If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
"Hi, my name is Lucy. I am 7 months old. On October 11, 2012 a terrible thing happened to me.....
I wanted to run across the street to see another dog and thought I was being smart by sneaking around the back of the house to avoid the gate and just as my mommy caught me, a car ran me over. Its tires didn't run me over thank god but something underneath must have hit me and hit me hard. I don't know what happened.. all of a sudden I woke up in a hospital. I don't understand what's going on. I can't move my lower body, I can't tell if I need to go potty, and I can't feel my tail. My mommies love me very much and are making sure I get the best care. Please pray for me to come out of this paralyzed state.
My vet bills were very expensive and my mommies are struggling to come up with the money, if you can help us in anyway at all I will forever be grateful. I am strong and hope I'm one of the lucky ones out there. I am named Luc(k)y after all....."
This is one of those things you hope you never have to go through. I don't know about others on here but this scenario is something that never once crossed our minds. It's only been a few days and we have no idea what is going to happen and whether or not she will regain control of her bladder/bowels, hind legs and tail. I have been googling like crazy trying to find someone that has something similar happen but haven't found anything quite like Lucy's case.
The vet advised that there was a 5% percent chance of Lucy being able to walk again WITH surgery. We HAD to give her that chance. She is the sweetest little puppy ever. She is so loving that she literally rolls over to everyone and every animal. How could we not love her the same? We owe it to her.
The good news for Lucy is that her spinal cord is not severed but it is however severely bruised. Whether or not this detail increases her chance, we are not sure. I'm sure these things are impossible to predict though and this is something only time and rehabilitation will tell.
Now down to what happened:
Lucy was a smart puppy and escaped going around the backside of the house because she wanted to go see a dog that was across the street. Her mommy caught her and was yelling her name unsure what to do while other people stood by/stopped and within split seconds a car came roaring up the road and must not have seen her because they didn't slow down or stop even after they had hit her. Luckily the tires didn't get Lucy but something else did.
Does anyone have any advice???????????? We are feeling a little in the dark right now. Please turn on the light.
I'm Joanne and I have 2, adopted, paralyzed dogs, Carl a 5 yr old Black Lab and Patroclus, a 7 month old mixed breed (I also happen to work in canine rehabilitation). the first thing I would do is to talk to your neurologist/surgeon and get their directions for Lucy's immediate post op care. The most important at this stage is hygiene. Down dogs are at risk for urine scald, UTI's and decubital ulcer formation. Keep Lucy clean and dry, on soft bedding that will wick away moisture. If her vet recommends rehab and you can afford it, go for it, I've seen and done some amazing things. If not talk to your vet about what therapy you can do at home and when you can start it. Having had stabilization surgery she may need to be handled carefully for a time
As for being paralyzed - my boys have no idea that they are any different to other dogs. They are upper motor neuron boys (both have spinal cord injuries at L3), so I have to express their bladders, but again this doesn't phase them - we have a routine and they remind me if I'm running late!
It's early days for you all. Stay positive and keep upbeat.
What kind of surgery did she have? Was it disk surgery or a spinal fusion or...?
Is she on any steroids such as prednisolone, or any kind of anti-inflammatory? This will make swelling go down and help function return.
Is she on crate rest? You want her to rest (no dragging, no sleeping in bed, just resting for several weeks in a crate) while the surgery heals, to give her the best chance. Here is some information on crate rest.
Here is a video on handling dachshunds in a way that supports the back, but it applies to shih tzus as well.
Thank you for the responses everyone. I really, really appreciate it and I'm sure Lucy does too!
She had spinal fusion and they put her on a bunch of anti inflammatory medications (not sure which ones but I will find out) and her back was broken at L4 and only there. Her spinal cord was not severed but was severely bruised.
I'm also unsure about the steroids but will make sure I found out and get back to you.
She is on crate rest currently yes and we will make sure that continues once she is home again.
OK, so she's still at the hospital, but you are making plans for her to come home. Do you have your own washer and dryer where you live? I think you are going to be doing a lot of laundry at first. You probably want to stock up on laundry detergent.
She will be on crate rest, with soft bedding, and you will have to change her bed, maybe several times a day. I used to have a separate laundry basket for doggy laundry. I have a dog right now that wears a diaper during the day and sleeps in a playpen at night without a diaper. So I am doing a load of laundry for her every couple of days.
They make disposable bedpads (called underpads or incontinent pads) which you buy in the adult diapers aisle of places like Wal-Mart or Walgreens, but I can tell you from experience, they are not absorbent enough to keep a dog dry. If the dog lies on an underpad and wets the pad, you will have a wet dog. Underpads are great for protecting the bedding, but if your dog lies in a wet spot you can get a urine burn, and you don't want that. I do not see how she can really wear a diaper right now with her incision the way it is, so my best guess is you will have to keep her on soft bedding and change it often.
I had good luck with acrylic blankets for my old dog (the cheap $5 kind from the dollar store). I folded one several layers thick and if he wetted it, the urine mostly went down into the blanket and he did not get super wet. I had a stack of them (found them at the thrift shop) and could wash several in one load.
I'd suggest baby wipes. And I would consider asking the hospital to shave her for hygiene before they send her home. I think you'd be glad you did. It's called a sanitary clip. They shave under her tail, around her little bottom, the insides of her legs, the feathers on the backs of her legs, and her lower abdomen. It will help keep her skin healthy while she is wetting, and you can't have her in a diaper yet because of the incision (I assume), and they may not want you bathing her until the staples are out. It will also make it easier to apply some kind of barrier cream or ointment to protect her skin, which will be hard to do if she has all her fur in the places that are getting wet. It will also make bathing easier, even if you only bathe her rear. You might discuss this with the vet...does he think shaving her bottom would be helpful. And get clarification on when you can bathe her. If you have a spray attachment, you may be able to spray her off without getting her incision wet. I know someone here with a Maltese who loves the "rapid bath" spray attachment she got at PetsMart for her incontinent dog.
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