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My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnight..

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue.

My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnight..

Postby blueberryskye » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:34 pm

He woke up in pain Sat. morning and wasn't able to move his back legs. He was incontinent on the bed. He's almost four years old. The vet said he has hemivertebrae. I've done a lot of research this weekend. Apparently it's usually discovered within the first year. This is a rare and severe case. Mr. Pibb has always been very active. He still acts like a puppy.
My husband and I are devastated. He is the most ridiculous, friendly guy.
He had spinal manipulation therapy, acupuncture, and a steroid right away. The vet said he did not improve since yesterday, and in fact, now his sphincter isn't working. He is going to have acupuncture again tomorrow. I have read great stories about success with acupuncture and hemivertebrae.
I would greatly appreciate any advice.
I live in SW Michigan.
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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby CarolC » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:04 pm

Well, it's a shock and totally unexpected, but he can still have a happy life and he will be the same dog you love. :wub:

It sounds like he needs to wear a male doggy diaper (malewrap, also called belly band) for his incontinence. That will keep him dry and protect your surfaces. Malewraps are your friend and much less fuss than a diaper.
:malewrap:

You may also want to ask the vet about expressing his bladder. That is where you squeeze his tummy to make him urinate. If you empty him that way several times a day, it will keep him dryer.

Dogs with rear paralysis do well pulling themselves around at home, but for exercise you can get him a little wheelchair. It will be easy with him being a small breed dog.

You might enjoy reading some of the posts by sunspirit. Her pug Tucker has hemivertebrae and she has been taking care of him since 2006. They got ramps first when he began having problems, and then a wheelchair. Here is a link to the ramps, and I'll attach a photo of Tucker. He must be around 11 years old now. You can see by the sweet look on his face he has been enjoying life all these years.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8821&p=45180&hilit=ramps#p45180
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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby blueberryskye » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:56 am

Thank you for your reply. Mr. Pibb has received 4 acupuncture treatments so far. His condition hasn't changed yet. It was quite an adjustment when we brought him home last week. My husband will be making him a wheelchair very soon. He is trying to figure out a design with casters instead of wheels to keep the furniture from being damaged. We are just so lucky to have our guy and hope to keep him as happy as possible.
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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby critters » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:11 am

Since most puppers use their carts outside, I doubt the casters will be satisfactory. What you might do is to have 2 carts--one for inside and the other for outside. You may not need an inside cart, though, since they're not supposed to use them without supervision because they can turn over, get stuck, etc.
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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby blueberryskye » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:51 pm

Thank you for your suggestions. My husband plans to make a cart with wheels for outside use and one with casters for inside. We will definitely monitor him while he's using them.
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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby CarolC » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:39 am

Casters sound good for indoors if you have smooth floors. I didn't stop to think about what you said before, but actually, some of the wheelchair brands have the wheels angled. It is hard to describe, so here are a couple of photos from the new calendar for an example. With the wheels angled, the center of the wheel will not stick out so far and scratch the cherry table legs and woodwork as easily. To me maybe an even bigger advantage is that with the wheels angled, it helps the dog not get hung up on doorways and stuff like that so easily.
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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby Bobbie » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:58 pm

Angled wheels can be more stable but aren't as energy-efficient for the dog. Though I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference.

A lot of people just pad parts of the cart that might encounter furniture or doorways (doorways tend to be a bigger problem for my dog.)

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Re: My Frenchie, Mr. Pibb, suddenly became paralyzed overnig

Postby critters » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:49 am

That tilting is called "cambering," and manufacturers of human wheelchairs do it too, especially for stability with high performance or athletic wheelchairs.
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