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Old 06-30-2018, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PLEASE help

I just made an account here and I apologize if Iím posting this in the wrong place.. I just need some sort of advice or guidance.
I never imagined myself owning a basset hound. I had a westie for 16 years and currently have a 14 year old Aussie, both raised from puppies. However four years ago I was out with my friend getting Shipleyís donuts one morning, when a basset hound ran out in front of our car into traffic, dragging a six foot long rope behind him and chains all around his neck. He was in horrible condition and clearly lost, so I took him home with me. After searching for his original owners, it became clear no one was looking for him, not to my surprise as he was clearly not being properly cared for. I was a teenager at the time living with my single father who made it clear I cannot have any more dogs, but in time the dog won him over and I was able to keep him. I named him ĎShipleyí. He had heart worms among other conditions, which we treated and cured according to the vet.
Four years later I am in tears as I write this, afraid I may be losing my precious Shipley who has become such a core part of my life and family. About a month ago, he lost the ability to walk seemingly overnight. He has always had the absolute best personality, always so happy and full of energy. Then he just woke up one day and struggled to stand and move. After visiting multiple vets and having tests and X-rays done, we were presented with options. Also surprise for me, the heartworms had somehow come back, despite having cured them and despite him being on preventative ever since! It was one punch in the gut after another. But I tried to remain calm, think clearly, stay strong for my boy, and look at our options. Option A: a CT scan and a risky 9,000 dollar surgery if it is a disk issue. I just graduated college last month which cost me an arm and a leg so I am without money, and I am in the awkward phase between receiving my diploma and trying to get hired for my first career opportunity, so I am currently without income. My dad was willing to pay for the surgery when we thought it would be a few thousand, but when we heard 9,000, we were floored and devastated. We canít afford that. There is also an elevated risk for the surgery, considering he has heartworms. Option B: steroid treatment. We chose option B.
Option B appeared to be a miracle. Within days, Shipley was his old self again, full of life and mobility. I was thrilled. I shed happy tears every day for weeks. It just seemed like such a miracle. I began to plan how to approach round two of heartworm treatment. But you know what they say about things that appear too good to be true. They usually are.
A month later now, seemingly overnight, he is once again immobile. We began to give him the steroids again, hoping for another miracle. It has only been a day or two since back on the steroids, but last night he began to throw up profusely all throughout the night. A side effect of the steroids, I fear. So now Iím not even sure if I should continue treating him with the steroids.
So here I am, lost, reaching out for some sign or guidance on what to do. Iíve been up caring for him all night most nights so I havenít really slept in a while. In a fog last night I ordered him some arthritis medication that has wonderful reviews, though who knows if this is even arthritis. But my plan A right now is to take him off the steroids and I need something else to try.
We have no way of knowing how old he is, but weíre certain it has to be between 7 and 10. Weíre trying to stay optimistic but itís hard seeing him struggle. Itís hard to know if heís in pain, he seems relatively comfortable as long as heís resting. His tail still wags often and his appetite is still there. No vet has mentioned the thought of putting him down, which I feel like is a good sign.
My current plan is to stop giving him steroids, keep him resting, and try the arthritis medicine when it arrives. What do you think? What would you do?
Thanks so much in advance for any advice.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Back issues conservative treatment requires 8 weeks of Crate rest especial if on a steroid,

1. DO NOT REMOVE STERIOD IF you want any chance for him to walk again

2 strict crate rest. 8 weeks minimium

3. while on crate rest excellent time for Heartworm treatment which require strict crate rest as well


see Conservative Treatment: The 4 phases of healing
"Steroid or a NSAID reduces swelling in approx. 7-30 days
Pain medications give comfort from the pain of inflammation in the spinal cord.
Pepcid AC protects the stomach lining from the anti-inflammatory (steroid or a NSAID) "

"Disc damage is repaired only by time and limited movement to allow scar tissue to form. 100% STRICT rest 24/7 for 8 weeks during conservative treatment.
Nerves heal with time. Think in terms of months for nerves to regenerate enough to bring back bladder control and leg functions.
Acupuncture or Laser Light therapies help stimulate tissue repair and can be started right away"

Home

https://sites.google.com/site/k9back...-we-ve-learned
"Bed/crate rest. This is one of the most important aspects of conservative treatment. It is absolutely imperative. If the dog is not strictly rested (carried to and from potty place and only allowed minimum steps during potty time; dog also rests calmly in bed rest den/crate.) for 6 to 8 weeks, more often than not, the dog will not heal correctly and often gets worse. Bed rest allows proper healing and along with medicines, reduces the swelling caused by the disc herniation. Think of bed rest like a cast on a humanís broken arm. Restricted movement permits proper healing.

∑ Medications. Specifically the use of Prednisone, Prednisolone, or Dexamethasone (steroids) for the amount of time required to control the swelling and tapered appropriately to a stop, deal with the inflammation better than NSAIDs (Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam, etc.). A steroid combined with Tramadol (a synthetic opiate painkiller), Gabapentin (treats nerve pain), and if necessary also Methocarbarbamol (muscle relaxer) provides the best inflammation and pain control when given correctly and with an acid reducer such as Famotidine. Complementary treatments such as acupuncture and laser therapy provide increased pain relief and speed healing, resulting in faster recovery and often better neurological results."

https://www.basset.net/boards/basset...ck-issues.html

https://www.basset.net/boards/introd...ir-basset.html

Had one go down in the rear 2 week of severe pain and seizures that we final figure out were caused by tramadol the pain medication, I YEAR in a wheel chair and final began walking again and lived another 2 years.










This is why I tell people not to give up too easily on dog's that go down in the rear. After a year in a wheelchair, Melody was able to walk again.
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for your reply and all the useful information. Based on what you told me, I have some questions about the steroids if that’s alright.

After deciding to go on the steroid treatment, the vet prescribed him dexamethasone and methocaramol (a steroid and a muscle relaxer). There was a bottle of the steroids with the instructions ‘give three a day for one week, then two a day for another week, then one a day until the bottle is gone’. So that is what we did. When we were down to one a day and only had three days left, that’s when he started throwing up quite a bit. My vet’s instructions were very sternly to stop the steroids if he throws up, so I did not give him one that day and we started again the next day. My dad went and got another bottle of steroids (the vet didn’t question why or anything and just gave him another bottle) and we gave him two the next day to try and ween him back onto a stronger dose of them. That’s when he started to throw up a lot, I’m talking 10-20 times throughout the night. This was last night. The vet never told us why to stop the steroids if he throws up, so I looked into it myself, and supposedly throwing up is a sign of overdose. We haven’t given him any steroids today and he is fine, throw up wise. There has been no more throwing up today and he seems much more alert, but still unable to walk.

With this new information, what would you recommend? Should we maybe wait a few days and start the steroid treatment over again? Should we start with three a day as we did the first time? Should I still try the arthritis medication? We were eager and hopeful to start the steroids again, but all this throwing up has us very scared.

The first go round of steroid treatment, no vet ever told us anything about crate rest, so he was walking around and even running quite a bit once he felt well again. I’m disheartened to know he would likely not be in this position had he been on strict rest. I’m not keen on the idea of taking him back to the vet any time soon because all they are going to do is suggest the surgery.

Your pictures and video gave me and my family some hope, thank you. What a wonderful story. And thank you again for taking the time to reply, it’s comforting being able to speak to someone who has been in a similar position.
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, a lot of vets don't really know how to handle back injuries. I would talk to them about trying a different medication. Crate rest is crucial. Even if he can't walk he can still do well with a cart once his confinement is over, and there are physiotherapy options. FWIW, I have talked owners into using a cart who later said they were glad I did, and I have brought two dogs back on their feet that the vets said would never walk again without surgery. For me, as long as they are not in pain and have control of their eliminations, they are good to go.
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Spondylosis

https://www.petcarerx.com/article/sp...condition/1609


When one of our hounds was around 8, he went off his back legs. The good news was he still had feeling there but he was x-rayed and the prognosis from my then trusted vet was dire - in fact and given the pain he was in, she really advised pts. I KNEW he wasn't ready for that and that with Bassets, you do need to give them time and a chance, which once the pain he was in was drastically improved using PLT tablets (prednoleucotropin) proved to be the right decision.

Having said that, given he was a big hound, lifting him in and out via a towel under his back end, to empty was becoming increasingly difficult (he was in our puppy pen which was as good as crate rest). It got to the day I felt we'd all had enough and I phoned the vet to tell her we were bringing him in. He was in the room and I SWEAR listened to my conversation because he then licked himself all over, and STOOD UP.

He never walked as well as before and he was rather roached but with minimal use of PLT, only when he appeared to be in some discomfort, he lived on to be 14 before old age finally claimed him. Oh and we'd tried him in a K9 Cart but he was having nothing of it - that was around the time I felt enough was enough .... and he stood up.

I'm just telling you this in case you might like to consider whether this is in fact spondylosis which the breed can develop. But for sure, give your hound time, especially if you are able to control the pain. As for the upchucking, could that be as much down to the heartworm problem, as the steriods. And when on steriods, you normally have to gradually decrease the dose, not take them off abruptly.

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Old 07-01-2018, 05:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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there is a reason Pepcid[ famotidine ] and ranitidine[zantac} are usually given with prolonged steroid and/or nsaid use. https://www.vetinfo.com/famotidine-for-dogs.html
"Famotidine for dogs is an anti-ulcer drug used for the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers and other stomach conditions in dogs.
Stomach ulcers in dogs often occur with bloat, kidney failure, use of steroids and the use of NSAIDS in dogs. Because stomach ulcers can be a potentially serious condition in your pet, treating them is often highly recommended. Famotidine is a drug that is commonly used to treat such stomach ulcers as described. "

Prednisone need to be tapered off, being a prescription med need to consult with vet about continued use, The issue in recurrence was the lack of complete crate rest especial when medication is relieve pain, Can not over emphasis this.


Surgery my experience unless done immediately after injury it works more to prevent reinjury by giving a place for the dick material to go that does in impinge on nerves than any recover mechanism,

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Old 07-01-2018, 08:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your replies and all the helpful information. I appreciate it more than I can say. Shipley is officially on strict crate rest (we don’t have a crate but I’m watching him 24/7 to make sure he doesn’t walk)(some advantages to currently being without work I suppose). I still have not given him another steroid pill, I am still a bit confused on what my next move should be regarding the pills. The instructions were to get down to one pill a day until the bottle is empty, which is what we did. Is this considered stopping abruptly? Should I give him one every other day? Every two days? What is the appropriate way to stop steroids?

He has thrown up two times throughout the night, but nothing like the 10-20 throw up episode last night. Franksmum you are right, this could be due to heartworms as well. I love your story about how your dog stood up. That really is amazing, and to live to see 14 as well. How awesome. I definitely want to give mine the time and opportunity to recover as well. He has bounced back once before, and I hope he can again. He can stand and take a few steps, but that is about it as of right now. We carry him out to the grass and back inside when we suspect he needs to do his business.

Soundtrack, you are right, my vets did not appear to know what to do with this situation. Plus the fact that I saw 5+ vets and not a single one mentioned crate rest to me, whereas everyone in this forum has. How I wish one of the vets would have given me this information. How do you know when it is time to try a cart with your dog? And where do you begin when finding a cart?

Mikey T, I am curious to know how you went about finding that perfect wheelchair for Melody as well. I will talk to my vet about the possibility of stomach ulcers. Thank you again so much for the information.

I have one more huge concern that I’d love to get anyone’s opinion on? When mentioning heartworm treatment to my vet at our last visit, he said ‘I wouldn’t dare touch him like this, heartworms are the least of his concerns’. Meaning, he does not want to treat Shipley for heartworms when he can’t walk. My concern is, what if Shipley can never walk again? Is he supposed to just live the rest of his life with heartworms? Is the inability to walk truly that devastating and worse than heartworms, and if so, what should I do if he does never walk again?
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Old 07-01-2018, 10:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would talk to the vet about the steroids and whether to continue or put him on something else. I have not dealt with heartworm, so I don't know a lot about treating it, but I don't understand why not being able to walk would affect it. I would talk with a different vet about that unless this one can give a reasonable explanation. EDIT: Okay, I see the issue. Treatment is an injection given deep in the back muscles. I'm guessing your vet doesn't want to mess with that area until the back issue is stablilized. There is also the option, in dogs that are not a candidate for full treatment, of putting them on monthly preventative to prevent further infestation and let the adults die off. https://www.thesprucepets.com/treatm...n-dogs-3384693

If he can stand and take a few steps, he's doing great! Resist the temptation to slack off on the crate rest (I really do recommend a crate, or at least a small pen, the investment is minor compared to the surgery), these injuries really do need a long time to fully heal, even if the dog seems better.

Even if he does not walk, they can do just fine with a cart. You do need to give them time and encouragement to get used to them and it takes time for them to build up their front end muscles to pull themselves. Melody was NOT impressed at first, but once she got the hang of it she was zooming all over the place and if you were in her way she would run you over. I talked one of my puppy people into getting a cart for their dog, and even though he never walked again he had a full life and was the neighborhood celebrity at the dog park.

I've seen far to many vets only giving people the option of surgery or euthanasia. Or, "if he isn't better in a week we'll have to put him down" That is bullcrap.

These sites have a lot of info on back issues
Home
Dodgerslist: canine back problems, all things IVDD


There are lots of options for carts, depending on how elaborate you want to get. The one we got for Melody was from this company.
https://bestfriendmobility.net/ Again, wait until the 8 weeks are up and see how he's doing, he may not need one. What you might find useful, though, is a harness to support his back end when you take him out. In the meantime you can make a sling from a large towel or sheet.

Once his recovery is over, if he is walking, you might want to look at ToeGrips to help with his traction. These really seemed to help Melody, they even increased her muscle mass as she was moving around more than without them. We did find them to be a bit of a pain in the butt, as we had to glue them on and she still lost them faster than the company says they should, but they were still worth it for the difference they made to her mobility
https://toegrips.com/
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Shipley is on the monthly preventative heartworm medicine, so I’m glad to hear that is likely helping at least some. Breaks my heart knowing he has these worms, but that does make sense about why my vet may not want to do the injections. Hopefully he will get to a point where we can do the heartworm treatment (again) sometime in the distant future. And hopefully it will kill them all for good this time.

I definitely won’t be taking him off his strict crate rest for at least the eight weeks. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t dare. Thank you all so much for emphasizing the importance of crate rest, as I wish my vets would have.

Soundtrack, it is great to see that there are so many options for if he isn’t walking when the eight weeks are up. A cart is something we would definitely try if it came to that. All these success stories with other bassets are so comforting to hear as well. Thank you all for taking what appeared to be such a grim situation and giving us some hope. If he does end up walking again, I will definitely look into those toe grips as well. Thank you.

If anything goes south or any more questions arise, I will be sure to post here again. Again, I can’t thank you all enough for your advice, warnings, stories, and suggestions. Shipley is the first basset I’ve ever known and really my first dog who’s ever had health issues of this caliber, so I don’t always particularly know what the next ‘right move’ is. My plan now is to keep him on strict crate rest and talk to my vet about what needs to be done regarding steroids and medication.

Thank you from myself, my family, and of course Shipley. I’ll be back with any updates/questions!
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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From what I can remember re heartworms, living in Canada (S. Ontario) when this had only just started moving North, you shouldn't be using preventative treatment if the hound HAS heartworm.


I think you need to either get a second opinion about this, or at least talk more to your vet about what's going on with that.


As for his back - as long as he's free from PAIN, you should be able to keep him going. It was because of the pain Ben was having at first, that made my vet go to not keeping him going, living with pain. It's all about quality of life.
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