If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Like many people on this forum - my four year old Dachshund, Dooley - has suffered paralysis in the past couple of days. She had a disk problem a year ago, and with rest and medicine she recovered. I knew once again she was having problems when she started to sway as she was walking in the hallway. Now, she doesn't move her legs. I took her to the vet as soon as I realized what was happening. The put her on Pred, muscle relaxers, and pain killers. That was four days ago. She hasn't shown much reaction to it. Yesterday I saw her kick her leg one time, but thats been it - and I'm not sure if that is reflex or what the deal is. I took her to the vet, and after three days she wanted to euthanize her! My dog = my life. I feel heartbroken. My Doxie doesn't want to die. The vet put a catheder in her to drain her, but no bag or anything. I've been cleaning the tip of the catheter with alcohol, and sponge bathing Dooley because what leaks out gets all over her! Before the catheter I was trying to express her - but didn't do a very good job at it, I only got small amounts of urine out, and Doo swelled cause I couldn't get it all out. I love my Dooley, don't want to let her go. I don't know what to do! I am totally overwhelmed, but I don't want to put my Dooley to sleep! She isn't in pain, I just can't figure out how to express her bowels and bladder. HELP! ='( I''ve read the forums about it, but just seem to be having no luck, and I'm afraid I'm going to hurt her! Please help!
The vet stitched the catheter into her too, which I wasn't sure about. I really need some help.
You want the catheter out asap, it greatly increases the risk of a UTI.
There are meds that help make the bladder expressable; phenoxybenzamine and bethanechol; neither is cheap but yours is a small dog.
No need to euthanize, paralyzed dogs do very well in carts and expressing is not inconvenient. Find a vet who can show you how to express. It sounds like you need a new vet, anyway!
If not, try first thing in the morning when the bladder is full, feel for a water balloon. Your dog needs to be relaxed, not struggling or barking. (Easier in a cart, eventually.) Pressure is firm though you don't want to exert too much force; that's the best reason for getting help from someone who knows what too much force is. A rehab facility might also have someone who can help you.
Oh, and join the Yahoo group Dodgerslist; you may find someone who lives near you who knows how and could help.
A picture is worth a thousand words, try watching some of the videos on expressing. You will find them at the end of this article.
http://www.handicappedpets.com/mediawik ... dog_or_cat
If you got some urine, you can get it all. When I know somebody is able to get some, I know it is only a matter of a little practice and soon you will get it all. It is normal not to get it all at first, and fortunately our pets survive our learning curve! Keep up the good work. If you got some, that is what matters and you are off to a good start! It took me 2 weeks to halfway know what I was doing with expressing. After about a week my dog got an infection because I wasn't getting it all (sound familiar?). The vet put her on antibiotics for 10 days and sent us home and I continued doing my best at expressing, and it did get better! Just keep at it. By the end of 2 weeks I knew what I was doing, but at the point where you are now, I was being conscientious but definitely not getting it all. You are normal!!!
What if I hurt her trying to express her? I was expressing her until my vet said, "Its better to put a cath in her, because if you squeeze her wrong, rupture the kidney - and we all know how that turns out, don't we? The dog dies." =o
Thank you for your replies also, I really appreciate talking to people who are in my shoes. I'm very freightened for my Doolie.
I just signed up for Dodgers also.
I only have one answer to this. It is very important that you should have a vet you can work with, and this vet does not sound like one I would be able to work with. I have never, ever heard of any case of rupturing a kidney during expressing????? With all the people that have expressed on this board, I do not remember anyone injuring a pet. If I knew of a case, I would tell you, but I do not. I am not being falsely positive, I have just never heard of any such thing. I really think you need another vet. I am astonished at what you were told, and I agree with Bobbie, keeping the catheter in is not the answer. I suggest you call some vets in your area and explain that you have a doxie with a back problem and ask if they have ever treated one and are they familiar with care and expressing. When you get someone who is more knowledgeable, your dog will be in better hands.
I have heard of a ruptured BLADDER (which is what you squeeze) once. The vet hospital did it, not the dog's owner. And I agree with Carol as you need a vet who will support you, not undermine you. Research shows catheters should be left in place as short a time as possible as they tend to greatly increase UTIs. And thousands of dog owners and cat owners express without ever rupturing anything.
Here is the good and the bad, and I need continued guidance. I came home today from work, and have made the following observations:
1. Her urine is dark, indicating she may as you say - have a UTI. She just got her catheter Friday.
2. She was slightly wagging her tail when she saw me today.
3. She has been raising her tail up as if she was trying to poop. I did get her to poop a LITTLE BIT, maybe half of a normal business - through stimulating. I have noticed her pushing as if trying to go more though, and I've noticed a bit of a quiver in her back leg sometimes. Yesterday and before she had TOTAL paralysis of the back end. Yesterday morning she did what as basically her normal business, and then at the vet on Friday she had a lot of bowel movement come out of her.
4. She seems to still be dripping from the catheter, but also has wet spots right under her bladder. I'm not sure if this is indicating she has regained bowel control.
That is the new. I understand the catheter has to go, and I most likely have to treat her for UTI, to which I'll see the vet tomorrow. But, any observation or further suggestions would be extremely helpful. Should I feel encouraged at the tail, and leg quiver? Or do these not have significant meaning? I plan to call around to some vets tomorrow. Please help.
Last night was a rougher night, she had the foul smelling urine, and had to be changed. Also, she threw up some of her dinner last night, as well as some small brown stomach liquid.
I took Dooley back to the vet today. We got the catheter situation taken care of, and he put her on Cipro for the infection. She has been wagging her tail with excitement today when she sees people she loves. She seems very alert today. I basically concluded that all the medicine was not good for her - between the pred, and the muscle relaxers, and pain killers, I think it was just too much and thats why she got sick. I'm no expert - so correct me if I'm wrong. Doo was throwing up some brown liquid, and a bit of watermelon I used to give her a snack in the earlier day yesterday. The Watermelon was undigested. I went to the same vet clinic, but met with a different vet today. The gentleman in there says he treats a Dachshund that is disabled on all fours, so I felt a little better. He said that while she seemed to have control over her tail, she had less control over her bladder this time. I think part of that may be related to the cath, but I don't know for certain.
Doo is feeling well so far this evening. I gave her a Cipro, and a Pepcid AC, but have yet to give her the Pred for today - (currently at the one tablet, every other day phase) till I see how well the Cipro agrees with her. I figure this way if I have more complications later, I can more easily identify what they're from if I take my time. The vet upon examining her ALSO said that she was not impacted, and we have done a good job of emptying her bowels.
With Doo not laying a in own business, some Cipro, and her Pepcid/ first full meal in days, I'm hoping that she will have a better sleep night tonight. Any continued advise or suggestions are appreciated. Your posts have been instrumental in helping me craft care for Doo.
Oh, she is so cute! What a great picture! If she is wagging her tail when she sees people, that is very very encouraging. That almost has to be voluntary and not any kind of reflex. It's too bad about the upset stomach. The pepcid a/c is supposed to take care of that, hmm. You may be right about the catheter affecting her bladder control somewhat right now, hard to say. I know they can affect human bladder control temporarily after they are removed. There is no set time for recovery of bladder control. My dog's physical therapist said you need to give it at least 3 months to see if bladder control will return, and 6 months to be sure. Whatever you have at 6 months is probably about what you're going to have. However, there have been some noteable exceptions here on this board, where bladder control returned after 6 months, so the best thing is to just give it time. My dog never regained full bladder control, but at about the 5-month point she got to where she could help when I started expressing her and this is great! Very glad you saw another vet who is familiar with what is going on. It sounds like things are looking up.
Thank you Carol for your replies! The community keeps my spirits up when I get discouraged. After seeing her vet today, the catheter was out - not sure if I said that in the last post. She is doing well so far this evening, knock on wood. The Pepcid is working well for her today, and she was able to poop herself today. I frequently wipe her down with antibacterial baby wipes, to keep her clean, prevent sores etc; and I slid my arm underneath her midsection to life her up to wipe under there, and she tried to push herself forward with her hind legs, just for a moment though. I'm not sure if this was reflex, or if it works that way? While I was optimistic about that, I don't want her trying it cause I want to see her heal!
Also, I have her in her crate, but she frequently stands on her two front feet, aware and curious of every little sound in the house. Is this bad for her? I don't think there is much short I can do about it shy of strapping her in, lol. So, any suggestions?
Thank you!!!! -Joe and Dooley
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