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Newly paralyzed

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.

Newly paralyzed

Postby babynme8 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:22 pm

Our dog was hit last night. We got him to a vet and he was treated for shock and given some pain meds they kept him over night. They did an x-ray today and his back has a clean break near they last rib. Vet doesn't think that cord is intact. He is only 4 years old and we think he can still have a good quality life. We should get to bring him home Saturday as long as he continues to show no signs of heart issues. The vet wants him to rest for at least two weeks before we try a sling or wheels. I'm just wondering what I should expect how do I care for him going forward? How do keep him clean and dry especially for the next two weeks. Just need some reassurance and guidance as we adjust to our new life.

Nucky is a boston terrier/French bulldog mix and is a little on the chubby side.

ETA: He has bruising everywhere, no internal bleeding, eye contusion, and road rash.
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Re: Newly paralyzed

Postby CarolC » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:14 pm

Hi and welcome,


Your dog's injury sounds like it is in the same place where my dog was injured, around T12-13. You are right, your dog can have a great quality of life and he will continue to be the same personality you have always loved. During the first few weeks after your dog comes home, you are doing a lot of brainstorming and trying different things to get everything arranged and learn a new routine with your dog. It can add up to quite a bit of stress while you figure it all out, but the good news is that dogs do survive our learning curve. You can probably expect that people around you to be pretty clueless about what you are going through, they have no experience with it. But once you get your routine down, it just becomes a new normal.

It sounds like probably your dog is going to be incontinent. When a dog has a spinal injury in the area you describe, they tend to hold their urine and are not able to urinate even if they can feel they need to. Your vet should show you how to express his bladder. That means you squeeze his tummy in a certain way to make him pee. When a dog has a spinal injury near the tail, the urinary sphincter is loose and the dog is usually easy to express. When the dog has an injury up where your dog does, the sphincter tends to be tight and it is harder to get the dog to release urine. You may want to ask the vet about medication for an "upper motor neuron bladder" to relax his sphincter, at least for now while he is newly injured and you are learning to express. However the advantage is that dogs with an injury in this location tend not to be dribblers or leakers unless the bladder is extremely full and overflows. This does not happen if you express the bladder every 8 hours. So while a male dog with a spinal injury closer to the tail might need a male doggy diaper to keep his bedding dry, your dog may not need one. If your dog does need a diaper, be glad he's a boy because malewraps are your friend. They are a wide belt that goes around the waist and fastens with velcro, and they hold an absorbent pad over the male area. I had a dog who wore male wraps (aka belly bands) 24/7 for 2 or 3 years. You can do that if you apply ointment to protect the skin from diaper rash.

Here is a link to an article with a lot of videos at the end, showing different ways of expressing. (For some reason the pictures are not showing in the article, but the videos are at the bottom if you scroll all the way down.)


I assume you will want to handle him as little as possible while you are waiting for his fracture to heal. Did the vet say anything about surgery to stabilize the fracture? A board certified surgeon knows how to realign the break and knit it together with pins and bone cement. In time the dog's own bone will grow into the break.

My dog actually learned to walk again after a lot of PT.
You can see her x-rays here:
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Re: Newly paralyzed

Postby babynme8 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:21 pm

Carol - Thank you so much for your reply. The vet didn't think surgery would be helpful which I didn't fully understand but was in too much shock I guess to question her. We are hoping to pick him today and I will ask again. I'm sure I'll be back with lots more question after we get him home.
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Re: Newly paralyzed

Postby critters » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:11 am

:violet: So how's it going now??
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Re: Newly paralyzed

Postby babynme8 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:32 pm

Things have been going pretty good. He got to come home Saturday. He's on Baytril twice daily until Thursday night, Tramadol twice daily until Sunday night, and Prednisolone twice daily until Saturday, then once daily for a week, and then once every other day. He lost a tooth and doesn't want to eat much, won't even touch his crunchy food. I tried canned - wasn't a fan, he's currently eating some moist food, chicken broth (no salt), and turkey baby food. I haven't successfully expressed him but I keep trying so for now I have him in pull ups to help protect his skin. He hasn't been pooping but we were at the vet for a check up yesterday and she expressed his bowels and said he had some hard stool at the beginning so hopefully once he's off the tramadol things will start returning to normal. She said we could use DSS if I thought he still needed some help in that department. I have him all set up in an iris playpen in our family room and placed a video monitor above him so I can keep an eye one him while I'm at work. I work less than a block away so if there is an emergency I can get right to him. We go back to the vet in two weeks. I struggled a lot the first two days he was home. I was questioning if I did the right thing for him or was being selfish but as we've started settling into a new routine and he's personality is coming back I know I've made the right decision and I'm so grateful to have found this forum.
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Re: Newly paralyzed

Postby pdgal » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:21 am

So sorry to hear this happened, but I'm glad his personality is coming back - that's always a good sign! As for food, scrambled or boiled eggs will give him protein, cooked green vegetables (green beans, peas, broccoli) will provide minerals, plain yogurt's probiotic qualities will help with digestion, and cooked turkey/chicken are always great, but do check with the vet for dietary needs!
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