaccompanied he is eating well and very good in spirit but this looks like being a long road to recovery he is only 8 so hopfully a good few years left in him although it is heart breaking to see him this way as he usually spends his days running around the garen barking from morning until night as anyone any idea how long it takes to recover from this
Hi my name is Trina I am new to this board, I want everyone out there to know about this "medication" called cp7 the website to go to is dogparalysis.com if you have a doxie that is having back trouble. I was led to to this site through lots of prayer when my little weenie ruptured a disc and was paralyzed in both back legs, it was horrible!but I found this cp7 after going to the vet and she recieved a total of 4 prdnizone shots then I started her on cp7 after 3 doses she was walking! a little wobbly but walking! that was back in november of '09 she is now PRAISE GOD doing great!!!! she is back to running back to house after potting like a little greyhound lol i have to tell her "SLOW DOWN!" we did lots of crate rest for several months only coming out to go potty at first then graduslly to walk around the house for a little while. she is now back to normal I still am very careful with her, no jumping I very rarely pick her up, when I do i always support her tummy and chest at the same time to keep her back even! If you are going through this please go to dogparalysis.com and send this doctor an e-mail title it HELP NEED Cp7! tell him your story and he will get back to you the drops are free! all you pay is shipping ! you have to set up a fedex account it is very easy to do! my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have trouble or any questions about this GOOD LUCK!! and Keep On Praying!! God is Good!! P.S. I forgot to say I am taking this stuff as well! I have had back problems for 5yrs. and after 4 days I have virtually no more back pain! all of my back problems are from discs as well so I can testify that this stuff really does work! a liitle suggestion though if you get it suck it up in a cyringe for your puppy and shoot it to the back of its throat and follow with a small treat! it is VERY NASTY!!
Just an update on my post that I made on the 9th May. The very next day the vets in our city decided that my little dachshund "Gumpy", needed back surgery because the medicine and caging had little effect and he had become paralyzed in both back legs. The next morning my husband took off work and drove to another city 3 hours away with Gumpy - he came past my work place so that I could give little Gumpy a kiss goodbye. I have never cried or prayed so much in my life. Leaving him in another city was heartbreaking. Waiting for that phone call was awful. News came through the operation was a success and I was sent a video of him walking 24 hours after the operation! A week later we drove up to collect him and he has never been better!
BUT I learnt some good lessons that I would like to share: Firstly my vet corrected me when I said thank you for fixing my dog, he said: "You must remember from now on, you will always have a dog with a back problem. He's not at all fat but because of his back you now have to reduce his weight drastically. He's got to get a LOT thinner. When I say thin, I mean you must be able to see his ribs! Next, you dog proof your house and your garden. No jumping period! No jumping off the couch or bed, no steps. If you have to pick him up, use both hands and make sure the back is always level."
We were told to cage him for 8 weeks which we did. Once he could come out of the cage, we suddenly realised how many places there were around the house that he could hurt himself, let alone the garden! And then I felt awful that I never knew about Dachshunds and back problems, and felt responsible for what had happened. No matter how hard you try and look after his back, mistakes do happen.
How do you stop a dachshund from jumping on and off your couch after you have allowed it for 5 years? Impossible, trust me! Especially if you both have to work and there is no one at home to stop him. But we solved the problem by buying a thick sponge the length of the couch that he could use as a step up and step down. At night we use this next to the bed, because like all little dachshunds, he sleeps in the bed with us too. The sponge really works well and cushions the impact if he manages to get off before you can take him off. We covered it with a winter sheet and it even looks like he has taken to the sponge more than the couch because its softer and warmer. A doggy-door in the lounge wall gives him access to our patio area which we closed off from the rest of the garden with a little white picket fence, so he has the patio and a large enough bit of lawn to play on - all level. Its a full time adjustment, and you are always adjusting. But my little dog that is miraculously walking today, is worth it. Good luck to you all.
I just joined the San Diego Dachshund Club (www.sddc.us), and attended their dachshund picnic recently, to get advice on my new rescue doxie's back problems. I learned that the website dodgerslist.com is very helpful, according to them. I paid nearly two thousand dollars (a bit at a time) for a wrong diagnosis when my dog was in great pain. The wrong diagnosis was pancreatitis. I can't afford this and it is upsetting, as that money could have been better spent, or avoided, altogether, with more info and conservative treatment, at the outset. Am retired and husband unemployed, son in college, etc. Crating the dog with complete rest is the advice, which is hard to follow if you don't know what you are doing (I didn't) and if you have other responsibilities (I do). We are trying our best and the Dodgerslist site has helped. We are also taking the dog to a vet who does chiropractic and acupuncture, which does help with the pain, but tonight, I read that the chiro should be reserved, possibly, for after the two month crating...? Oh boy, still figuring this out. Dog walking wobbly on hind legs. Won't eliminate if you are watching. She is a lovely, gentle, dear little mini doxie and we fell in love with her from the first minute. I think that the former owner used her for breeding and the xrays showed calcification of the spine in the middle of it. We can't afford MRI's or surgeries. I think we received a dog on the verge of back problems, quite heavy, and had been used to breed. Beware of this type of rescue situation, unless you have the money, time, and everything it takes to nurse a sick dog for many months. This has been going on since Memorial Day weekend, and it is nearly Labor Day. Lots of stress but maybe she will recover, but with delicate back for rest of her life, the vets say (and we believe them).