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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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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:

JACKIE BARNETT'S JUST LIKE NEW FUND
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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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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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

Sophie's Mum
00000000000
 

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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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My Bentley had about 3 rounds of back injury beginning around the age of 6. The first time he bounced back very quickly, but the other 2 times honestly took a couple months and he was chronically a little weak thereafter in one back leg. I ordered a set of ?Walking wheels the second time (which did not work for my guy but may for yours......they come ship quickly) and ultimately returned these and bought a set of custom made Eddie's wheels. By the time they arrived 2 weeks later my guy had improved and didn't need them. My other trick (once again your furbaby may be different) was to put his raincoat on him and I would hold onto the back of this and support his back legs under his bottom and go out with him this way, giving the extra balance seemed to help him. Yes by the time we got back inside MY back hurt from being bent over, but gradually he did regain strength and got almost back to normal. I was always super-paranoid with his activity after this, no jumping on/off furniture, limited running, etc. I say don't give up, I almost put mine down a few times but my vet talked me out of it for which I was forever grateful as he bounced back on more than one occasion (3 actually!). My heart aches for you though, I understand it is a terrible situation to be in. Hopefully the meds will kick in soon, maybe a stronger dose of prednisone? Also, for pain the doctor gave me tramadol (ultram) which I think really helped and robaxin a muscle relaxer. I would give it a little more time and maybe try some additional meds through the weekend. Or as suggested get a surgical opinion. I will keep you in my prayers and please keep us updated.
 

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Roscoe(5yrs old) jumped off the ottoman in December of 2009 and hurt his lower back. He lost his ability to walk right then and there. Immediately, rushed him over to our Vet. Damaged disc. Tramadol and prednisone pills is what Roscoe took. We made a special area for him between the sofa and a wall. ( to block out the other 4 Bassets) Made a make shift sling out of tube socks for his hind legs. The reason for tube socks is because the sling the vet gave us was too hard. I stuffed 2 tube socks and did alittle sewing and it looked like a big O. That was for his left hind leg...did the same for the other leg. At first Roscoe did not go outside to use the bathroom for a long time. But once I helped him with the brace to help counter his weight he was able to go outside.
This was some getting used to. Bringing him water and food at his safe zone. and taking him outside with the brace. This went on for almost 9weeks. I started slowly letting him use his hind legs to stand on while using the brace around week 7. Slowly he would try to use his back legs...like a new born baby deer or calf. That is how he looked.
Like I said...around week 9 he was able to stand on his own and make small steps...It was truly a blessing...
My advice is .... patience and TLC...Hope this helps.....and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well yesterday and today she did walk for short distances and made attempts to go outside. I have had to help her with a towl under her belly but her back legs are moving in proper walking motion. This evening she went out on her own and came back in. slow and still fell to her rump once but was able to get up. I'm hoping the improvements will continue. I am very reserved about putting her down now more than ever since the past two days have shown respectable improvements. Still giving predizone and pain killers every day and I'm hoping in a few weeks she will be much better.
 

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Happy Easter News

:)

That's fantastic and encouraging news she is making improvements with movement etc. I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone on here when I say may she continue to improve and may you both get to spend many more precious years with your bassett. Wishing you both the very best with what I hope turns out in time to be a complete recovery !
 

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Just remember not to let her do too much walking. Even if she is able to do so under her own power it might not hurt to use a sling like described above. The pain killers are going to make her feel better but it might not mean that she healed up.

My friend has a basset diagnose with the same condition as yours and they recommended 6 weeks of crate rest with the only times she's let out is to go potty. Her first vet told her it would cost around 6 to 8 grand for surgery and diagnostics for her dog. The second vet said to try pain meds and steroids along with crate rest and see if she improves before going the route of surgery,

I'm so glad to hear she's doing better! I would definitely get a second opinion if things don't improve or get worse.
 

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There could be other options if you need them.One might be a cart for her if something reoccurs or a Holistic Vet.I have seen a dog turn around after the Holistic vet put her on a sort of raw diet.But I would not try it with out the vet.
 

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I'm so glad she's doing better! Sounds like rest and pain killers is doing the trick. Just keep her resting and I would keep using a sling like others are suggesting. Good luck and hope she continues to improve. More healing drool from Doppler and Virga!
 

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Yaay, great news she is doing better. As stated above crate rest (or bathroom rest) is a good idea. I kept Bentley gated in the bathroom for a couple weeks the first time. He told me he was feeling better when he attempted to jump up on "the throne" ;) Having throw rugs down on the floor (or if you have carpeted floors) greatly helps them get around as well. Keep us posted.
 
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