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He received surgery on 9/4/18 and right after had no deep pain and is paralyzed from the waist down with no urinary continence. The surgeon noted in his report he had deep pain and motor function! It was clear that he could not move his legs at all and I brought him back to the surgeon and he corrected himself and said I was right, he has no motor function. He said deep pain is subjective but he believed he had some. It has now been the 2 week mark and he has received 2 treatments of acupuncture. The rehab vet stated yesterday that it is still questionable whether my dog has deep pain because he’s very hard to test (crying no matter if you’re pinching his toes with clamps or not) and definitely no motor function or urinary continence.
Needless to say, I am in a state of shock about what happened. I had a dog who could walk (albeit slow) and go to the bathroom by himself. I can’t help but feel completely guilty for getting him this surgery. I thought it would relieve the serious pain he was in (which it has), but wish he could walk again.
Please let me know if anyone here has any experience with a dog who walked before surgery and didn’t after. It would be really helpful to hear any advice.
Forgot to mention this is my second daschund with IVDD. My girl went into emergency surgery 2 years ago with complete loss of deep pain in both legs and started walking again 2 months after surgery. She showed more signs of improvement than my male dog and kept her urinary continence the whole time. I’m really worried the surgeon did some permanent damage on my male dog. Please help!
I have heard the same thing the vet said, it can be hard to test for DPS on some dogs due to the way they do (or don't) react. Whether he has it or not, rest assured if it is absent (which may be hard to tell right now) it can still return later. My dog had a back injury and had no feeling in her toes, but at 149 days after the injury they determined she had a deep pain response. That was one day shy of 5 months. Hopefully with your dog it will be sooner, but definitely don't despair if by chance you are still not seeing it at the 2-month point (where your other dog began walking).
Do you have any idea why he is "crying no matter if you’re pinching his toes with clamps or not". That sounds unusual. Did they give him any pain meds, and do you think they are adequate? It sounds like they are not quite doing the job. I am not a vet but I do not think he should be crying that much. Did they give him anything like tramadol? Did he use up his prescription, and maybe he needs a refill? I am sure my back would still hurt if I just had surgery 2 weeks ago.
If he was having intractable pain in addition to difficulty walking, that is one of the situations where surgery is recommended, so you did it for good reason. We can blame ourselves for everything, even when we did the right thing. And if you had waited till it got worse, you might have ended up taking him into surgery without DPS going in, and then honestly, you might be kicking yourself that you waited, and thinking it was all your fault. Instead, since he had DPS going into surgery, you have reason to hope he will recover well, because they have a better chance when they still have DPS going in. I know what you are seeing right now is not what you anticipated, but it is still early days. It is helpful that you have some experience with this, so you know that recovery can be slow.
Are you able to express his bladder OK?
Have you read some of the information on Dodgerslist? www.dodgerslist.com
The crying out when checking for deep pain is because he’s scared of the clamps. As soon as he sees them he starts to whine. They started testing by laying him down and not letting him see the clamps and that’s when they realized there’s no reaction to deep pain.
Expressing his bladder was hard at first because he was fighting me on it. I finally got the hang of it after I figured out putting a cone on his head was the only way to keep him from licking my fingers and to stop fighting me.