Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis-FCE - how to prepare

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.
Schnauzerlove
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Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis-FCE - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:39 pm

First, thank you for this website. I have learned so much in a short period of time because of the wealth of knowledge and experience on this board.

Our Miniature Schnauzer, Dasani, is 4 years old and in great health and a super active little guy. We were watching my Parents older and sometimes agressive, Dog on Tuesday. I had to run out for 1/2 hour and knew better than to leave them together in the same room as my Parent's dog can be unpredictable. Well upon my return Dasani was laying in chair and wouldn't come to me. Super unusal behaviour for him. I went to the chair and loved on him and picked him up and placed him on the floor and he went down. He had no use of his left front leg. My husband and I immediately rushed him to the emergency vet. We were thinking that maybe it was broken or out of socket. They checked him out and came to talk with us and said it was definitely neurological and he had limited use of his rear left leg as well and would need to be kept overnight. The vet began talking about all the possibilities and surgery and paralysis. I kind of went into shock. She kept pressuring us to decide if we would want to do surgery if he worsened during the night. Well we didn't know what to do, we were just processing all this information. We left him there with instructions to call if his condition worsened. they administered steriods and fluids. We checked in throughout the night and they said he was the same, no worse, no better. There was talk about an FCE or a disk problem. I spoke with the vet that came on duty Wednesday AM and she advised that I should have him seen by a surgeon right away, that's what she would do if it were her dog. I had her refer me to a local surgeon who specializes in orthopedic, soft tissue and neurosurgery.

I took off work, and went and picked up Dasani from the emergency clinic and it just broke my heart seeing him laying there on his bed in the car. We have had other dogs and this little guy has the best disposition and is such a sweet little soul. We rode to the surgeons office and they saw us right away. He examined Dasani and he has deep pain response in all limbs. We decided to have a myleogram done right then and surgery if necessary. They said they would call me in a few hours, but I just couldn't leave so I waited there and my husband took of work to come and wait too. After an hour or so they doctor came out and reviewed the films with us. There is no herniated disk, but there is a lot of swelling of the spinal cord in what he called the "brachial plexis" area. This concerns him as this part of the spinal cord handles many funtions. He said his next steps are just to treat him supportively and give him lots of fluids to bathe the spinal cord in hopes that the swelling will begin to reduce and he will not deteriorate further. His practice is located with an emergency clinic so Dasani went to what they refer to as the ICU to rest and heal. My husband and I left there not knowing what will come next. I checked on him a couple of times during the night and he is alert and they were expressing his bladder. This morning I talked with the Nurse from the doctor's office and she and the doctor had just examined him and he had eaten a big breakfast. She said he has some improvement and they are detecting muscle tone today. I just called this afternoon and he is placing more weight on the legs and is urinating in the cage by himself and they didn't have to express him. They also said he may be ready to be discharged at noon tomorrow.

Whew....if you've made it this far, thanks for reading all of that. I'm thrilled that my little guy may come home but feel totally unprepared for what to do next. I've read all your recommendations regarding crate rest for 4-8 weeks, and I'm sure we will be given some instructions upon discharge. I'm hoping you might be able to share the things I need to have on hand here for tomorrow after we get home. Things to prepare myself for, any and all advice is welcome. We are dedicated to giving Dasani the best chance to recover some function. We love this little guy so much.
Last edited by Schnauzerlove on Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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critters
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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by critters » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:14 pm

:gang: I would have peepads, butt wipes, and shampoo handy. Personally, I prefer washable peepads, but they're expensive if you're not snagging them at a yard sale. You'll need a walking aid, either commercial or homemade, unless you're carrying him. Hopefully he'll come home with pred, but it'll make him drink & pee more....a nice, soft bed--I'd use a double layer of "egg crate" mattress so you can dump it & cut more if it gets pooped or peed on. A "coop cup" or other stable cup intended for birds, which attaches firmly to the crate cage, helps prevent a lot of water dumping...plenty of old towels...

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by kristenv » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:38 pm

Your love for Dasani is so apparent in your words, he is so fortunate to have such a good mom!!

It sounds like he is doing well all considered, and I can only surmise that since this is a spinal cord "injury" swelling etc. Dasani will likley have to be on crate rest for a period of time.
With the disc/spinal cord injuries my Samy has experienced this was period of 8 week, however I am certain your vet will guide you in this timeframe, as well as with any PT once Dasani is home.

Please find out what medications that he will need and what he is on. Perhaps they will continue him on steroids, and maybe a muscle relaxant. If so you may want to consider a stomach protector such as pepcid to help as steroids can be tough on the tummy.

Is Dasani familiar with crating? If not do not be discouraged as many of our pups were not either. Patience and consistency are key though, and it really is harder on the humans than the pups.

A wire crate is a great option. That way Dasani can see what is going on around him while still being safe. if he is a jumper you will need to Dasani proof your house (no couches, beds etc.) I am a bug advoctae of doggie strollers as it is like a crate on wheels, and makes moving from room to room much easier.

I am certain others will have advice so please keep us posted.....
Kristen and Samy
Kristen, Samy, and Dottie
Jenner, Alex, BB
4 epsiodes of IVDD for Samy: Surgery x2 , crate rest x2 still going strong
Dottie no IVDD
Rory no IVDD (at the bridge)

Schnauzerlove
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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:59 pm

critters wrote::gang: I would have peepads, butt wipes, and shampoo handy. Personally, I prefer washable peepads, but they're expensive if you're not snagging them at a yard sale. You'll need a walking aid, either commercial or homemade, unless you're carrying him. Hopefully he'll come home with pred, but it'll make him drink & pee more....a nice, soft bed--I'd use a double layer of "egg crate" mattress so you can dump it & cut more if it gets pooped or peed on. A "coop cup" or other stable cup intended for birds, which attaches firmly to the crate cage, helps prevent a lot of water dumping...plenty of old towels...
Critters, thanks so much for the reply and GREAT tips!! I hadn't even thought that far as to a stable cup to attach to the crate. I'm making my list so I can run out and get what I need before I pick him up, if he infact gets to come home tomorrow. I'm still in a bit of shock as to how fast this happened and what is coming. This little guy loved nothing more than playing in the yard and chasing a wild rabbit in the yard at night. I just hope he will regain some function. I know we will do our best to give him every chance at recovery.

Schnauzerlove
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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:06 pm

kristenv wrote:Your love for Dasani is so apparent in your words, he is so fortunate to have such a good mom!!

It sounds like he is doing well all considered, and I can only surmise that since this is a spinal cord "injury" swelling etc. Dasani will likley have to be on crate rest for a period of time.
With the disc/spinal cord injuries my Samy has experienced this was period of 8 week, however I am certain your vet will guide you in this timeframe, as well as with any PT once Dasani is home.

Please find out what medications that he will need and what he is on. Perhaps they will continue him on steroids, and maybe a muscle relaxant. If so you may want to consider a stomach protector such as pepcid to help as steroids can be tough on the tummy.

Is Dasani familiar with crating? If not do not be discouraged as many of our pups were not either. Patience and consistency are key though, and it really is harder on the humans than the pups.

A wire crate is a great option. That way Dasani can see what is going on around him while still being safe. if he is a jumper you will need to Dasani proof your house (no couches, beds etc.) I am a bug advoctae of doggie strollers as it is like a crate on wheels, and makes moving from room to room much easier.

I am certain others will have advice so please keep us posted.....
Kristen and Samy
Kristen,
Thanks for the reply! How is your Samy doing?

We are lucky in that from the time we adopted Dasani (he was 1) we taught him to love his crate with hidden treats. He sleeps in a wire crate every night next to our bed. You don't know how thankful I am that we have that in the positive column.

I'm most concerned with making sure his bladder is empty if he can't empty it himself. I've been reading up on expressing the bladder and will ask the vet for advice and a demonstration if necessary. I know yesterday when I took him to the surgeon and he was examining him, he held him up and his front paws would just dangle and when the Doctor tried to put his feet on the ground he would just go head first. I could see no response from him, but when he did the deep pain test there was a whine and a look at the Doctor on each paw and that was a good sign to the Doctor. It just kills me to see him like this. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, just helpless.

Thanks for letting me ramble and for all you guys give to this forum.

Schnauzerlove
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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:38 am

I wanted to update. Dasani didn't get to come home today. He has developed bloody diarreah. They believe this is because of the Solo-Medrol that was given to him Tuesday night. Even though he has been given Pepcid continuously they want to start him on Flagyl, up the Pepcid, add Carafate and keep him on IV fluids so he does not get dehydrated.

I was able to visit with him this morning and it just breaks my heart. I know all you guys here know that feeling. He seems so dazed and confused and I'm not sure if he really knew who I was. It's frustrating to not have a firm diagnosis. I know they saw the swelling of the spinal cord, and it could be an FCE or maybe not. Does anyone have any experience with a dog having an FCE?
Last edited by Schnauzerlove on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by GabrielDeafBlindPupFamily » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:08 pm

I am sorry for this setback and know how anxious you are to get him home, where he belongs, in love and comfort.

We have a LOT of FCEs here and you can search FCE and they should also be along shortly.

Hopefully his stools will clear up quickly. Let us know ...
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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Dianne » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:25 pm

:banner: Schnauzerlove,

I've been following your story and hoping for a good outcome. I'm sure this has been very traumatic for your parents as well as your immediate family.

Steroids can sometimes cause diarrhea. So sorry to hear that you had a set back, but we're hopeful that you get some good news soon.

Let us know if/when they give you a more accurate diagnosis.

Dianne
"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." -William Shakespeare

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:28 pm

GabrielDeafBlindPupFamily wrote:I am sorry for this setback and know how anxious you are to get him home, where he belongs, in love and comfort.

We have a LOT of FCEs here and you can search FCE and they should also be along shortly.

Hopefully his stools will clear up quickly. Let us know ...
Thank you for your kind words. You are right I am anxious to get him home as I know he will heal better here. He stresses when we board him and I know this is a triple whammy.

I actually figured out how to use the search feature earlier today and have been reading so many posts from the FCEs and they are very encouraging to read. I feel lucky to have found you guys!

Schnauzerlove
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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:44 pm

Dianne wrote::banner: Schnauzerlove,

I've been following your story and hoping for a good outcome. I'm sure this has been very traumatic for your parents as well as your immediate family.

Steroids can sometimes cause diarrhea. So sorry to hear that you had a set back, but we're hopeful that you get some good news soon.

Let us know if/when they give you a more accurate diagnosis.

Dianne
Thank you for the support. Yes, my Parents are devastated and I've tried to tell them that we aren't sure it was a tussle, it could be an FCE. I'm trying to encourage my Mom as she is really super upset and depressed over this.

I have an update. We just got home from visiting Dasani. After seeing him so down earlier I thought that he would really enjoying seeing his "Dada" as he is such a Daddy's boy. I couldn't have been more right! He was so alert and snuggling against his Dada and just a huge change in his disposition. We visited for about an hour and talked a bit to the Vet that was there for the night. I asked about what he thought, is this an FCE diagnosis? He hasn't seen Dasani before and tonight was his first night at the hospital with Dasani. I gave him a little background and he checked out the medical records. There is not a certain diagnosis of FCE. Apparantly they normally see an FCE either at the bottom part of the spinal cord or the upper and his swelling is in the shoulder and a little below, what they call the brachial plexis area. I shared my concern with the moving him around, are we doing more damage? He just didn't seem to have an answer. That didn't make me feel really good, but at this point I'm just wanting the diarreah to resolve and get him home :-)

He still has the bloody diarreah and yes, they do belive it's from the Solu-Medrol from Tuesday night. He doesn't have a fever and isn't painful when examining the abdomen. In my crazy mind I'm wondering if he really has any feeling in the abdomen to respond if he is painful? I'm just overthinking it, I'm sure, because when I rub my hand across his belly and lightly tickly it he was responding with his back right leg trying to scratch it. That was a good sign. I know I'm rambling, I'm tired and just worried/stressed. I'm just so thankful I've found you guys, you are all so supportive and a wealth of knowledge.
Thank You!

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Dianne » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:25 am

http://www.dfwvetsurgeons.com/schnauzers.html

Thought you might find this link interesting. Hope you are taking care of yourself during this trying time.

Edited to add:
Long-term survival rates for Schnauzers with FCE are significantly higher than large breed dogs with FCE. Treatment is supportive.
"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." -William Shakespeare

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by CarolC » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:34 pm

Hi Schnauzerlove,

How much does your dog weigh? How big is your parents' dog and what kind is he? Has he tried to go after your dog before or other dogs? If he did go after your dog, can you guess what he might have done? For example, is he big enough to shake your dog? Or could he mount your dog? Or would he just chase your dog until your dog went on his back? If he chased him, do you think your dog might have run into a piece of furniture? Is the floor in the room slippery? Could your dog have been flipped on his back and slid into a baseboard or something like that? Could you see any clues to what might have happened. I am really only thinking out loud here. They did a myelogram and did not find a disk problem, that's wonderful and very encouraging. They did find swelling in the the spinal cord, but they are treating that with steroids, which is what I would want for my dog. I think I would be prepared for several weeks of rest. I need to tell you, healing from spinal cord injury does occur but it occurs very slowly. During the time when healing is occurring, your dog may look exactly the same for weeks on end, but have faith. Even though you cannot see it, your dog is improving a tiny bit more every day. It took my dog months to begin to walk, but it was so worth the wait.

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:18 pm

Dianne wrote:http://www.dfwvetsurgeons.com/schnauzers.html

Thought you might find this link interesting. Hope you are taking care of yourself during this trying time.

Edited to add:
Long-term survival rates for Schnauzers with FCE are significantly higher than large breed dogs with FCE. Treatment is supportive.
Diane,
Thanks for the link. I never knew about this illness much less that it is associated with schnauzers. I yearn for a firm diagnosis so we can rehab him the proper way. I don't think an FCE could be brought on by a rough dog fight, which leads me to believe spinal cord trauma. I hope to know more after the surgery center re-opens and the Doctor re-examines him.

We went for another visit with Dasani yesterday and he was glad to see us. My husband and I got him to stand up on the examination table with our support. His right side seems fine, just the left front and rear leg. He could support his weight on the left rear with us moving his leg into the proper placement. The left front is just there. The technician said we could take him outside to the grass if we wanted, so I asked Dasani if he wanted to "Go outside" and he flipped his body from his side to facing us on his front paws and was trying to pull himself forward off the table. I was shocked and thrilled at the movement and his excitement, and of course worried that we shouldn't be moving him at all. My husband cradled him until we got to the grass and we placed him on the grass and both supported him standing up. The sun was shining and he was happy to be outside. We tried to get him to urinate and he did sniff the grass a couple of times, but no go.

I have become super obsessed with learning to express his bladder. I've read so much information on this website and even though the emergency clinic says he is urinating in his cage, it could be major overflow as I keep asking if they are expressing his bladder and they say, no. I don't want any other illness to effect his recovery especially if it's something I can learn to help him with. I'm anxious to have him home so we can take care of him. He hasn't had anymore diarreah and they took him off IV fluids today so I'm hoping tomorrow will be the day.

I've bought everything I can think of after reading all the helpful posts on this website. He sleeps in a wire crate normally so that is a great thing. I decided to get a King Size Eggcrate Mattress pad and cut it to fit the cage and made duplicate beds covered with trash bags for moisture protectant. I then put a sheet on top of that and a bed pad on the very top that he will lay on. I'm now prepared with a duplicate bed set when we have accidents. I have a pet seatbelt harness he wore that we are going to try to use when taking him out to potty and hope it will provide the necessary support. If not, I'll configure some sort of sling. He so wanted to walk yesterday and that left side didn't want to cooperate. I'll end my ramble...LOL
Thanks for the support!

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by Schnauzerlove » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:26 pm

CarolC wrote:Hi Schnauzerlove,

How much does your dog weigh? How big is your parents' dog and what kind is he? Has he tried to go after your dog before or other dogs? If he did go after your dog, can you guess what he might have done? For example, is he big enough to shake your dog? Or could he mount your dog? Or would he just chase your dog until your dog went on his back? If he chased him, do you think your dog might have run into a piece of furniture? Is the floor in the room slippery? Could your dog have been flipped on his back and slid into a baseboard or something like that? Could you see any clues to what might have happened. I am really only thinking out loud here. They did a myelogram and did not find a disk problem, that's wonderful and very encouraging. They did find swelling in the the spinal cord, but they are treating that with steroids, which is what I would want for my dog. I think I would be prepared for several weeks of rest. I need to tell you, healing from spinal cord injury does occur but it occurs very slowly. During the time when healing is occurring, your dog may look exactly the same for weeks on end, but have faith. Even though you cannot see it, your dog is improving a tiny bit more every day. It took my dog months to begin to walk, but it was so worth the wait.
Hi Carol,
Dasani weighs 25lbs and my parent's dog approximately 35lbs but she is a lot taller than him. Yes, she has been known to have agressive behavious years ago. She is 14 and has mellowed some, or so we thought. I envision that she jumped on his back and shoved him to the floor. My little guy would just be scared and try to escape, as he is never mean. I've also thought about the running into something to escape from her and the floors are hardwoords. The surgeon only treated with IV steroids the first 8 hours and said he will not give him anymore. He was telling me that right after they had done the myleogram and that he wanted to treat him with supportive care. I was somewhat still in shock and remember he had a reason for only using the steriods the one time and it was regarding how damaging they can be?

Thanks for the encouragement. All the success stories on this site have given me hope and the spirit to push forward and give the little guy the best chance at recovery possible.

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Re: Mini Schnauzer-sudden partial paralysis - how to prepare

Post by puremutt » Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:20 pm

Please remember when he is home to take it easy!
As much as you would like to see him walk again , he needs to heal.
I used wee wee pads under the bed cover and one on top with an old towel.
I know so much how you feel I can relate to those feelings, I had them too!
mickey 1994- sept 26 ,2008


let all beings be happy

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