Ohmygosh, you with a toddler and then this. You must be frantic! I hope you don't mind if I ask a couple of questions.
1) What tests did they use to show it is a disk problem, and where in the back or neck did they say the disk is located?
2) Is Bailey on prednisone only, or is he on Deramaxx with the prednisone?
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/deracoxib.html on Deramaxx wrote:it is also best to avoid using NSAIDs in combination with corticosteroids such as prednisone, dexamethasone etc.
Here are pictures of Buster on crate rest. It looks like the same sort of set-up you mentioned trying for Bailey. It works well to use an x-pen because with a dog this size, it is easier to get him on his feet and out to potty if you do not have to try to extract him from the crate, which is hard on your back and probably not good for his either.
If surgery is not an option, then strict crate rest is your other option, but it can't be expected to work if you are not strict about it. It means he will be in his crate (or x-pen) 24/7 (which really does mean 24/7) and only out to potty or have his bed changed, then right back in he goes. No dragging around, no walking in the yard smelling the fenceposts, etc.
If this is your only shot, then you'll need to be sure he does it right. Get the whole family on board. It won't help if you are strict about his crate rest, and then one of the kids or another family member secretly feels sorry for him and has him out to play while you are gone. It could ruin everything. Crate rest for a disk problem runs from 6-8 weeks. It means your dog will not be off bedrest until April 21 at the earliest. If that seems like a long time, many other dogs have done it, Bailey isn't the first.
As for good days and bad days, it sounds like the bad days are a warning and you have been awfully lucky he has not gotten so much worse that he lost bladder control (additional nursing care required if that happens) and has not lost all
mobility. He takes his meds, he rests, his disk improves a bit, then he walks around and does a small amount of normal doggy activity and his disk is aggravated, healing stops and is set back, and his symptoms become more noticeable. I hate to sound so grim, but it is probably only a matter of time before you have a completely down dog at this rate. You can put a stop to the progression right now by putting him on strict crate rest and letting that disk have a decent chance to heal without being continually aggravated by movement.
I will be honest, when I put my golden retriever on crate rest after he hurt his back trying to jump in the car, he cried so much I had to buy earplugs. I did
buy earplugs (actually I got the earmuff style of hearing protectors in the weedeater department at Wal-Mart) so I wouldn't wimp out, and after a week he quieted down and was better about it, but I still needed them from time to time.
I must say, crating him in an x-pen would not only be best for him, but give you a bit of sanity, too. You'll still have to take him out to potty, but aside from that, tough love says he stays in there even if he cries, and you ignore it the best you can and chase your toddler around. (Be sure the baby can't pull the x-pen down on top of himself, right?)
Are you doing a lot of
with Bailey right now, or are you lucky on that so far?
Glad you are here!!!