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stroke: acupuncture, amputation, or just leave it alone.

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

stroke: acupuncture, amputation, or just leave it alone.

Postby Indy » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:45 am

My dog had a stroke at the end of Feb. She has recovered for the most part. She has a rear leg that just drags. We try to keep it bandaged, but she chews them off. We have purchased boots for in the snow and put them over the bandage.
My husband wants to try acupuncture to see if it will help bring the leg back. I have no idea if that is worth the expense or not. I also know we can't afford to amputate it either. She keeps getting soft tissues sores from dragging it everywhere and licking at it. I think if she is chewing off the bandages, they mush be bothering her. If they bother her, she is aware of them. Could this be caused by some sensation she might be getting in the leg, or is this probably an issue with she sees it and so she wants the bandages, or boot off? I want the best, just can't afford it. Help. I will help hubby pay for acupuncture if there is actual hope. I don't want to pay for a false hope though.
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Re: stroke: acupuncture, amputation, or just leave it alone.

Postby CarolC » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:34 pm

Yes, it could be caused by a sensation she is feeling. Is she still chewing or licking after the boots are off? If not, then disregard the following. Some dogs go through a chewing stage during recovery. The theory is that they are feeling a kind of pins and needles sensation as feeling begins to return to the leg (or other body part), sort of like we do when we sleep on our arm funny and it goes numb, then tingles when it begins to wake back up. It is temporary, but while they are in this stage some dogs will actually do real damage to themselves because they don't stop licking and chewing, to the point of bleeding or self mutilation. There didn't used to be a good solution for it, other than anti-lick preparations or the cone collar and other physical protection, and they were not really dependable or 100% effective. For example, dogs will sometimes get out of the lampshade collar or chew anyway in spite of bitter apple or the like. But now they have a medication for it called gabapentin. You might talk to your vet about gabapentin (Neurontin). In the meantime, I would put her in a cone collar if she is still chewing or licking after the boot or wrap is off. There have been cases here where the dog chewed off toes or part of the p*enis, and I know of 2 cases where the dog did so much damage it had to be put down. Unfortunately people cannot watch their dog every minute, and it can happen overnight or while the owner is away at work, and they come home and find the dog has chewed until bleeding. The good news is, it does indicate feeling is returning, and it is temporary, and gabapentin is effective, but I would ask the vet about the medication right away.
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Re: stroke: acupuncture, amputation, or just leave it alone.

Postby critters » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:47 am

Personally, I'd consider a splint to hold the limb in the position of function. You need to be concerned about contractures, as well as skin breakdown, if you don't.
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