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Hello! My dog Mack (lhasa apso) had the ventral slot procedure done on his neck exactly 2 weeks ago. He had 2 ruptured discs that were causing him extreme pain. He had not lost function of his legs, but he was showing some nerve root pain by lifting up his left paw. They did surgery on him that night and he did great. We got to take him home the next night. We had some issues with him being extremely painful and yelping out in pain, we ended up having to take him back so he could get IV meds. He came home again the next day with a slew of meds, tramadol, methocarbamol, gabapentin, prednisone, and stuff to protect his stomach. I could tell a huge difference he was pretty much pain free for the most part. Still a little slow moving, especially in the morning, but over all a big improvement. He went back yesterday to have his stitches removed and the neuro did all sorts of tests moving his head all around. I was so afraid he was going to scream but he never did. We started decreasing his meds today. He is completely off the tramadol as well as methocarbamol. Those are only as needed. He is still taking the Gabapentin at 100mg every 8 to 12 hours, as well as his prednisone is cut down to 1/8 once a day. He did well yesterday evening, but this morning I had to take him to get his laser treatment, and when I got him out of the car he whined. The doctor told me it would be a very long recovery as far as the pain goes, because the neck is so sensitive. The main reason for this post is because I notice his neck twitching extremely hard. It almost makes his whole head bob sometimes. It was happening at his visit yesterday so I pointed it out to the neuro and he said that it might be something with his nerves, and he reminded me that they did have to go through muscle for the surgery so that spasms could be from that. I am SO worried that he has slipped another disc. I have been so strict with him, carrying him to the bathroom and he NEVER gets out of his cage, just to use the bathroom. But I have read where a dog can slip a disc just walking. I need to hear from someone whose dog has had cervical surgery and what the recovery was like. Is it normal for the dog to be in some pain 2 weeks out? Also do you think the twitching is just part of the healing? I can tell he is still in pain sometimes, especially when he is moving to go to the restroom. Is he just sore? I cant afford another surgery for him. This has already cost me 5 grand... I need some advice please!!! Thanks!
I haven't been through this, but I would certainly expect him to still be in pain, it's only been 2 weeks. If I were you I would describe what is going on to the vet who prescribed the methocarbomal. It sounds (?) like muscle spasms to me (but I don't know), and that is what that medication is for, maybe he needs to stay on it a while longer. Maybe the vet would let you give him the medication for another day or two just to see if the twitching subsides. If you are out of pills, maybe they would give you a few rather than a whole bottle. I really doubt it is another slipped disk. Frankly, I'm surprised he's off the pain meds already since my dog was on them for a month and her problem wasn't in her neck, which is more sensitive. If you don't mind, would you please post back what you find out, as I would like to know. Thanks.
My dog went thru spinal surgery--broken back and ended up with MRSA and paralyzed. She is much better now--4 years later at age 11. It took about 6 months of heavy rehab--of course my situation is different BUT the point is that any kind of surgery, esp spinal I found this about your procedure
"The size of the opening is critical it must be large enough to retrieve the disc but not to large as this can cause destabilization of the cervical spinal column.
The potential complications seen with this procedure are as follows:
1There is always the potential to damage the spinal cord with any spinal cord procedure. This procedure does not allow the surgeon good visualization. Although the chance of this occuring is minimal it is a risk.
2The venous sinus runs on either side of the laminectomy. It is possible to damage the sinus while removing disc material especially if the disc material is adherent to the fragile sinus. If the sinus is damaged significant bleeding will occur. This bleeding may stop or it may hinder the surgery in such a way as to not be able to retrieve all of the disc material. On a rare occasion the bleeding may be so great that a transfusion is required. "
So, my dog's spine collapsed due to the vets(more than 2 missing a small fracture). I would say that though this is worst case, I think the down time for the dog might be much more time than you originally thought. In fact, the longer the better, I am sure your vet is very good, and I am in no way suggesting they did anything wrong. I am a natural medicine practitioner, and wrote up a blog that might give you ideas of what to give your dog to help him heal better. I am not trying to push it on you, so if you are interested let me know, I'll send you a link. In a nut shell, Antiinflammatory foods that can be helpful during the healing include making the pup a large batch of homemade dog food and adding in freshly ground raw tumeric(much more potent than dried). Bone broths offer Bvitamins and extra calcium and other minerals to help speed the healing. I have found that even when my dog was feeling terrible, she couldnt resist bone broth. Herbs that help the nervous system repair better include Wood Betony(Stachys), which I swear is the reason my dog is walking at all. Raw meat also help the dog's recovery. Little bits of high quality meats. This may sound pricey BUT it sounds as if you are in the world of dumping money of which I finally finished paying off 4 years after the incident. To me if a couple of hundred dollars in really high quality herbs and supplements mean less later, I found it worth it. I also found colostrum to help bring her back from the prednisone. Colostrum is a deep immune builder--and I made sure it came from humanely slaughtered cattles so it wasnt tainted. Anyway, I hope this helps you with some ideas.
The hardest thing is to keep the dog immobilized, but in the end it is the only way sometimes. It broke my heart to kennel my dog but that was it. The worst thing I found was just not knowing how much pain my dog was in, she was so stoic. Food is the best remedy. Some grains can actually create more inflammation, so do your research and really make sure the diet is primo while they are in pain. The twitching may be part of the healing process, but sometimes the meds also can cause weird twitching. I think mine, was on several of the ones you mentioned--in fact I don't know what she wasnt on. Certain ones caused muscle twitches all over.Any way thats all for now
Dog gets mature they often experience hardness and discomfort triggered from osteoarthritis, combined discomfort or even accidents received as a result of their age. Rub can not only help to ease the muscle tissue, but it can go a long way in reducing discomfort and advertising treatment.
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