Paralyzed dog & going potty?

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Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby onyxSTRIPES » Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:02 pm

Two days ago my dog (8 year old pitt-blue heeler mix) was diagnosed with Lumbar Disc Syndrome, which for now has left her paralyzed. The vet gave her a shot of steroids and also prescribed her some meds and said it may help her regain feeling in 2 weeks. If it doesn't kick in for her, our only options would be to purchase a cart, or put her to sleep.

8 years old in a lot of people's eyes is not too old, and she is still in good spirits. We would like not to put her to sleep, I feel she still wants to live. We will purchase or make her a cart if she does not regain feeling in two weeks.

The two week wait-period is our only problem. Going to the bathroom is difficult for her, we're clueless as to what to do. She won't go potty in the house, she's too well trained and refuses to. When we take her outside and hold her hind legs up she also refuses to go. She's had a few "accidents" and has been urinating lately, but she still has yet to go "#2". We are very worried and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Last edited by onyxSTRIPES on Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby Cindidoxiemom » Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:20 pm

This does not sound like arthritis AT ALL! Arthritis does NOT effect the bladder, and it does not paralyze the dog.

If your dog is having trouble urinating, you will need to express. This is a manual manipulation of the bladder to assist the dog in urinating.
Those accidents are probably your dog overflowing.
http://www.handicappedpets.com/Articles/express/

My advice is get a second opinion IMMEDIATELY! This could be a much more serious condition like IVDD or FCE.

Do a search for "poop on demand" it will show you how to help your dog defecate.

I can not stress enough getting your dog to a vet for further evaluation.
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Last edited by Cindidoxiemom on Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am not a vet; please consult your vet before making any treatment decisions.

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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby onyxSTRIPES » Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:11 pm

She's not having difficulty urinating, she's more-so not wanting to poop because she won't do it in the house. We have her in doggy diapers, and she's urinating in those. I must have been mistaken when I said arthritis, my brother (who took her to see the vet, her 2nd visit) just gave me back the prescription and on it, it says Lumbar Disc Syndrome. Like I said, he prescribed her with steroids and said if she does not regain feeling, we will have to get her cart.

Which still brings me to this question, when we do get her cart... how will she go to the bathroom?

We would like to take her to get a second opinion, but we are financially challenged right now.
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby GabrielDeafBlindPupFamily » Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:22 pm

I too don't think she has paralysis caused by arthritis, but in any event, if she has control over her body and is 'tidy' there are avenues you can take. Some dogs will relieve themselves in a cart, others have to be 'trained' I don't have a cart dog, but all of mine relieve themselves :(
I would suggest you put stool where you want her to relieve herself and huge praise when she does. You know when she will go, ie, how long after a meal, and to give her some confidence, in the meantime, you can get or fashion your own rear end harness. If she has disk disease, though, you'll want to be very careful with that. There are a lot of parapups here, and you might want to look at the neuro forum.
I was told my Jude would never walk, never be social, crushed hips and shot and shattered front leg. Didn't matter to him, he wanted to LIVE.
We all trust our medical professionals, but now we must question any time they recommend the final 'walk'. Explore options, just as you are doing.
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby Cindidoxiemom » Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:31 pm

Disc Disease is completely different than simple arthritis.

If the dog isn't having trouble urinating...it very well could if you don't take the proper actions.

1. Complete crate rest. If the disc is buldging right now, allowing the dog to move about...drag itself etc could lead to a complete herniation, and not only will the dog be paralyzed but also incontinent. If this is a disc issue, and you need to call the vet and find out, 6-8 weeks of crate rest is a MUST!

2. Just because you are finding urine in the diaper does not mean that the dog is urinating on its own. It could simply be overflow. I encourage you to have this checked. If the dog develops a UTI, it can move into the kidney's and kill it. Almost ALL dogs that are neuro compromised due to IVDD (disc disease) have some degree of incontinence!

3. Carts can not be used 24/7...maybe an hour or two at a time. I wouldn't consider a cart for at least 8 weeks. You need to get though crate rest first.

Several of us here have dogs that are paralyzed due to IVDD...
You might want to read this http://users.cyberport.net/~milnerwm/fastfacts.html
Cindi
I am not a vet; please consult your vet before making any treatment decisions.

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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby onyxSTRIPES » Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:55 pm

I know its not arthritis, and I already corrected myself. I don't need to call the vet to ask if its a disc issue, i've already stated that her prescription medicine has the diagnosis down as a Lumbar Disc Syndrome, so I already know its a disc issue. What I need to call the vet for, is to ask how she is supposed to defecate when she can't even use her hind quarters.

I used the express method to help her urinate, I did it once this afternoon after reading your reply, and then once again just before checking this post. I will do it again this evening. Like I said before, I would love to go get her checked for a UTI, but for the second time of me mentioning -- we are very financially challenged right now.

If I can't allow my dog to move about, how am I suppose to help her urinate with the express method?
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby Cindidoxiemom » Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:08 pm

If your dog is small enough to pick up...pick it up...if not, you might try a dolly or wagon of some kind. I express Oscar in the house over a piddle pad. You can move her...what you don't want is to let her scoot or move about.

Try can pumpkin...no spices...plain...or a bit of karo syrup in her water if she is constipated. Paralyzed dogs are able to move their bowels on their own.
How long has it been since she had a BM?
If she isn't moving her bowels...she is either constipated or impacted.


Since this is a disc issue, and your dog is paralyzed, I'm going to move your post to IVDD. You will get more responses there.
I am not a vet; please consult your vet before making any treatment decisions.

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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby Paul Coover » Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:29 pm

You have received very good advice so far.

IVDD seems to be what the problem is here, at least to me.

Right now crate rest is VERY important!

The poop on demand thing sounds weird, but it does work. You would be surprised how easy it is!

Although it is too early to think about a cart yet, I will post this information about carts.

We have 9 dachshunds in all.

We have 2 dachshunds that are paralyzed and use wheelchair carts. We also have Riley, a dachshund that we adopted as a downed dog but he recovered. Here is his story:

http://www.handicappedpets.com/gallery/riley11/

We also have Johanna, a dachshund that was left paralyzed from an attack with a baseball bat.

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Here is a link to when Johanna and I were on the news in Boston last year.

http://www1.whdh.com/features/articles/specialreport/BO25472/

Pork Chop has a slipped disc in his neck that has left him paralyzed.

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Handicapped and disabled dogs can live very happy and healthy lives, as I hope you can see. Remember, being disabled doesn't mean being destroyed!

It is important to keep a good, positive atitude right now. I know it is very difficult, but it is so important right now. Your dog will feed off of your energy, and you want to give them the best possible chance to recover as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Good luck!
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Hello from Kebo, Riley, Willy, Johanna, Pork Chop, Auggie, Buddy, Sadie & Spartacus.

We miss you Pedro...
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby onyxSTRIPES » Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:55 pm

Thank you for the suggestions. I'm relieved to know that paralyzed dogs can move their bowels. She is small enough to lift, we're just afraid to hurt her as she is a bit swollen. The vet said that her swelling is to be expected and that the steroids should help with the inflammation. It has only been about 3 days since her vet visit.

She had a small bowel movement today, but I feel it wasn't significant enough. I will definitely try the canned pumpkin. I've also tried searching the poop on demand topic but didn't find much. Can anyone further explain this to me?

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby Cindidoxiemom » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:44 am

Sure....take a q-tip...put a bit of lubricant on it. You can use petroleum jelly. Insert it into your pups anus just perhaps to the end of the cotton part of the swab and GENTLY move it back and forth. This usually stimulates the dog to move its bowels.
I am not a vet; please consult your vet before making any treatment decisions.

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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby jkwiz » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:12 pm

Check with your vet on instructions for expressing. Our male dog's rear legs are paralyzed and every few hours we take him outside, press just above his penis and it makes him go (keep pressing). They are prone to bladder infections if you don't express them enough. If they are too tense to go, give a valium or pain pill, wait 15-20 minutes and try pressing again.
Go to www.eddieswheels.com and look at carts. Our dog is 17 pounds, loves his and walks a mile to a mile and a half a day. Carts are designed per dog and leaves open areas for urinated and deficating. Even the 1st two weeks when crate rest was critical, we were told by the vet to take him out and express him (don't press on his back with your thumbs when you are pressing on his stomach though) Deep tissue massage is great (check with the vet on when you can start that. After the recoup period, we got a children's pool and have him swim laps around the pool for water therapy. It moves his back back and forth (like the cart would) and stimulates his legs and muscles.

To get her to poop, take some canned pumkin (not spiced, just plain) and mix it in with her dry food. They love it and it is FULL of fiber and will make her go- we had the same problem
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby onyxSTRIPES » Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:07 pm

Thank you thank you for your help on the poop-on-demand method. As soon as I used the q-tip, out came the poop, she looked very relieved. I'm getting a little better at expressing which is also a relief. We're still very concerned about her swelling though, tomorrow we have another vet's appointment at 3:30. Wish us the best!
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby pmilner » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:57 pm

Steroids are often accompanied by GI protectant drugs such as over-the-counter plain Pepcid, to avoid potential stomach discomfort/damage. Check with your vet, usually it's half of a 10mg tablet about 30 minutes before steriod.

Proper crate rest is the single most important thing you can do for your dog. Here are some tips and ideas:
http://users.cyberport.net/~milnerwm/crateREST.html

You might inquire of your vet how much the UTI test would cost and let him know of your financial abilities. My vet told me just to drop off a urine sample and there would be no charge for checking it, I do it every 1.5- 2 mos.

Do you know about Credit Care? You find out on-line if you qualify. #10 is for getting your vet signed up if he's not.
http://www.carecredit.com/faqs.html

Expressing does take some practice. You definitely want to make sure you are not leaving stale urine in the bladder to become a breeding ground for infection (UTI's) Here are some tips on expressing.
http://users.cyberport.net/~milnerwm/Expressing.html

Lot of dogs have recovered with non-surgical medical treatment. You can see what daily life is like for a cart dog (wait for 8 weeks before thinking about a cart, you just may not need one!)
Tabby gets on with life http://www.youtube.com/v/Saf_kZvwClE

Clark enjoys his summer http://www.youtube.com/v/EP9Gm9pD0HE

Come join the Dodger's List where the is support and info on both traditional and alternative treatments for disc disease. All dogs welcome. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Dodgerslist/
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Paula Milner
Lewis and Clark (paralyzed since Jan 2007)
Dachsie IVDD Care FAQ:
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Re: Paralyzed dog & going potty?

Postby Cindidoxiemom » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:55 am

onyxSTRIPES wrote:Thank you thank you for your help on the poop-on-demand method. As soon as I used the q-tip, out came the poop, she looked very relieved. I'm getting a little better at expressing which is also a relief. We're still very concerned about her swelling though, tomorrow we have another vet's appointment at 3:30. Wish us the best!


I'm glad it was helpful. I'm quite sure she was relieved! When you go to the vet....express her right before you go. Then have the vet check to make sure your getting all of the urine. Good luck with the vet! Let us know how things go.
I am not a vet; please consult your vet before making any treatment decisions.

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Re: 2nd opinion

Postby Gretchen » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:36 pm

Please, please try and find the funds to take your baby to get a second opinion and try to find a vet who specializes in holistic as well as traditional medicine. My 10 yr-old pug Isabel can no longer walk because the first 2 vets I took her to gave her a brief exam which did not even include watching her try to walk when she started having trouble before dismissing it as arthritis. By the time I found the vet we have now, who actually listened to me, watched Isabel move and took an x-ray, she had ruptured a disc in her back and isn't strong enough for the surgery to correct it even if I could afford it. Now she can't walk and is developing an anxiety disorder because she is constantly afraid that she is being left if I leave a room for more than a couple minutes and don't take her with me.

I am convinced if either of the first 2 vets had bothered to do an x-ray or listened to what I was saying, we would've been able to deal with her real back problem before the disc ruptured and maybe she would still be able to walk.
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