My Bailey

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.

My Bailey

Postby rookiemum » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:37 am

Hi, my name is Pam. My Bailey (80 lb mixed breed-lab, dalmatian, setter) was injured the last week of December. We don't know how his herniation happened. He was initially put on Deramaxx and responded well to it. About 3 weeks after the initial injury he reinjured himself. He just kept getting worse and worse until he couldn't use his back legs.

He started Prednisone about 3 weeks ago, it has helped with the injury, but he seems to have a lot of bad side efffects. I'm worried about leaving him on it too long. He also is on pain medicine.

Surgery is not an option for us due to the cost. We've had him in a crate, but it seems to aggravate his pain and paralysis (back legs), I'm considering keeping him "fenced in" in a corner of our family room instead. I use a sling to help him outside to go to the bathroom, some times he can walk a little, sometimes not at all.

Its heartbreaking-yesterday he had a good day, was happy, wagging his tail, and then today he is bad again. My husband says as long as he can get outside to go to the bathroom he will give him a chance to get better. He would have euthanized him a month ago, but after reading the posts on this board, I convinced him to give Bailey a chance. He hates seeing Bailey drag himself around-it is very depressing. He was such an active, happy dog before this.

I wanted to say hello and thanks for all the good information. I
have a wonderful 20 month old son who can be a little rascal, so its hard for me to post (just while I typed this he dumped a cup of water all over the floor, now he's pulling the videos out of the boxes and throwing them on the floor).

Do your dogs have this cycle of good days, bad days? I think he's getting better (or at least not worse), and then he has another terrible day. The rollarcoaster is making me a basket case.

Pam
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Postby Caroline » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:33 pm

Hi and Wecome !

There are lots of great folks to help you here.
How old is your dog?
I know how hard it is to see your friend suffer. To see normally active dog down hurts, because ones worrys if they are happy being that way.
I too was ready to put mine down 2xs, my husband was ready all the time from day one. Buster was what they called a downer dog. I really hate that expression.

I think you need to let him rest ,rest ,rest!!! Because he was moving after the first injury it sounds like he has a good chance. With proper care and hard work , and yes it is stressful.

One will have bad days and set backs, but when the dog bounces back it is just wild how quick it happens.

The opinons on steriods vary, but they do give most pets side affects. We could not afford surgery so I understand your choice. I admire what you have done so far.

Keep the faith

Scratch a dog and you"ll find a permanent job.
Franklin P. Jones
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Postby rookiemum » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:31 pm

Thanks, after the terrible morning we had I am happy to say he is much better this afternoon.

We think Bailey is about 9 years old, we adopted him from a shelter in 2000, so we aren't sure of his exact age.

Pam
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Postby Caroline » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:30 pm

He is soooo cute!! I can see alot of will and life in his eyes.
He also looks like a ham lol.
Just give him some time , and see how he does. If you give him the meds in the am it is understandable why he only starts to perk up in the afternoon. I went threw the same thing with Buster.


The dog who meets with a good master is the happier of the two.
Maurice Maeterlinck

I
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Postby CarolC » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:13 pm

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.

Image
Image

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 :wash: with Bailey right now, or are you lucky on that so far?

Glad you are here!!! :welcomeheart:
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Postby rookiemum » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:49 pm

He was off the Deramaxx for 72 hours before we started the Prednisone-there are warning labels all over the Rx bottles.

He's been in the crate since I got it set up, except to go out for the bathroom. He doesn't mind (no crying, or trying to get out). I have the door open now (so he doesn't feel like a prisoner) and he stays in there. I didn't start crating him as soon as I should have, my husband was against it and wouldn't get the crate out of the shed for me. I was healing from a back injury and couldn't do it myself. One day we got an ice storm and I was able to get it out and slide it down to the house, that is when the 24/7 crate rest started.

We didn't have any tests, the CAT scan is $800 (and 2 hour drive away). Initially the vet said if we weren't going to do the surgery there wasn't much point in having a CAT scan. Now she said a MRI/CAT scan would show us how much damage there is (or if there is a tumor), and give us some idea of if there is a chance he will get better, and if acupuncture would help. I don't know what to do, aside from the expense I don't think 2 hours in the backseat of my car is going to be good for Bailey.

Today the vet told me enough time has gone by that its okay to let him walk around a little. I'm not sure its a good idea, I have noticed if he walks a little more than normal, he has a bad day the next day. We are going to keep him on the Prednisone another 10 days,then try to wean him off but the vet warned me he may need to be on it long term.

I would love to have an Xpen, I'm not sure how it would work with the baby. I'll ask around, hopefully I can borrow one (I was able to borrow a ramp).

The laundry was more of an issue when he was on the higher dose of Prednisone. I'm down to one "doggie load" a day.

Bailey hasn't played in weeks. He used to play with Seth (the toddler), so nicely. It's sad, Seth goes over to the crate and waves Baileys toys around. WHen Bailey shows no interest, then Seth puts his toys on top of the crate. He misses his doggy play buddy. :(
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Postby Caroline » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:17 pm

I was thinking since the vet said it was ok to let Bailey, move around a bit why is he not cutting back on the steriods yet?

He has been on the meds for three weeks? The meds can really make the dog down, so your little boy should not feel bad that his fury buddy is not into playing quit yet.

The thing I also noticed with Buster is that at first I could only get him to stand with my help then he stood by himself, then I had to sling walk him real slow for a couple of weeks now he walks without my help. He still stays in a sling.
It may seem like it takes forever but bit by bit they can come back. His front leg may never come back all the way, but you know what deep down I think it will boom just like that. However after his work-outs I used to put him right back into his x-pen. Now he no longer needs the x-pen. I still give him an over the counter pain pill as well.

I know you are pressed for time and under a great deal of stress, but there are some great stickys to read here, in the top of this forum.
If you have the time read up on some other people and there pets as well. You will conect with someone elses story.


A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.

Anonymous
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Postby rookiemum » Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:22 pm

What kind of sling are you using for Buster? I've been using a homemade one. I was looking at the different types available and wondering what would work best.

I've been lurking on this board for about a month. Every time I'd try to write a post to introduce myself the baby would start crying, or the dog would have to go out, or something needed attention. I read a lot of the sticky posts first, and I have been following Busters story. I am glad he is doing so well, it gives me some hope.

Bailey is pretty good today, he seems comfortable and made it out to go to the bathroom.

My husband was looking at xpens on ebay and is considering getting one for Bailey. I think it would work a lot better for him and me both. I'm glad he's being more optimistic about the whole situation.

Pam
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Postby CarolC » Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:09 pm

rookiemum wrote:My husband was looking at xpens on ebay and is considering getting one for Bailey. I think it would work a lot better for him and me both.


http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product. ... id=1762412

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product. ... id=5983018

These are baby surrounds you can get at Wal-Mart. Haven't tried one but they look a lot like an x-pen. :) Might do double duty?
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Postby Caroline » Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:53 pm

HI,
You ask about the sling , there is a picture under ( Paralysis neurological and IVDD) my 98 pound boxer cannot walk of him in his sling. It was $30 at petco so no need to spend 200$ online. I think the poto is on page 4 or 5.

It really will help you and your dog to get one.
The pet stores also sell x-pens. OR maybe look in the Sunday want ads someone may sell a used one cheap.
Keep the faith.


The one absolutely unselfish freind that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

George Graham Vest
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Postby rookiemum » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:44 pm

Thanks for the tips about the $30 sling and the baby surrounds, maybe Seth and I can do a little shopping tomorrow.

Bailey is on 10 mg of Prednisone once a day for 10 days, then I can try going to every other day, depending on how he is. He's doing a little better the last two days. Sometimes I think he just lays wrong and it aggravates the problem.

Its such a production to get Bailey out of the crate. The baby trying to crawl in, the other dog (Buddy) prancing around-doing his best to get close to Bailey, me attempting to get my coat on, get the sling under Bailey and get him out before he has an accident or Buddy knocks him over. Oh, and there's Emmie (the amazing 18 year old cat), sitting in the kitchen meowing at me because she wants attention too. On a good day I can plunk the baby in the playpen, push Buddy into the kitchen with the cat, get the sling under Bailey and get out the door before there's an accident, usually I'm not that coordinated.
Hopefully we'll be able to get a baby surround/xpen soon.

Here's another picture of Bailey and Seth. So many pictures of Seth have Baileys nose in them, they really are buddies. :)
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Postby FYI » Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:03 pm

rookiemum wrote:On a good day I can plunk the baby in the playpen, push Buddy into the kitchen with the cat, get the sling under Bailey and get out the door before there's an accident, usually I'm not that coordinated.


http://www.wonderpuppy.net/copper/helpfulstuff.htm#band

http://home.earthlink.net/~rwakeling/di ... s/aids.htm

http://handicappedpets.com/wiki/index.p ... male_wraps

Image
http://www.uniaccs.com/thumbnail.asp?id=3&cid=68


Image
http://www.petdiapers.com/acc/malewraps/index.html
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Postby Caroline » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:30 am

FYI is right a male wrap works wonders, price check on them before you buy. Maybe ebay has one for around ten dollars.
If you get one save money buy useing a diaper instead of there expensive pads.

There is also a good chance that your Bailey may have a UTI ask the vet about some anti-biotics I keep them around for Buster all the time.
A UTI can make your dog listless and there pee can smell real stinky. I hope that is not the case and it is no big deal to treat.
I know all you need is another vet cost, but the meds are cheap and you can get a bit of his pee with a pie tin.
Be sure to keep it in the fridge if you can't get to the vet for awhile.
By the way you are doing a great job! I also am impressed with the way your husband is helping you.
Keep the faith.

We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.
Immanuel Kant
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Postby rookiemum » Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:15 pm

I've been wondering about the possibility of a UTI, fortunatly I work in a hospital laboratory, so I can check tomorrow when I go to work. His urine looks yellow and clear though, and I haven't noticed a smell. I think he just doesn't know he has to go until he HAS TO GO. :)

I looked at those wraps. When he was on the higher dose of Prednisone and leaking more I just kept one of Seths diapers under him. I tried to put a wrap around him once, but he yelped like I was killing him, so I just left him lay and kept a diaper under him. He's been doing pretty good since his dose of Prednisone was decreased, as long as i get to him in time.

My husband has his good days and bad days, he goes from being helpful to feeling it is a big waste of time and leaving everything for me. I'm just happy he is willing to give Bailey his meds and take him out in the morning so I don't have to get up a 5:00 am every day. He is handling it better now than when Baileys back legs didn't work at all.

Bailey had another pretty good day. I almost think he could go without any pain medicine tonight, but I don't want to take him off of it too soon. I think I'll wait another day or two.
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Postby CarolC » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:44 pm

I just read a tip in a veterinary magazine--one clinic collects urine samples from large dogs by holding a long handled soup ladle under the stream.
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