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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, yesterday Anabelle jumped off the couch and yelped and was acting terrible and yelping since so I took her in to the vet today. The vet immediately noticed that she wouldn't pick up her head and took x-rays and found that she had intervertebral disc disease. I'm not a medical expert but I guess at a part of the spine in her neck there was calcification.

She had a pain patch put on her, and also is on another pain med and a muscle relaxant.

Anyway, as I understand this is a common problem in low breeds including bassets so I wanted to see if anyone has dealt with this before.

The vet told us to make sure she has steps and ramps to everywhere and that if she has problems getting up, moving, or placing her feet on the ground to immediately take her for emergency vet care.
 

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Ramps are a great idea - I have a ramp for the hounds to get on the bed and another for them to get into the van. Unfortunately, I don't have a way to make a ramp for them to come upstairs.
With any type of spinal injury I strongly recommend *strict* crate rest for a minimum of three weeks - especially if they are on pain medication because it makes them feel better than they are and they may do more than they should. The injury needs rest and time to heal properly.
You may want to consider taking her to a chiropractor. Others have had success with acupuncture, but I haven't tried that.
 

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Kirska, My Bentley had about 3 or 4 episodes a IVDD flares beginning at the age of 6 or so. My advice is to keep him off the furniture and stairs. Bentley's affected his back legs so sorry I have no experience with neck issues. Typically a round of prednisone and robaxin would help with the pain. Sometimes he was so weak I would have to put his raincoat on him and actually hold the back of it while we walked to steady and balance him. I remember telling myself I will never have another basset hound because of this, but I think I'm a slave for life :rolleyes: It made me paranoid though after his first incident he was going to "throw" his back out again. Sadly by the time he got older and slowed down (and quit being a wildman) his back improved but he got lymphoma. Had to help him to the bridge a week ago, I miss him so :( Best wishes let us know how you guys are doing......

Kathy and Angel Bentley ATB 3/1/11
 

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I'm not a medical expert but I guess at a part of the spine in her neck there was calcification.
it is not as simple as that the very nature of all dwarf breed and this includes some breed that do not look like dwarf like beagle and mini poodles. have malformation ie hard more prone to rupture disks than other breeds. Think of it like this a 1 year dwarf has the disk of a 9-10 year old of another breed.

for a more detailed explaination see
Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease
Prepared for
The Dachshund Club of America, Inc.
by
Patricia J. Luttgen, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of
Veterinary Internal Medicine,
Specialty of Neurology
Denver, Colorado


Disks can be divided into two histochemical types: 1) chondrodystrophoid and 2) nonchondrodystrophoid or fibroid. The word "chondrodystrophoid" literally means faulty development or nutrition of cartilage. In humans, chondrodystrophoism is recognized physically (phenotypically) as dwarfism, where individuals are smaller than normal and whose parts (especially limbs) are disproportionate. Certain breeds of dogs, such as dachshunds, show their chondrodystrophism by having disproportionately short and angulated limbs. However, phenotypic characteristics alone can not be used to identify chondrodystrophoid dogs. Other breeds, such as miniature poodles and beagles, have been histochemically identified to have chondrodystrophoid disks and yet do not appear outwardly to be chondrodystrophoid.

...The nucleus pulposus in chondrodystrophoid is almost completely composed of dense fibrocartilage which appears to have completed the chondrofication process. There are only isolated "islands" of notochordal cell remnants seen. In contrast the intracellular matrix of the nonchondrodystrophoid disk is loose and fibrillar and contains notochordal cells only.
The amount of pressure that builds up inside the disk when forces are applied depends on two factors: 1) the water binding properties of the nucleus (more water equals more elasticity) and 2) the degree of resistance and elasticity of the annulus and surrounding structures. These factors are highly dependent on the histochemical makeup of the disk and the changes it undergoes during aging.

...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.
One of the best things you can do to prevent back injuries is to maintain the dogs weight toward the thin side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chiropractor is a great idea; I didn't realize there were vets out there that did it for dogs though I probably should've known better. I will have to see if I can get a recommendation for one in DFW.

We get to go shopping today for a harness. She recommended we not use a collar anymore when walking her so we won't jerk her neck around. Though I don't plan to walk her for a few weeks, but we may have to take her in for a follow up exam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So far she has been completely zonked out, only getting up to eat and sniff around in the backyard for a minute or two. Our other dog is being great, too. He just lays next to her bed.
 

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most practicing chiropractic on dogs are not vets, it gets into a dicey area of the law.
My canine chiropractor *IS* a DVM as well, but she does strictly chiropractic. Her canine/feline work is out of a veterinary hospital, her equine work obvioulsy is on farms.

Definitely recommend to go that route.
 

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When I had a doxie, he had this once mid-life. He yelped, we did x-rays, and he had some disc disease.

Like others said, we put up ramps everywhere, even the couch that seemed quite short. We didn't allow him to beg anymore (tho he still tried). No jumping. Fortunately, it never came back. I was so worried it would and that he might need surgery someday, but it never happened. so there is hope that it could be a one-time thing...

Feel better soon, Anabelle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Anabelle is doing much better today. She is still in some noticeable pain but is in good spirits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
She seems to have a pattern of good day, bad day, good day, bad day. We are keeping up meds for another week before we're going to try taking her off them. I think she is getting overconfident on good days which is what's causing the bad days. On a good day she is back to normal and we try to keep her confined and sleeping, sometimes have to lock the dog door to keep her inside. On bad days she's okay as long as she's laying down but getting her to lay down can be very hard. It hurts for her to make the motion of laying down so she will stand or sit there for hours. Usually I can put on music and put a hot rag on her neck to make her feel good enough to lay down again.

On a happy note I did come across a great comfy Cesar Millan harness at Petco that's the "step-in" kind so it won't bother her neck. I haven't seen it anywhere online so I got lucky. And it matches the leash she already has. Harley will inherit her collar.
 

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Be patient, I know sometimes it was a few months before my B was back to "normal", hoping your girl continues to improve
 

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One of my predecessors, mom and dad's dear sweet lulu, benefited very well from accupuncture. It helped her pain and increased her appetite when she was very sick with cancer.

They still miss her. But they are helped daily with a healthy dose of MEMEMEMEMEMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
 
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