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I have been looking to adopt & made plans to visit a dog next weekend. I just talked to the foster parents & they told me the dog started having trouble walking & was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in his back. He is being treated & is showing improvement & the vet says he expects a full recovery. So, does anyone have any experience with this? I was wondering if this causes any long-term problems or can re-occur? I plan to call my vet to see what his opinion is, but thought in the meantime, I'd ask here. Is this something I should stay away from? Thanks.
 

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Amy, I don't have any experience with this but just wanted to wish you good luck and God Bless....hopefully someone can help you with this situation.

Kristi
 

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Hi Amy, I do have experience with this with my boy. His was recurring and chronic in nature. His first round was around the age of 6 and he had a few more flares as he aged......sometimes lasting a few months. We never did or needed surgery, just prednisone, muscle relaxers, and pain meds kept him comfy. I would at times need to assist him out and around the house, so you may wish to inquire how much this basset weighs.....there were times my back was aching too! He did have chronic weakness of one of his back legs. I was real careful to keep him from jumping, on furniture, no stairs etc. I guess it is like any chronic disease you may have to deal with from time to time. As he got older and slowed down I think it was easier because he wasn't running and doing things that may trigger a flare. I say go ahead and meet him and let your heart guide you, there are many special needs dogs that make wonderful companions and will give you the same unconditional love in return. Good luck, and let me know if you have any more specific questions.
 

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Hi Amy,

I have an older dog (10 yr old Chow lab mix) who had a pinched nerve in his neck. Poor thing was in terrible pain until I could get him into the vet. With pain medication and muscle relaxers, he was back to his old grumpy self in a few weeks. That was several months ago and he has been fine since.
 

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Thanks for the replies. This dog is 6 years old & is overweight. I know he came into rescue at 68 lbs. He was put on a diet & is getting exercise & is losing weight. His owner was an older man who passed away & apparently he was well-fed but not exercised. He is now getting regular walks & is in a home with a younger & active Basset. I was wondering if the increased activity contributed to the pinched nerve. His foster dad said he has shown some improvement with meds & the vet hopes he will continue to improve without surgery. I still plan on visiting him this weekend & seeing how I feel, like you suggested, bassetmom. There's something about his pictures & his story that keeps drawing me back to him. Thanks again.
Amy
 

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I bet you are right @ the increase in activity and /or playing with the younger dog.....please let us know how your visit goes and share pictures if you have them :)
 

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Google Image Result for http://www.spineuniverse.com/sites/default/files/legacy-images/bart_3label-BB.jpg

i hope you're able to see the link above. Back issues in dogs (and humans) are usually the result of a herniated disc or discs. The middle part (nucleus pulposus) leaks out and can press on the nerves around it. Depending on where in the spine this occurs (if lower back-- more likely to affect the legs, and when severe, also bowels/bladder; if upper back or neck-- more likely to affect the arms, but can also affect the legs, too).

Yes, definitely can recur, but you will also hear stories of some dogs who only have 1 episode. My wiener dog was one. He had it once because he jumped up and down all the time from furniture and was overweight by 2-3 lbs (a lot for dogs) and stocky. when we made modifications, like having him lose weight and making ramps for him to keep him from jumping, it never came back again. his case was pretty mild.

Severe cases can require surgery which may or may not correct the issue (i think it helps more often than it doesn't help, but depends on individual dog). severe cases can also result in paralysis. severe = spinal cord compression, which sometimes can be permanent. If the problem is in lower spine, a dog can end up not being able to use legs well or at all (paraplegia-- wheels can help w/this, if you've seen dogs w/their hind legs on wheels). If the problems is in the upper spine or neck, a dog can become quadriplegic, not being able to use arms or legs. I'm guessing these are probably then put to sleep.

Anyways, those are the ends of the spectrum, and there are lots of conditions in between. Here on the forum, lots of bassets have done ok w/out surgery, just a lot of rest and pain meds and anti-inflammatory meds.

I included the link to the picture above to show that there are different stages of this. If the dog was taken to the vet, it might be useful to talk to that vet, and see what the severity was. Sometimes they can see how severe the nerve impingement was on the x-ray. That might be able to guide you a bit as to whether the condition is more on the mild side or more on the severe side. If more on the severe side, you would not want to take this dog on unless you are able and willing to pay for medical care, including possibly surgery, if needed, thinking practically.

if you do take him, probably one of the most important things is to put him on a diet. if he has back problems, he should probably especially be kept on the low side of normal re: weight, to lower the strain on his back. That is probably the first most important thing, even before exercise. Exercising an overweight dog can risk injury to the joints/back. that's why in a dog like him, prob better to have him diet first w/mild activity, then later when he is at lower body weight, to increase his activity to moderate level, if he can tolerate without injury to his back.

Please keep us posted, and if it works out, post some pics! Good luck with your decision!
 

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So I guess she really had to go and had an accident while she was so excited?
In basset and many other dwarf breed and some breeds that are dwarf and don't have most of the characteristics ie beagles and miniture poodles part of the dwarfism cause the disck in the back to harden and become much less felxible and prone to rupture. This is the cause of back prblems in these breed not that they have "long Backs" but the different composition of the disks

see Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease
Prepared for
The Dachshund Club of America, Inc.

Dachshund have the highest percentage of back problems vs any other breed 1/4 of the dogs is said to have atleast on incident.

A dog that has a problem at a young age is more likely to have trouble again.
The biggest thing you can do to prevent recurring problem is not stoping the dog from jumping etc although that can help it is keeping the dogs weight down. Also in younger dogs surgery is a good option as it increases the space between the dick and spinal cord and give a place for material displaced to go without putting pressure on the spinal cord. Keep in mind these ruptures can be gradual with gradual loss the the dog compensates for until there is no function. In an older dog there may be a different risk reward.

from the link above first discribing the difference between dwarf breeds disk and other dogs
Biochemical differences between chondrodystrophoid and nonchondrodystrophoid disks are apparent shortly after birth and explain the differences in the types of degeneration that occur. The degeneration that occurs in chondrodystrophoid disks is called chondroid metaplasia because the nucleus pulposus is gradually replaced with cartilage. Degeneration takes place rapidly and begins as early as 6 months of age starting at the periphery of the nucleus pulposus and progressing centrally. A dramatic and rapid increase in collagen content, as much as 30-40% by dry weight, is seen between 6 and 12 months of age. In addition, total glucosaminoglycan content will be 30 to 50% lower than age matched nonchondrodystrophoid dogs within the first 3 years resulting in a great loss of water content in the nucleus. When this happens, the nucleus loses its elasticity and no longer acts as an efficient shock absorber. Eventually the hyaline cartilage which forms calcifies, leading to almost complete lose of elasticity intervertebral the nucleus pulposus. The overall result is that of placing more of the "workload" on the annulus fibrosus while it is simultaneously undergoing degeneration. Disruption of the annulus fibrosus eventually occurs, especially at its weakest point, the thinner dorsal area lying just below the spinal canal. This allows nuclear material to escape, usually dorsally into the spinal canal or dorsolaterally to impinge on the nerve roots exiting the intervertebral foramina.
In comparison, nonchondrodystrophoid disks degenerate by fibroid metaplasia with the process becoming clinically significant at 8 to 10 years of age.


Severe cases can require surgery which may or may not correct the issue
Whether surgery is helpfull has a number of facturs the type of herniation. If it is slow and progressive the dog can compensate for loss of funtion without it ever really being notice untill there is very little left and nothing can be done to recover it. One of the reason I advocate surger for younder dogs as a preventive measure to stop this unseen progressive loss. In acute rupture it can also be effective at removing pressure before permenant damage is done it it must be done quick ie immeadiate after the trauma. That is the on of the problems with back injuries you don;t have a lot of time to gather relevent facts doing nothing can cause permenent loss

from the disk book as well

Aggressive medical therapy is recommended in any form of spinal cord trauma. It becomes especially important in acute trauma, such as type I disk herniation, to interrupt the destructive metabolic consequences described previously. Corticosteroids are the first line of attack in handling any acute spinal cord trauma.

...
The spinal cord can compensate immensely if a compressive force is applied in a chronic progressive manner, as occurs in type II disk herniation. Clinical dysfunction develops in the classic stepwise fashion described previously (ataxia>>paresis>>paralysis>>lose of pain perception) at a rate proportional to the speed of the increasing compression. Because damage is occurring on a "one cell at a time" basis rather than the profound total involvement that occurs in acute spinal injury, the spinal cord has time to retrain itself and compensate clinically for a great deal of the damage occurring. Consequently, the outward clinical picture may not truly reflect the total degree of internal pathology that exists. Performing surgery in cases where spinal cord compression has existed for long periods of time and significant clinical loss has occurred can do little to improve clinical function if at all. What function is lost is most often irretrievable, so the best therapy in these cases is to arrest the slowly progressive nature of the compression before too much clinical dysfunction develops, most especially a loss of pain perception. By comparison, in cases of explosive type I disk herniation, decompressive surgery is of most value when performed immediately. Delays of even a few hours may make a major difference in the outcome of the case, especially if significant compression exists.
 
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