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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, it has been an eternity since i was on here.

Last year was a real bugger for me, quit my job, started out on my own, moved to a new place etc - everything always happens at once.

Frida checking out out her new home right next to the park!

Everything seemed to be getting better, falling into place - until last Saturday when Frida was having problems walking, she got the 'drunk walk' characteristic which made my heart sink, and we were off to the vet.

The x-ray and physical check were inconclusive. She appears to be able to feel her back legs, just not move them too well. The x-ray didn't show anything conclusive.

She is on anti-inflammatory tablets, but we are 5 days into the treatment and so far there is no improvement.

She is generally in good spirits, she still wants to cuddle, eat her food and still wags her tail - but she can not walk, she drags herself around at home, and we have to carry her when outside. Several times we have come home and found her 'stuck' with her legs so far behind her that she is just laying there crying when we come in until we pick her up and put her back in her bed, or take her to drink water.

As she is unable to move on her own, her quality of life is suffering, and we don't really want to think about the vets 'other suggestion', but at the same time, we can't leave her like this indefinitely.

Will keep updating this thread as the situation develops.
 

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First of all, for any back injury she should be on STRICT crate rest and anti-inflammatories, minimum 6 weeks, not dragging herself around and exacerbating the injury. Crate rest is essential.

Right now she seems to be about where Melody was when she went down. When she needs to go out, she should be supported with a sling (a short sheet or long towel works fine, or you can get a commercial one).

Once Mel's crate rest was over, we got her a cart. We weren't expecting her to ever walk again, but she was in good spirits and no pain, and had control of bowel and bladder, so a cart was a good option for her. After a brief adjustment she loved it and was zooming all over the place. It did take a while to build up the muscles in her front end.

We also did some physiotherapy with her back legs. Ask your vet about "range of motion" exercises that you can do with her legs to help prevent muscle loss.

Gradually Melody started to improve. At first she would swing her legs a little bit in her cart, then she started placing them as she wheeled, then actually pushing herself along. About a year after she went down, she got up and started walking again. Now she hikes up the hill here twice a day - she's still unsteady andhas trouble on slippery surfaces, but she keeps improving the more she does. Her cart is a distant memory.

Once she started walking we did some swim therapy which seemed to help a lot, and she had some visits to the chiropractor.

This is all to say, as long as she is happy, not in pain and has bowel/bladder control DO NOT GIVE UP. I've known too many dogs that have recovered use of their legs after the vet said surgery was the only option to believe that line. That includes Melody's great-great grandmother Myrtle, who also got back on her feet after the vet told me she would never walk again without surgery. And even if she doesn't walk, that doesn't mean she can't have good quality of life.
 

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I haven't had a chance to really look it over yet, but this site may be useful.

Home
 

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Mel on wheels....







Melody at swim therapy:


Melody now:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Soundtrack you are an angel.

We have had Frida to three different vets here, and all said the same. Take it easy and keep taking the pills, walk her only twice a day - but if nothing changes in a week, then surgery, or ...

Your story has really perked us up. I don't know if it is common or not elsewhere, but here crating a dog is not the done thing, and none of the vets mentioned it. Frida was never crated as a puppy, and she doesn't really like it - but she uses it when we are travelling by car - so it will not be a totally new experience for her.

Even with 'walking' her, the vets just said to pick her up if she falls, and to go slow - when you mentioned carrying her like that then of course it was super obvious (strange how my mind doesn't think of things on its own when i'm stressed). I am at work now, but I will be home by lunch, so I will get her cage out of storage and find a nice blanket that I can use to carry her in.

Thank-you Soundtrack for your wonderful response, and the lovely pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Was doing a bit of google research into dog wheelchairs here in Norway, ordering from abroad is possible, but would take such a long time, and I now perhaps better understand why all three vets didn't give me any advice about this course of treatment - it's a national mentality!

I found several forums (in Norwegian) where someone has asked about dog support wheelchairs for injured or lame dogs, and the responses have been quite savage. That this is abusive, and selfish and it is an ego trip for an abusive owner to keep a dog alive when they can not walk - I must say I am shocked!

Frida is still so vibrant and full of happy energy, I can't imagine why anyone would think letting her go would be a better choice than a harness? And the pictures posted by Soundtrack show a VERY happy looking hound, out and about in the world.

Though I have lived here for 12 years, sometimes things happen which make me feel very foreign.
 

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First of all, for any back injury she should be on STRICT crate rest and anti-inflammatories, minimum 6 weeks, not dragging herself around and exacerbating the injury. Crate rest is essential.

Right now she seems to be about where Melody was when she went down. When she needs to go out, she should be supported with a sling (a short sheet or long towel works fine, or you can get a commercial one).

Once Mel's crate rest was over, we got her a cart. We weren't expecting her to ever walk again, but she was in good spirits and no pain, and had control of bowel and bladder, so a cart was a good option for her. After a brief adjustment she loved it and was zooming all over the place. It did take a while to build up the muscles in her front end.

We also did some physiotherapy with her back legs. Ask your vet about "range of motion" exercises that you can do with her legs to help prevent muscle loss.

Gradually Melody started to improve. At first she would swing her legs a little bit in her cart, then she started placing them as she wheeled, then actually pushing herself along. About a year after she went down, she got up and started walking again. Now she hikes up the hill here twice a day - she's still unsteady andhas trouble on slippery surfaces, but she keeps improving the more she does. Her cart is a distant memory.

Once she started walking we did some swim therapy which seemed to help a lot, and she had some visits to the chiropractor.

This is all to say, as long as she is happy, not in pain and has bowel/bladder control DO NOT GIVE UP. I've known too many dogs that have recovered use of their legs after the vet said surgery was the only option to believe that line. That includes Melody's great-great grandmother Myrtle, who also got back on her feet after the vet told me she would never walk again without surgery. And even if she doesn't walk, that doesn't mean she can't have good quality of life.
A heart-warming story, thanks for sharing :)
 

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Bassets and off back legs ....

We had one who went off his back legs at agd 8. We had his spine x-rayed and spondylitis was diagnosed. At the time because he was in pain, quite a lot, our vet really didn't hold out much hope and suggested pts. I knew he wasn't ready for that, and that so often you must give them a chance. Complete rest - we had a pen in the kitchen so he didn't need to be crated as such much as he could have been as mine were used to being crated. He was a big hound and I didn't want to have to crate him. He still had feeling behind and control of his bladder/bowels. He was put on PLT tablets which helped the pain no end, and we helped him outside via a sling - no mean feat with a hound of upwards of 80 lbs and that wasn't fat either. I tried him in a K9Cart which the BHC here had available on loan but he wasn't happy with that. After a while, I started to think enough was enough, and actually picked up the phone to make 'the' appointment. He was in the room at the time, and shortly after I'd made the call, sat up, started grooming himself and stood up. I couldn't believe it. I always felt the dog was somebody I'd known in the past in another form but ..... Clearly he realised he'd probably milked the situation as far as he could!!

I cancelled the appointment, and much as he never moved as he had before, his back was roached too, he lived to be 14 with what I'd suggest was good quality life - occasionally he had pain and I'd need to put him on PLT again but my message it to hold fire on pts. Depending on how she's doing. I'd not have gone for surgery btw. Spinal surgery doesn't always work and unfortunately for most of us, there has to be a financial consideration. It is essential, early days, to restrict the amount of movement given - hydrotherapy is excellent to keep up muscle tone. And you might give some thought to acupuncture?
 

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I just wanted to tell you about our tale as you shouldnt give up hope, they can amaze you. We have two bassets and two tibetan terriers. Our oldest tibetan is 14 yrs 6 mths old. In february he jumped off the sofa half way across the room and onto our wooden floor. He slipped, was spread out on all fours and was crying in pain. We rushed him to the vets, he had dislocated his hip. He had to have a closed reduction op and his leg in a sling for 10 days. There is a high failure rate with this and the hips are very likely to come out the socket again. He lasted the 10 days in the sling ok, but the night he had it removed it dislocated and again was rushed to the vets
again. The vet gave us a choice of pts, try the closed reduction again with even higher failure rate now or big surgery, but the vet said he might not survive the op and theres a long recovery time of 12 plus weeks. At his age the surgery seemed a bad option because he was very frail. So we opted for the closed reduction again as we werent ready to pts. He was in complete crate rest for 6 weeks, 2 wks with the sling on and then 4 without. I freaked every time he walked worrying he would slip. But he got stronger and now he is running around as he was before it happened. I am still over protective and dont let him on the sofas, but he has been on several caravanning trips away and is now going on walks. I suppose I am just trying to say that dont give up they can surprise you. I also bought him a dog pushchair so that we could still take him for a walk in the sunshine without him walking! People thought we were mad but he loved it.

Love the pictures of Mel.
 

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Yes please don't give up hope. Like Soundtrack so perfectly showed with Melody Bassets are amazingly adaptable. Isabel ruptured a disc two years ago. It was quick with her - showed very little signs a couple days before and we took her to the vet. The vet thought she might have stained her neck. Rest, rest and more rest - just toilet breaks. 11am two days later she was sleeping and just woke up and screamed like she had been shot. I let her out of the Xpen and she was dragging her back legs. Two hours later she had surgery and luckily it went well. But if it had not she would be on wheels with a great quality of life like Melody. She looks very happy!
And to add accupuncture and a great homeopathic vet like FM said did wonders with Izzy's rehabilitation.
 

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she was sleeping and just woke up and screamed like she had been shot.
This was pretty much what happened with Mel, she had no signs of trouble leading up to it (and I do know the signs) then she woke me in the middle of the night screaming and couldn't use her back legs.

Even worse, she started having seizures every night between midnight and 2 am. I was getting ready to let her go, but fortunately we determined it was the Tramadol she was on for pain that was causing them, we discontinued the medication and the seizures stopped. I've used Tramadol on other dogs with no problem, but it disagreed with Melody and I've heard of other dogs that had problems with it.
 

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I noted the water therapy photo. If that is an option for you... it is easier on joints, etc from what I understand (just a loving basset mom, not a medical expert) but I have seen things where it is very helpful.

Wishing you the best of luck and recovery. Don't give up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As for therapy, it seems this country is in the stone ages there. The generally accepted medical advice for back injury is to let the dog go, so it seems we are a little on our own there.

She went into her crate yesterday, and was there all night, apart from her toilet breaks - where we took her out with a sling under her to support her legs (crazy how I never thought of this, but now it seems so obvious - duh!). When supported she does swing her legs around like she thinks she is actually doing the hard work of moving around that junk in her trunk, and that made me really happy that she has not totally lost control of her legs.

Her first night in the crate was not fun, she cried quite loudly most of the night - as I mentioned before, crate training is not so common here, and Frida was never crate trained as a puppy, and she really hates going in, so it takes both of us to put her into the crate, with her squirming, barking and yelping the whole time - but once in she calms down.

I suppose it is to be expected, and we will just have to accept that she will cry in the night, but we just have to be strong and not give in and let her out, as this is for her own good.

She is still in very good humour, apart from when she sulks after going in the crate, but at least she accepts treats. When she had an emergency hysterectomy a couple of years ago she had to wear a cone of shame for a while, and when that was on she wouldn't even take her favourite candy from us ;)

Thanks again everyone for your stories, it is very encouraging :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So it has been around 2 weeks since she first had problems, and just over a week of crate rest and being carried with a sling under her back end when she is out - and I can carefully say that there are signs of improvement.

She is still on tablets, and her general mood is the same, upbeat and happy. She is a little less happy as she is in her crate all the time, but she is getting used to that even, and we don't have to fight to ger her in now, she just heads for it after she has been out and eaten without much fuss - though she does cry sometimes for attention.

She still loves being outside, so we try to spend some time out in the fresh air at lunchtime and in the evening so she can enjoy herself a little, and have a bit of a cuddle.



Yesterday was the first time since it happened that she wanted to stretch out and show her tummy when we were sat outside, as she normally loves to do, to get a good tummy rub.

Today when we came back from her midday toilet break she had some food, and she continued to stand while eating, rather than sitting down.

We realise that it will still be quite a while before she can walk on her own (if ever!) - but it is very encouraging that she seems stronger than she was a couple of weeks ago.
 

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I'm so glad she's getting better! It sounds like you're on the right track. Thank you for the updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Instagram

This is a little video of her from just now in the park before lunch - every day is a little better.
She is still on crate rest most of the day, we literally live at the edge of this park you see, the park boundary is the wall of our building, so it's a very short walk to get there - and the last few days we have let her walk around a little.

She is able to stand up on her own now, and walk, though still a little 'drunkenly' but much less than what it was.

She has never lost her good mood during the whole time, always just as happy and waggy like her normal self, and just as keen to eat everything she can get at ;)

She is now totally OK with her crate, she looks a little sulky, but she goes in on command after eating and doesn't struggle or pretend she can't hear :p

Have been doing some exercises with her in the park (that soundtrack kindly mailed me - thank-you!) and whereas last week I felt almost no resistance when I was moving her legs, now I feel her pushing back - so slowly, but steadily it seems she is getting better.

Thank-you everyone for your kind words and wonderful support.
 

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There you go!!! Bassets that go off their back legs should ALWAYS be given time, provided any pain associated with this is controlled. Too many vets are too quick to want to pull the plug. And actually even with our long-standing vet, and Ben, this was her advice. I said No, he needs time, let's get his pain under control. And I was right. It took time and for sure, he didn't ever look as good as your girl does from that vid (at least her back isn't roached) but he had from 8 when it happened, to 14 before we had to let him go - and not because of that.

Do you know what caused this? I'm asking because you still need to limit her exercise, as we did with Ben, just in case.

Well done though. And again message to others who are faced with this - give your Basset TIME.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Really not sure, it was a saturday and her other dad was playing in a volleyball competition, so we went to watch. We took the bus there and back as it's quite far, so she didn't walk too far. But when we got home she was walking just fine (though perhaps a little slow), and there are 3 steps up from the metro station and she put up her front legs and then just stopped and gave me a really sad look, I tried to encourage her to get up (thought she was just being lazy as normal), but she just couldn't - so I lifted her up, and then she walked the last few meters home normally.

She ate her lunch, and went to lay down in her bed totally normally, but then in the evening when I went to get her lead, I heard her moving, but she didn't come like normal, and when I went to look she was pulling herself off her bed by her front legs only, her back legs were just not doing anything.

She never made any obvious physical indication that anything happened, and she never seemed to be in pain, no shaking, or crying or loss of appetite - really a bit of a mystery...
 
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