Any dog owners have experience with herniated discs/spinal cord injuries?

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
1003 posts
Bumble bee

Our boy is a bit older and has degenerative disc disease.  He had his first flare-up last September and we seriously thought we would have to put him down.  The meds prescribed initially didn’t touch the pain and he couldn’t walk without screaming (I don’t know how else to describe the sounds he made cry) He even tried to bite us when we helped him, he had never tried to bite either of us before.  The vet added some other meds into the mix and put him on strict bedrest for 2 weeks.  As others have said, this means being confined to a crate or in his case we attached a leash to something because he hates crates.  He also wasn’t supposed to be on hard surfaces so we had to surround him with dog beds and blankets/pillows.  He had to be carried out to the bathroom, wasn’t supposed to be walking at all.  I actually slept with him for most of those two weeks because he was so upset! 

Bed rest was really hard, sticking to his med schedule (every 8 hours) was really hard with work.  But, after a couple of days he wasn’t in pain anymore and by the end of the 2 weeks, he was pretty much back to normal.  To prevent future flare-ups we try to be more careful with his activity: discourage jumping, no long walks, not playing aggressively, etc.  We also give him glucosamine.  I have meds left over which I can give him if he displays signs of a flare-up so we get on top of the pain early.  

If he’s still showing signs of severe pain after a day or two don’t be afraid to call the vet and ask for something stronger.  Only other thing I can think of was his appetite was gone, but he had some other health issues going on so I can’t be certain it was the pain/meds.  I bought different types of wet food and sausage for dogs which he usually was willing to eat.  

ETA: It is so hard to see your baby like that, especially not being able to explain to them what’s going on.  I really feel for you.  It sounds like your dog is very lucky to have you!

Post # 17
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I had a dacshound that herniated a disk. We did the surgery, and he lost use of his hind legs, and his ability to go to the bathroom. I spent a year manually expressing his bladder, walking him in a sling, and providing pain relief medications. He herniated a second disk, and was in such agonizing pain we made the choice to humanely euthinize him. If my mom hadn’t been so insistant on keeping him alive, I wouldn’t have done it. I know he was in pain for that year, and it wasn’t fair to him. We battled with diaper rash, constant urine leaking, and he was confined to a play pen most of the time.

What kind of a life is that? The final straw was when he bit my mom out of pain. He loved my mom more than anything else in the world. The fact that he would bite her – it meant that he was completely dillusional with pain. Poor little guy. 

Post # 18
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

camoandglitter :  VetriDisk is amazing. My pup had a herniated disk and it helped him so much. He had a few mild flare-ups, but never needed surgery for this.

Post # 20
584 posts
Busy bee

ktrv927 :  That’s so crazzy! The same thing happened to our dog a few weeks ago. One minute she was fine, and the next she was limping. Thought she just jurt her paw but it got so bad she was dragging that leg. Took her straight to the vet and they said it was herniated disc or a spinal cord injury. They said hopeful they could give her a steroid and it would start to get better, but it it didn’t her would need to see a neuro person for dogs (I forget the fancy name.). It didn’t get any better and we brought her like they said. It turned out she had a doggy stroke and that blood flow had been cut off to her leg for a little while. They said there was an 80% chance that she would make a full recovery. They put a booty on her paw so she wouldn’t drag it raw and had us walking her every 15-minutes (just around the yard). And she had to be kept on the leash if she went outside so she wouldn’t try to run. It has been a few weeks now and starting to see improvement. She even jumped on our pretty high bed yesterday!

Post # 21
7904 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

ktrv927 :  a few weeks. We had him on rest for just over a month I believe. Rest is really the best thing even though it’s so hard to keep them still!

Post # 22
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

My doxie dog ruptured a disk. He unfortunatly didn’t survive it, even after surgery. The vet told us he was one of the 5% who developed a condition where it’s just beyond repair. However, I have 2 different friends with doxies in the same situation and they both recovered after surgery and are doing great. I wish your pup the best!!

Post # 23
607 posts
Busy bee

This happened to my small/medium dog a couple weeks before Christmas. Along with meds, we had him on 8 weeks of strict crate rest. Carried him to go to pee & poop. After 3-4 weeks we had him leashed and laying with us if we were watcing TV or in bed. Now he runs around the house like normal, he can jump up and down stairs. We still keep him leashed if he’s on the bed with us. IVDD is a permanent condition so be prepared to watch for flare-ups for years to come.

Please read this:

Post # 24
870 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

ktrv927 :  Speak to the vet. They may be able to add additional meds. If he isn’t eating, the pain isn’t well controlled.

It’s gonna be a long road. But as long as Doggy still has function, he should recover. I did get a different crate (bigger and had 3 different entries including one where I could lift him straight out) when my Doxie’s second injury was a bit closer to his neck and he couldn’t get comfy. Memory foam or other sorts of crate mattresses also helped.

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