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New Member help

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.
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Corob15
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:10 pm

New Member help

Post by Corob15 »

Hey guys,

Last Wednesday my 5 yo french bulldog, Lou started acting funny. I took him to the vet and they did test but he seemed ok. Sent us home with some pain meds.

I woke up the next morning and Lou was having trouble standing. I rushed him to the only neuro pet hospital in town and then confirmed they thought he had slipped disk. We went immediately to surgery but while we were doing mri and getting ready he lost complete control of his back legs and possibly deep pain (they tested at evaluation and he had it).

After surgery, he hasn't had any deep pain, back legs control and bladder/bowel control. We have him home now and he is resting but it's a 24/7 job. Constant bladder/bowel leaking and clean up constantly.

We took of work for the next week but we are losing our minds. We have pee pads (that we are running through fast), baby wipes, comfy bedding and Lou is on anti anxiety meds.

How do you guys do it? Any encouragement is helpful!
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CarolC
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Re: New Member help

Post by CarolC »

Hi Corob15,

Replying in blue...


:banner:
Corob15 wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:19 pm Hey guys,

Last Wednesday my 5 yo french bulldog, Lou started acting funny. I took him to the vet and they did test but he seemed ok. Sent us home with some pain meds.

I woke up the next morning and Lou was having trouble standing. I rushed him to the only neuro pet hospital in town and then confirmed they thought he had slipped disk. We went immediately to surgery but while we were doing mri and getting ready he lost complete control of his back legs and possibly deep pain (they tested at evaluation and he had it).

I would not worry too much about that yet. The general guideline with a disk is that they have the best chance of recovery if you do surgery within 24 hours after loss of deep pain. Your dog had surgery immediately. I am not a vet, but my understanding is that following surgery there is swelling around the surgical site, which will affect the nerves. Once the swelling goes down, you'll have a better idea of his status, but that will take a while. That is why they tell you to do strict crate rest, which you are doing. The less the dog moves around, the sooner the swelling can go down.

After surgery, he hasn't had any deep pain, back legs control and bladder/bowel control. We have him home now and he is resting but it's a 24/7 job. Constant bladder/bowel leaking and clean up constantly.

Lack of bladder control is not surprising. Hopefully it will be temporary, it is way too soon to tell. You are lucky you have a male dog. There is a wonderful solution for leaky male dogs. Belly bands, aka malewraps, aka male doggy diapers. A malewrap is a wide belt that fastens around the waist with velcro, covering the male area. You put an absorbent pad in it, like a Poise pad. With your size of dog, you may be able to use 1/2 of a long Poise pad. Poise pads come in different absorbencies, so get one of the high absorbency kind. It doesn't have to be the Poise brand, it can be generic or Walmart or whatever.
:malewrap:
There are different kinds of malewraps. Some are stretch fabric, some are firm. Some have elastic along the edges, some simply fasten securely and do not have elastic. I like the kind without elastic, but opinions vary a lot on that. As long as it stays on and keeps that pad over his male area, you're good. Malewraps are your friend! They're a lifesaver.


If you can :sew: here are 2 examples of homemade malewraps:

http://handicappedpet.net/helppets/view ... =5&t=17226
http://www.wonderpuppy.net/copper/helpfulstuff.htm#band


Another thing that will help, and is recommended, is to express the bladder every 8 hours. Since he is leaky, it should be very easy with him. Expressing means you squeeze his tummy to make him pee. If you do that, he will be less leaky. It may not totally solve the problem, but it helps. Most dogs need to be expressed in order to keep their bladder healthy. A few dribble themselves empty 24/7 (I have a dog like that) but most simply leak from overflow and are not fully emptying. That extra urine that remains in the bladder, when it was not fully empty, creates an environment for germs to grow, and can cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs usually respond well to an antibiotic, but it's better to avoid them if possible. Here is a (long) article about expressing the bladder. If you scroll to the bottom, you will find many videos demonstrating expressing the bladder on different sizes of dogs. Ideally your vet should show you how to do it, but some people teach themselves.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16027


Are you saying he has diarrhea? That is not a part of being paralyzed, either temporarily or long term. If he is on any meds, you might want to look them up and see if diarrhea is a side-effect. What I'm saying is, a paralyzed dog may not have bowel control, but his stools are still the same as ever, or they should be. If he is on any anti-inflammatory meds, such as prednisone, that can affect the GI tract. They recommend giving Pepcid a/c to dogs when on steroids or NSAIDS. Here is a link with some information on protecting the stomach.

https://dodgerslist.com/meds-used-during-disc-episode
https://dodgerslist.com/2020/05/06/stomach-protection


We took of work for the next week but we are losing our minds. We have pee pads (that we are running through fast), baby wipes, comfy bedding and Lou is on anti anxiety meds.

I don't blame you. I'd be freaking out wondering how I'm going to keep him clean while I'm at work. You have a week to see if you can get the diarrhea resolved. Once you do that, it will be much easier. You may want to let the vet know you're having this issue. It is not surprising if he lacks bowel control right now, but he shouldn't be having loose stools. Here is an article about managing bowel incontinence.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18586

How do you guys do it? Any encouragement is helpful!

You actually have reason to be optimistic. The statistics are best for recovery when they have surgery right away, and he did. The one thing to keep in mind is, recovery from spinal injury tends to be slow, much slower than a broken bone, for example. It can take weeks or months for bladder control to return, so if you don't see it return right away, that absolutely does not mean it won't later. You just need to give it time.

The first weeks are the hardest. You're scrambling trying to figure out the best bedding, how to keep him clean and comfortable, worrying how this will all turn out. It can take 2 or 3 weeks till you really have your routine down, but once you do, it soon becomes a new normal. Right now you're just kind of treading water as fast as you can. It gets better!

Something that has worked extremely well for me with incontinent small breed dogs is a playpen. Some people have used a baby crib, too, but you have to be sure your dog can't get out of it. We had a beagle here who managed to get out of a crib following spinal surgery. :shock: The playpen or crib makes putting the dog in and out easier, compared to a crate. If you put him in there with blankets and a malewrap, he should be fine while you're at work. If either one of you is able to check on him during the lunch hour, that would be ideal, but if you can't, then hopefully he'll sleep. He knows your schedule and when you come home, so he's already used to it. This means you may have to do doggy laundry every day, or every couple of days if you have several blankets. I got my dog her own laundry bag to put her laundry in.
:wash: :laundry:
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critters
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Re: New Member help

Post by critters »

:whale: I second what Carol said and also want to tell you that he may experience nerve pain or funny sensations, pins-and-needles, for example, from the nerves, just like people do. Meds like gabapentin and pregabalin (Lyrica) are used for that.
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CarolC
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Re: New Member help

Post by CarolC »

Are you having any luck with the diarrhea? :)
Corob15
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:10 pm

Re: New Member help

Post by Corob15 »

Thank you guys for all the help and support! Lou is still resting. No signs of deep pain just yet but we are only one week out from surgery. We've started to get the hang of things and the initial shock has disapated.

We've got belly bands on the way and getting him on a good schedule. Seems like the inflammation around his surgery site is finally starting to go down as well.

Just taking it one day at a time. Will keep you guys updated!
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CarolC
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Re: New Member help

Post by CarolC »

Good deal. If you have any problem keeping the malewraps on, there are some tricks, just ask. Some dogs wiggle out of them and some don't, depending on how active they are, the type of wraps, and even body shape.

You may want to put something on his skin to prevent "diaper rash". It can be something as simple as vaseline, just to give a moisture barrier. The white colored diaper creams, like original Desitin, usually contain zinc oxide. Zinc can be toxic to dogs if they ingest too much of it. My vet said it is rarely a problem, and said they use it at the clinic. I used Desitin on my dog for 3 years. He wore a wrap 24/7/365. I would butter him real good with ointment, then put on his wrap. He never licked himself, and the wrap kept him covered, so it was not a problem. The Desitin did a better job than anything else I tried. I also like the fact that you don't have to keep reapplying it constantly. Some ointments need to be reapplied every time you change a diaper, so there you are with greasy fingers, it's a pain, but the Desitin is long lasting and really stays on the skin and we could go a couple of days before needing more.

Some people like to let their dog's skin breathe at night, so the dog sleeps without a diaper. I think it's a good idea if you can, however if you are using a diaper cream with zinc oxide, you must wipe it all off before letting the dog sleep au naturel. I didn't have to worry about that with Merlin as he was never without a malewrap. I have a female dog who wears regular diapers all day and sleeps bare-bottom at night, but I use an ointment on her that does not contain zinc oxide.

Just something to consider if your start to notice redness when he wears his wraps, or even when he doesn't. As a matter of fact, my female dog (Dolly) was going through an episode of neck pain so I didn't want to be handling her for diaper changes, so I let her go bare-bottom for several weeks and just gave her clean blankets. It turned out her bottom became red without the diaper. I guess the diaper padding absorbs the urine and keeps it away from the skin, and without her diaper padding, it was just wetting her skin and causing irritation. So diapers can improve the health of the skin.

Here is my Merlie in his wrap. He started wearing them when he got older before he lost mobility, then continued wearing them when he could no longer walk.

MerlinRamp.jpg
MerlinRamp.jpg (42.45 KiB) Viewed 72 times
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