If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
10 yr old boxer mix couldn't get up Monday morning back legs... went to vet. tested for lyme did x-rays spine...herniated disc between L3-L4. Surgery just too costly...so we decided to try the meds. She did get cortisone shot in the office (yesterday), we took her home w/dexamethazone, robaxin, and amoxicillin. He said to give it a week and if no better to put her down..my heart is broken...she is in no pain and is completly herself..loves kissing...Is incontinent of urine so far, we have her in a crate w/good padding and many towels which we change often...keeping her clean...She does move her position and I think I have seen leg moving a little...how long before I have to help her move bowels??? I am a nurse so am familiar..have been sick over this since yesterday...any advice would be greatly appreciated...have been praying constantly...really love her and she loves us..she was a rescue..she was abused..we adopted her when she was 2 years old. I hate the thought of putting her to rest.... Thanks..
You don't have to put her down just because she becomes a paraplegic. You can use diapers inside if the urinary incontinence remains, and you can help her move her bowels (its pretty easy) and she can be a very happy dog. She might or might not walk again without assistance. My corgi Candy hasn't walked on his back legs for 5 1/2 years. You will never meet a happier dog! Check out some of his videos in my Squidoo link, below.
That isn't quite the worst case- in a very few dogs the spinal cord deteriorates and causes death- but its the usual worst case scenario, and any amount you get back is icing on the cake.
If she's eating okay I would probably try within about 24-36 hrs for a bowel movement.
Hi, I would not be so concerned with expressing the bowel as expressing the bladder. It is recommended that you empty the bladder every 8 hours. Here is some information on how to do it. It is related to the Crede maneuver you probably know from nursing. The bowel will move of its own in time, however it tends to be slower with paralysis. It is much easier to express urine if the colon is empty, so that is the main reason to be concerned about the bowel in my opinion.
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... dog_or_cat
Here is a link with many techniques for stimulating the bowel.
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... inent_pets
It sounds like she is not in pain. Did they check her reflexes? A herniated disk may improve with conservative management if it isn't too bad, but it will probably take longer than 1 week. I would give it 6-8 weeks at least, and be sure she rests and is not active or she may reverse the healing. Recovery from paralysis tends to be by baby steps and slow or very slow improvement is normal. My dog was completely paralyzed (spinal fracture, complete break) and continued to improve visibly for 2 years, with small improvements still occurring even after 6 years. Time is a gift in these situations.
I agree with Bobbie, even if she does not fully recover, she can still have a good life and be a happy dog. I have 2 paralyzed dogs, they are both very happy and still themselves.
Carol, I hadn't seen that visual before, that's great! Do you have one for a male?
thank you all for your notes...am considering doing all I can for her now...he did test her reflexes not much there...but I have seen her with her back legs in flexed positions from time to time...would cathing her be easier than expressing her...
Actually, the video could work for a male also. My male can pee forward or backward, depending how I aim it.
"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." -William Shakespeare
Using a catheter on a regular basis is not a god idea. Way too much chance of infection and then there is bound to be damage to the urethra if done frequently. I have been known to use a cath in an emergency but not for maintenance care. You will find shortly that expressing the bladder is not a big deal, and is actually faster than waiting for a "normal" dog to find the right place etc. the other posts are correct re the urine. Shoud be expressed MINIMUM of t.i.d. Personally we have never used diapers, as we find that if they are expressed regularly they do not leak or have accidents. However we are lucky enough to be home with them all day.
Your baby could quite easily recover use of bladder and/or legs. We have several handicapped pugs, and some that are walking and peeing on their own were dx as premanent paraplegics. It takes some time, but even if they end up in a cart for good, their quality of life is very very good. No pain etc is a real bonus. the time it takes to improve, can really vary. We have one that could walk in 5 months, and one took 2 years.
On the bowels, we give all our handicaps fiber with every meal (benefiber or something similar) to make it easier for them We get them in a routine of stimulating their bowel twice per day, and they actually try to help after a while. Pumpkin is also good to give, it facilitates a firm but more manageable poop.
So glad you found this site, there are many here with lots of knowledge and experience.
pug hugs Joan
Thanks for all the info...well I helped her move bowels with no problem...bladder didn't work...she was incontinent of a large amt. earlier in the afternoon. we did let her out of cage and put her on her own blanket...she actually stood a little on her back legs and turned around ...We are going to try to make her a cart...I am really grateful to have found this site and you all...will keep u posted...
welcome, my heart goes out to you. i have a paralyzed yorkie mix. he ruptured a disk in 06. he had the surgery but it didn't work. but i was advised to 100% crate rest him for 6 weeks, only out to do R.O.M nd P.T and express bladder. after 5 months he stood and started spinal walking. if you could see him run and play on all 4's you'd be as amazed as the vets are. cricket 's bowels work on their own, we just never know when, if he hasn't by bedtime, we use "poop on demand" learned from this site.
he has to be bladder expressed, no big deal now ( cried at first)( me! ) lol. i empty him every 3 to 4 hours, he has never had a UTI, thank god.
don't let vets tell you only choice is being put to sleep, they need to see the videos of my boy running and playing ball., they'd eat their words. lol.
they can live happy healthy lives. you came to the right site. the great people on here( and mark) saved my sanity. handicapped pets.com is a godsend. i have learned so much from them and they helped me through the tough time of cricket's illness. they are angels.
you and your baby are in my prayers. take one day at a time. you being a nurse will help you so much. i am a C.N.A and it came in handy doing cricket's care. but this site helped the most. ask us anything, nothing is silly or gross on here.
we talk, poop, pee and everything. lol. even if yours pee some, i'd make sure bladder was empty because of an UTI. cricket leaked at first, now he doesn't.
cricket is getting a bit of deep pain back into his right back leg my vet said. so i never give up hope. he can run like the wind on carpet and ground, and on tile, he goes where he wants, just takes longer. he is a miracle and i pray you get one also. i would do crate rest and not worry about a cart for a few weeks if i was you. like humans they must heal with rest.
i am no vet, but most of us have lived this, right girls? keep us updated.
hugs and doggie kisses,
connie and cricket
Check with Eddie's wheels about carts; they just said on Facebook they had some boxer-sized ones to go to rescues or needy families. (Don't know if you are needy but thought I'd pass this on.)
The vet should be able to give you some medication that makes her bladder easier to express, but someone who knows how should make sure the problem is muscle tightness first.
Can you feel the bladder? It should feel kind of like a water balloon when it is full. It might not be right where the pictures say. Dolly's was in a weird spot and it took me ages to figure it out. But once you feel it, if there is too much muscle tone for you to express it, she may need some meds. Or if there is too much muscle tone for you to feel it, she may need them.
Hang in there, this is the hardest part.. once you get the hang of it or she starts urinating on her own, bladder control is a piece of cake. If you have to take her to the vet and s(he) says to put her down, just tell the vet that if it were you, you would want a chance to recover or adjust to your disability, and you are going to give her the same chance you would want.
If it has been 24 hours I would take her to the vet and have them help you express her. Don't worry, it is common not to get it right away and your vet knows this. Many people have gone back to the vet for repeated lessons. Did you look over the expressing techniques in the article?
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... dog_or_cat
If it has been 24 hours, I am guessing you will not be able to feel her bladder, you will only feel a firm abdomen. I would recommend trying to express farther up toward the ribs, and use more pressure than you are using. Watch to see if her tail raises slightly in any of the places you are squeezing, it is a reflex that shows you are in the right area. If you look at the photos of expressing in the article, you start to realize how far in the sides are being squeezed. It can take more pressure than you first think. There is a technique in the article for using fists to express, rather than palms. This is helpful for women who are not strong or for large dogs.
Since she is on an antibiotic, you do not have to panic about her getting an infection right away, that was a good idea.
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