If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Our 10 year old doxie fell going up the doggie steps to bed the other night . I heard him whimpering on the side of my bed, got up and found him trying to pull himself under the bed. I thought he was having a seisure. I held him as I do when he has a seisure and talked gently to him. He was able to turn his head to look at me so I knew he wasn't having a seisure. I put him gently down on the floor and he couldn't hold his back end up. This was late at night so I didn't contact a vet yet. He slept with his head on my upper arm all night which he never does.
I took him out the next morning (had to carry him out) he was able to potty on his own. I crated him, went to work, and made the appointment with the vet. Talk about BAD NEWS!!!! He said he had obviously injured one or several discs. He took something that looked like a needle and touched it to his back from his tail to his shoulders. Buddy had no response to it. Then he did something to his foot and Buddy finally yelped. He said he had only deep pain response. Then he told me if he didn't respond to this steroid within 1 day, the chances of his recovery would be only 20%. If he didn't respond within 2 days then he probably would never recover. He injected (iv style) a type of steroid and Buddy started vomiting so he injected an anti nausea med. He said this would reduce the swelling. They kept him overnight and I picked him up today.
No improvement. He can't even potty. He wet his bed, my son and I bathed him, changed his bedding made him comfortable.
He is very dehydrated but is drinking and eating very well. I just don't know what to do. I try to hold him up so he can potty but he doesn't go. We put a diaper on him because I am worried about him going potty when we don't notice. He is a very clean dog and he already appears down because he can't play or be his normal happy self.
I have carted him around in a large laundry basket lined with soft comfortable bedding so he can be with me when I cook or with my son when he watches tv...etc. He has slept alot. I can't seem to quit crying. I just can't imagine being without him. We have another doxy that is 3 yrs old. We bought her for Buddys 7th b-day...so they could have puppies. We knew the first day we had her that she was deaf. She was only 8wks old then. So...no puppies, we got her fixed. She minds better than Buddy as we have all learned some sign language. But she always takes cues from Buddy. She is lost without him and now confused with him as she cannot even lay next to him. Buddy always licked her ears and neck. He has always been such a warm loving dog. I don't know if I can take care of him properly. Is it normal to doubt yourself in this situation? So..what do I do now! The vet has put him on predisone (sp) for the next 2 wks. What happens now? I have to work all day and my son is in school. Should he be alone all that time? We really have no one else to care for him during the day. What do we do now? What do we look for? Does it hurt his condition when we lift him for a bath, diaper, position movement, or oout to potty? I don't want to hinder his healing but I need to keep him clean. Is it important to reposition him to prevent bedsores? ???? Please , can someone help us? I really need some advice and I really appreciate your time. Thank you all so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buddyncleosmom
Hi and welcome,
First I want you to know there is a website and group that specializes in dachshunds with back problems. It is http://www.dodgerslist.com. It is good he is on steroids, and it is good you are crating him.
I think you need to get him in to see a specialist immediately if you can. Either a neurologist if possible, or a board certified surgeon if there is no neurologist. Often dogs have a better chance with surgery when they have a disk injury. A specialist is usually either at a veterinary referral center (your regular vet or an emergency vet refers you to the specialist and gets you an appointment) or else a veterinary college, which you can call yourself. The sooner you see the specialist after the injury, the better your dog's chances are. I would try to find one tonight if possible.
If you cannot afford surgery there is a program called Care Credit http://www.carecredit.com that gives loans for veterinary care and you know if you are approved right away. Their payback terms are very good and most of the people I know who applied were approved, and large vet hospitals usually accept Care Credit.
If you cannot take your dog to a specialist, and are planning to treat him at home, it is important to care for his bladder. If he cannot urinate by himself, you can squeeze his abdomen to make him urinate. It is called expressing the bladder. Your vet should give you a hands-on lesson so you will know how to do it. It is important to completely empty the bladder every 8 hours or he will get a urinary tract infection from stale urine remaining in the bladder and creating an environment for germs. Here is some information on expressing the bladder.
http://handicappedpets.com/wiki/index.p ... dog_or_cat
The prednisone will make him thirsty and make him urinate more often. It may also make him hungry. They recommend giving the dog a stomach protectant such as Pepcid AC when on prednisone. You can ask your vet the dosage for your dog's weight.
It sounds like you are already being very careful handling him. You do have to handle him to care for him, but other than having his bed changed or being taken out for toileting and cleansing, a dog recovering from a disk injury needs to be crated 24/7. Crate rest for a disk injury can run between 6-8 weeks, or however long your vet recommends. If he cannot turn himself, then it would be a good idea to turn him to the other side every few hours to prevent sores, as you mentioned. Keeping his bedding dry will also help prevent sores. Diapers will help or you can use a malewrap. That is a belt that goes around the waist and holds an absorbent pad to catch urine.
It is OK if your dog is alone while you are at work as long as he is crated, but I'm guessing while he is on the prednisone and drinking a lot of water, he will need to have his bladder expressed more often than every 8 hours, because he will drink more water and his bladder will fill up. After he is off the prednisone every 8 hours may be enough. My dog is paralzyed and I work full time, but I run home on the lunch hour and express her. You might want to do that, if possible.
I hope this helps a little. Others will be along soon. Remember that even if your dog never recovers the ability to walk, there are lots and lots of dogs in wheelchairs, more all the time, and they are the same dogs they always were, and they are happy.
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