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Old 08-31-2019, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Disc Surgery Need Advice

My 9 yr old Basset, Fred, woke up Thursday morning and could not walk at all. His body from the middle back was completely paralyzed. We immediately rushed him to a new vet. We moved 3 weeks before so we have not established a new veterinarian. We were then quickly sent to a specialist in Houston. An MRI was performed and our choices in that moment were to either do surgery or put him down. His Doctorís seemed like they knew surgery would work and he could almost fully recover. His tail still functioned and was wagging. There was light in his eyes and he didnít seem to be in pain. We opted for surgery on a confirmed disc rupture. This happened Thursday we get to bring him home on Tuesday.
I am looking for experiences, advice, how you moved your basset outside. Fred weighs 75#ís. I am nervous about his ability to recover, how I will care for him alone mostly, his spirit. How long could this take?

Please share experiences good or bad.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First off, sorry but it seriously p***es me off when vets only give the options of surgery or euthanasia. There ARE other options.

I have had three Bassets with disc injury. The first, Myrtle, had surgery. I walked her with a sling and did physio exercises as recommended by the vet. Her recovery was reasonably rapid, first she was able to run, then walk, then just stand. Probably about two months total. (but this was a long time ago, so my memory is not that clear on it). She went down again two years later and I could not afford the surgery a second time. This vet told me she would never recover without surgery. I decided that since she was not in pain I would take her home anyway and look into getting her a wheelchair. I put her on crate rest, did the passive exercises, walked her with a sling. She came back up again and walked for the rest of her life.

The second one, Mouse, unfortunately was in a great deal of pain and we were unable to stop it. I had to euthanize her.

The third one, Melody, again I could not afford surgery. She had no feeling or movement in the back end, but she did have bowel and bladder control. I took her home and again did crate rest. We had a bit of a setback when she started having seizures every night between midnight and two am. I realized I could not let her continue like that, but fortunately we figured out that it was a reaction to the Tramadol she was taking. As soon as we stopped giving it to her, the seizures stopped. So I bought her a wheelchair and taught her to use it. She wasn't keen on it at first, but once she got the hang of it she was zooming all over. If you were in her way she would run right over you. We nicknamed her Mel On Wheels. She gradually started to get back the use of her legs with the help of sling walking and the cart. In the beginning her legs just dragged, but then she started swinging them, then she was able to place them, and eventually she was using them to help push herself along. Finally one day she stood up and walked across the kitchen. That was about a year after her injury. After that we did swim therapy to help her develop her strength. After that, we started using Toegrips to give her better traction, and they really helped with her mobility, and she even increased her muscle mass since she was moving around more. She was able to walk for the rest of her life. If you search this forum, you can find posts on Melody and her wheelchair.

All this to say, first of all, recovery CAN take a long time, so be patient. Secondly, even if your hound doesn't walk again, that is not a reason to put him down. As long as he is not in pain and has decent bladder and bowel control, he can still live a good and happy life with the use of wheels. I had one puppy person whose dog went down and I talked them into a wheelchair. They were very reluctant at first, but later said they were very glad they had done it as Merlin LOVED being the center of attention with his wheels when he went to the park.

Finally, I would check out two websites: Dodger's List http://www.dodgerslist.com/ and K-9 Backpack http://www.k9backpack.com/ both are devoted to IVDD in dogs.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Melody first time with wheels



afterward
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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All your understandable questions will, and should, be answered by the treating vet. There are no vets here, and certainly no vet would advise without seeing the patient. I wish you well with your hound's recovery and for sure, you'll be told how to handle getting him out to attend to biz. Most probably you'll be given a sling to use at first. We've never had an actual disc blow and in truth if that has happened (confirmed by a Specialist) and isn't just an injury, then surgery IS the only option. And such surgeries are more likely to sort out the problem these days, than in the past.


Obviously pain has to be the first consideration, and then whether the dog is able to empty his bladder without you having to do this for him. Sounds as if your boy always retained the ability to that so that's all good.


We only had one with a spinal problem and it wasn't disc, but spondylitis. And he was in pain. Our then vet, across country, felt euth. was probably the kindest option for him, but knowing the hound, I felt he wasn't about to give up at that point. So with the use of PLT tablets, we stabilized the pain. He was a big boy and easily 80 lbs which wasn't fat. We'd sling a sheet under to help get him outside. We considered a K-9 Kart which he'd have NOTHING to do with, at one point and after some weeks of all this, not doing my back much good I might add, we both felt it was time to let him go. I phoned the vet - he was in the room and when I finished the call, STOOD UP. I swear that boy was part human and he knew he'd milked his situation for as far as he could. He never moved as he had, and his back was arched (roached) but from the age it hit him (8 years) to the 14+ he lived to, he had reasonable quality of life I felt. Yes, we had to use the PLT tablets when I felt he was uncomfortable, but in the end, it was just old age that had us making the decision to let him go, finally. Later that evening the pavement slabs outside the back door made a sound that had me thinking I'd left somebody out. I opened the door and there was nothing there. Ben's spirit leaving? To this day that thought makes me tear up.


Please be advised by the operating vet re the ongoing recovering with your Fred. My best wishes to you, and him of course.

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Old 09-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If Surgery is done immediately there can be some nerve sparing for potential damage of high pressure but in most case by the time the dog actual get to ver difference between when it occured and humans notice a problem, time delay in diagnoses etc this is rarely the case. What is the case is surgery can prevent reinjury to the same spot in the back which is more likely but not any help if a rupture occurs else where, https://cvm.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uplo...ement-IVDD.pdf "Conservative (non‐surgical) management of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) or intervertebral disc
herniation (IVDH) is a reasonable, and sometimes necessary, treatment approach in circumstances
where surgery is not an option for medical, financial or other reasons. "
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
We've never had an actual disc blow and in truth if that has happened (confirmed by a Specialist) and isn't just an injury, then surgery IS the only option. And such surgeries are more likely to sort out the problem these days, than in the past.
So you are suggesting that if someone can't afford surgery they should euthanize their dog? As someone who has brought paralyzed dogs back on their feet WITHOUT surgery (after vets, including a Specialist, told me they would never walk again without surgery), and as someone who has lived with a dog that needed wheels, i will vehemently disagree with that. And the two websites I linked above, which specialize in IVDD, also offer options.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundtrack View Post
So you are suggesting that if someone can't afford surgery they should euthanize their dog?

Instead of ganging up on me again, you two, why don't you read what I have written, which is by no means that

When a disc actually BLOWS there is often little choice but to go for a surgical repair if only to get the poor animal out of the pain a blown disc means.

I am, and have been the first, to advise Basset people to give it time when a hound goes off his back legs. But in this instance, OP has ALREADY had surgery done and has asked for after-care advice. I have suggested she is guided by her medical team for that. Each case is different, and many factors have to be considered when making the decision about how to proceed be it financial or the actual condition/age of the hound in question. To say nothing of what has caused the hound to go off his back legs in the first place.

Agan OP, I hope your hound makes a good recovery.

Last edited by FranksMum; 09-04-2019 at 04:21 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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after surgery care is no different then medical management that I have linked to

"When a disc actually BLOWS there is often little choice but to go for a surgical repair if only to get the poor animal out of the pain a blown disc means."

paralysis occurs when the disk blow and not other IVDD issue are related to herniation it is just a matter of degrees how much material and where. That said simple medical intervention does work on disk herniation as well the evidence is clear on that. the Prognoses of any intervention is really much of a crap shoot as there is not a clear and precise understanding of the variable involved in recovery

2. as we have clearly stated before more often than not anything we post is for a much broader audience than the OP as most people looking for information do not post. hence why the inclusion of medical intervention only even though the OP clearly went the surgical route.

3. with paralysis more often than not there is no pain.

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Old 09-05-2019, 03:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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..... Nope. I decided discretion is the better part of valour!

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Old 09-11-2019, 07:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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George ruptured a disk 7 yrs ago. Blue Pearl in louisville ky did the surgery. Recovery required use of rear end sling took several months (>6) to get back to independent walking. Never fully recovered, got back to about 95% with left rear being the weak limb. During recovery we were living in a 5th wheel camper at a job site. Just recently suffered "old dog vestibular disease". Hind legs extremely weak. I have him in a wheelchair. He loves the restoration of his freedom. Leg action is slowly returning. Keep the faith, get a family member to help move the pup around, you'll be amazed at how they respond.
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