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Old 04-21-2011, 12:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default basset can't use hind legs all of the sudden

This Monday afternoon our 8 year old basset molly lost the ability to use her back legs out of the blue. If she does use them it is only for a few steps, but it has been a few days since she tried. She is in great pain and i'm at a loss. I took her to the vet and they saw a calcified area and a herniated disk. They gave her tons of steroids and she is now at home with a catheter. She doesn't eat much, but is drinking water. The vet suggested that if by Friday she isn't improving that we should consider surgery or euthanization. We can't afford 3000 dollars for surgery, but I wonder has anyone seen this before and how long is reasonable to feel confident the dog will not recover. I have issues with euthanization, but I also can't pay 3000 for the specialist.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Aww.. poor Molly. so sorry to hear about her. does the vet think surgery will cure her? a lot of times, surgery corrects a herniated disc, tho it also depends on the individual situation. if so, i would aggressively look around and see if there is a place to get the surgery done, esp if surgery would be curative...? i'm thinking time is not on your side so much, if she has little use of her legs and she has a catheter (does she have urinary incontinence? is that why she has a catheter)... meaning surgery can make things better, tho the sooner she has it done the better.

Where do you live? i haven't looked, but I wonder if there are low-cost vet clinics somewhere. do you live near a vet school? sometimes trainees will run a low-cost clinic.

also, just briefly surfing the internet, I found this:

Routine veterinary care is expensive enough, but what happens when your pet suffers a debilitating illness or accident? Jackie Barnett's Just Like New Fund exists to help cover one-time emergency costs so your pet doesn't have to be euthanized simply because you can't afford the bill. Rescued animals that are sick or injured also qualify for assistance through the fund.

found it at this link:
Low-Cost-Free Veterinary Care
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I live in missouri and time isn't in my side. She doesn't want to go in her cage but won't go outside so the catheter is to keep her bladder empty. I would love to find a low cost center and give it a shot. I am losing my optimism though as she just sits in her cage comfortably and sleeps.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh yes, it is hard to see them suffer like this.

If it were Worm, I would call all the places below, as you never know. Someone may be able to help you with part of the $3000 cost. Also can call those funds in Calif too in the link in my previous post-- never know if they might be able to help you too.

Check out this link:
Having Trouble Affording Your Pet? : The Humane Society of the United States

this is the link to the vet school. sometimes the vet students volunteer somewhere, so it lowers the overall cost of the procedure... or they might know graduates of their vet school who would be willing to do the procedure for a reduced fee.

University of Missouri - Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

will be thinking of you and molly
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you're having to go through this. I don't have any experience with anything of the sort but we'll keep you in our thoughts. Lots and lots of healing drool from Doppler and Virga.
-Mom to Doppler (3 year old Basset/Golden mix) and Virga (2 year old Basset)
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you can relieve her pain and she regains continence than I would say that it is worth it to continue medical treatment and physiotherapy, as I've seen many recover without surgery or even if she doesn't recover there is the option of getting her a cart so she can have some mobility.

However, if she continues to be in pain or unable to relieve herself and you are unable to do the surgery the euthanasia would be the kindest option.

Crate rest is *essential* whether she likes it or not. If not a crate, try an x-pen.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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No experience with bassets but our dachshund experienced the same. He was 5 @ the time. Our vet tried the steroid route with the same info that it sounds like your vet provided. Our baby had lost all function in his hindquarters. We did take Buster to OSU Vet Hospital and they were able to do the surgery. We were informed upfront the cost ($1500 @ the time) and offered a payment plan. No promises were made that he would recover. But his care was top notch! (I'm a nurse, and picky!) Within a week, he was home and slowly his function returned. He was with us another 11 wonderful years. Don't wish to give you false hope but we never regretted our decision.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You should consider pet insurance in the future. Our coverage for our dogs is 100% coverage after a $200 deductible per illness/accident. So everyday things we pay for but large unexpected surgeries, etc. we don't have to worry about though you do pay up front then get reimbursed. We use Petplan. If nothing happens you lose money (as is the case with all insurance) but you aren't faced with a decision like this of whether or not to pay for a surgery that you can't afford. Doesn't help with the current situation but something to consider for the future.

Anabelle has a calcified area in her neck but a month after injuring it she is back to normal. The pain is terrible to watch but her's did slowly fade before going away.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Unfortunately this is something I've had similar experience with.

The same thing happened to my 12 year old basset who had been moving around just fine the day/night before and awoke the following morning to find she wasn't able to use her back legs and like you described lost continence. Though my basset didn't so much as whimper, I could tell she was in a lot of pain due to her shaking and licking her lip - her telltale signs.

The vet I took her her to told me she was a candidate for surgery but even if surgery was successful there was no guarantee the same thing wouldn't happen all over again. Then there was the issue of being confined to a cage for recovery period post op to consider. By that afternoon I made the decision to help my basset to the bridge as I didn't think it was fair to subject a 12 year old basset hound to surgery and knew she would be a miserable patient being confined to a cage and separated from her family - she had been with me since she was 7 weeks old. It was the most difficult decision I have ever needed to make and the tears are streaming a I write this.

However If my bassett had been 8 and had not already lived a fulfilling long life, I would have gone ahead with the surgery. I would have borrowed the money somehow to have given her that 2nd chance. Would the vet consider a payment plan for the surgery.

Have you sought a 2nd opinion? Can you get a housecall so a vet comes to you rather than you having to cart Molly around. Have they done an x-ray to see the extent of the damage?

Wishing you the best in making whatever you feel is the right decision for Molly. My heart goes out to you both.

Sending hugs

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Old 04-21-2011, 10:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Faulkkev- if you do decide to bring your hound to the mizzou vet hospital, you would be more than welcome to stay with us, if it's a long drive for you. We live in Columbia and the vet school is about 5 miles from our house. Send me a private message if you're interested. I hope everything works out for you.
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