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Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

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.
my2whitedogs
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:17 pm

Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:53 pm

Hello, my dog went from walking a mile with me Wednesday night to not using his legs at all by Thursday night. By Friday he was deep pain negative and considered hind leg paralyzed. I had taken him to a clinic on Thursday morning, but they didn't seem to think it was an emergency. After a 3 hours wait they sent us home with carprofen, tramadol, at methocarbamol and said it was a pinched nerve. It didn't seem right to me so I called my regular vet to see if he had any opening. He wanted to do an X-ray the following morning. When he called me back on Friday morning he reccommended euthanasia without even considering anything else. I inquired about wheels or surgery and he didn't really know what to say so I decided to go to an ER with a neuro specialist. They took him in right away and by that time he was deep pain negative and lost control of bladder and bowels. To say I'm upset with the first two vets is an understatement but what is done is done and it is time to move forward.

With COVID, I did not get the opportunity to really learn much about how to care for my dog, Bacio. I have tried to contact rehab centers but they cannot see him until mid august/haven't returned my calls yet. I was told about bladder expressing but not shown how to do it.

Life has adjusted around him but I feel very lost. My questions revolve around bathroom issues, I've watched videos on bladder expression, I've gotten it to happen a few times but I've never "felt" where his bladder is I just feel liek I'm pressing on him until I see a stream. I don't know when it has been totally emptied. Also, he usually pees on himself multiple times a day. I'm worried about expressing all the urine and the UTIs, if he is peeing on himself throughout the day should I expect less urine when I express? So far it has always been darker yellow.

Second, how can I keep him clean? I have been using wipes, wash clothes, and spray bottles, one with water + baby shampoo, and the other with just water. I scrub his underbelly and legs and rinse with the water spray and wash clothes. I'm so worried about the skin infections on top of everything else.

Lastly, He's only pooped once since we've been back and it was pretty liquidy. He hasn't eaten much and has been through a stressful couple days, but its still a concern. Will I need to do anything to encourage defication like with bladder express? Do I just wait until it happens and clean him up?

I have way more questions about care and therapy going forward, but these hygiene and bathroom questions are more pressing.

Thanks in advance,
A very worried dog parent.

**He's a larger senior dog, almost 11, his healthy weight is 60 lbs but he has dropped 8 lbs according to the last vet visit. He had 2 FHO surgeries for hip dysplasia when he was about 3**

He's the one on the left, not the husky. (pic from last October)
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CarolC
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:47 pm

Replying in blue...

Did the neuro specialist give a diagnosis?

Does your dog seem to be in any pain now?

Is your dog on any medication?

my2whitedogs wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:53 pm
Life has adjusted around him but I feel very lost. My questions revolve around bathroom issues, I've watched videos on bladder expression, I've gotten it to happen a few times but I've never "felt" where his bladder is I just feel liek I'm pressing on him until I see a stream. I don't know when it has been totally emptied.

That is not surprising, he is a big dog. As long as you are seeing a stream, that is what matters. I know what you mean, if you can't feel the outline then how do you know if he's really empty. I would just keep doing the best you can, and use the express-rest-express method. That means you express him and get as much out as you can, then wait a few minutes and try again and see if you can get more out. Sometimes by waiting a few minutes, the bladder kind of shrinks into a smaller shape and when you express again you will get more out. I would do it a few times till nothing else comes out. You probably only need to wait 2 or 3 minutes between tries.

When you said you watched some videos, did you see all the ones at the end of this link?

:arrow: :arrow: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16027

If not, it is possible you may find another method that you like better. But if you are getting some out, then you have a good method already, and it gets even better with practice. Many people cannot feel the bladder at first, but eventually you may be able to. It sounds like you are actually doing well.

:trophy:

Also, he usually pees on himself multiple times a day. I'm worried about expressing all the urine and the UTIs, if he is peeing on himself throughout the day should I expect less urine when I express? So far it has always been darker yellow.

If it is dark yellow, do you think he is drinking enough water? Drinking plenty of water will help keep his bladder flushed out.

Yes, if he is dribbling then I would expect less when you express. There can be many reasons for dribbling. Sometimes it is overflow from the bladder because the dog needs to be expressed. Sometimes it is because the kind of spinal injury the dog has causes a weak urinary sphincter, so even if you express completely, the dog is still going to start leaking after a while. You may begin to learn how long your dog can go between needing to be expressed. Some dogs can go a few hours, some dogs can go 8 hours, it depends on the dog. I have a dog who leaks/dribbles 24/7 and never has to be expressed because there is nothing in the bladder. We have done 2 ultrasounds on her because I wanted to be sure I just wasn't missing something, but she basically dribbles herself empty.

Since you have a male dog, it will help you a LOT to get him a male doggie diaper.
:malewrap:
This is also called a belly band or a male wrap. It is a wide belt that fastens around the waist with velcro. You put an absorbent pad in it (like Poise) and it will catch his dribbles and save you a LOT of cleaning up. You'll need to change his pad several times a day, but it will help you keep him clean and dry, and his skin healthy because there won't be urine soaking his fur. He is a big dog, so if you find he is soaking his pads too quickly, please ask, as there are other ideas for greater absorbency to keep the dog dry. My golden retriever had to have his pad changed about 5x a day.
MerlinRamp.jpg
MerlinRamp.jpg (42.45 KiB) Viewed 975 times
There are many places online to buy malewraps, or you can make your own. Here are some links to sewing instructions (it's a very easy project even if you don't sew much).
:sew: :arrow: :arrow: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18840&p=97190#p97190


Second, how can I keep him clean? I have been using wipes, wash clothes, and spray bottles, one with water + baby shampoo, and the other with just water. I scrub his underbelly and legs and rinse with the water spray and wash clothes. I'm so worried about the skin infections on top of everything else.

It sounds like you are keeping him clean. You probably don't want to scrub too hard. Skin infections usually are not much of a worry, but urine scald (like really bad diaper rash) can be a problem, especially if it occurs on the hip bone. It is good you are keeping him so clean. If he wears a male wrap, then hopefully his fur will stay dry.

Since he has quite a bit of coat, it may help to shave him down in the areas that are getting wet, but only if you can do it without giving him a razor burn. They do make a waterless shampoo for dogs, and I haven't used it but I trust the place that sells it, here is a link.

https://scoutshouse.com/product/quik-cl ... s-shampoo/


Lastly, He's only pooped once since we've been back and it was pretty liquidy. He hasn't eaten much and has been through a stressful couple days, but its still a concern. Will I need to do anything to encourage defication like with bladder express? Do I just wait until it happens and clean him up?

Did they give him any medication at the vet? Diarrhea is not a common side effect of paralysis, but it can be caused by medication. There are several ways to stimulate the dog to defecate at a time and place of your choosing. Here is a link that describes different ways to do it. I like the ice cube method or the squeezing method. A lot of people like the Q-tip method.

:arrow: :arrow: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=18586


I have way more questions about care and therapy going forward, but these hygiene and bathroom questions are more pressing.

Did the vet mention turning him several times a day? It is a good idea to reposition a paralyzed dog several times a day, or every 2-4 hours if possible, and be sure he is not lying on wetness or wrinkles. This will help prevent pressure sores while he is recovering. You have to take care of yourself, too, so do not deprive yourself of sleep to get up every 2 hours to turn him, but if you can turn him once halfway through the night, that might help (or however often the vet told you).

Very glad you are here! :)

:gang:

my2whitedogs
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:17 pm

Thank you so much for the thourough reply.
The doctor from the ER said during his physical exam he was deep pain negative and because they don't know how long he was like that he was not a good candidate for surgery. By the time we got to the 3rd vet he was no longer responding to them touching his back anywhere. She said he was not in pain but didn't believe he had even a 50% chance of recovery. The verbage on the discharge papers goes as follows:
Hind limb plegic, deep pain negative R/O IVDD, Neoplasia

His medications are:
300 mg Gabapentin every 12 hrs
50 mg Carprofen 2x a day with food
125 mg Tramadol every 12 hrs

I keep water near him all day and he seems to drink a normal amount. When I thought he was not going to make it the first 2 days I did feed him a couple burgers, so I'm hoping the liquidy diarrhea was due to that and stress. He's been through a lot, but he still hasn't pooped now in 24 hours. He also hasn't been eating as much after being spoiled with burgers, I know he will eat, because when I offer him a treat or a piece of beef, he eats it right up. I tried the On Demand method and using a glove, but I will explore the other options.

We do rotate him and today I carried him down stairs (I live in a 2nd floor apartment) and gave him some outside time. I use a help em up harness to walk him around the yard. I want to get him fitted for wheels but due to covid many places won't take a new client, and the one place I did find couldn't see us until mid August. I would like to start therapy ASAP because even in the last day I've seen some movement in his tail and when he sleeps his legs twitch. I don't know if that is involuntary or not, but he definitely has wagged his tail (weakly) more than a couple times.

I am going on a shopping spree on Chewy to get the belly bands, and a waterless shampoo. I think he does have urine burn, is there a product for that? I just want to take the best care of him that I can. He seems more adjusted than I am, today I walked out of the room for 2 seconds to water a plant and he was sitting up by himself (Scared the bajeebus out of me).

Thank you again for your reply, I was thrown right into this with no help and just this has made me a little more confident.

my2whitedogs
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:20 pm

oh! One other thing... How do you guys do this solo? With two people it is hard, but I am dreading dealing with this by myself tomorrow while my partner is working.

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CarolC
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pm

Replying in blue...and this is a quick tip. You may find that by the time you have composed a long post (like just happened to me) that when you hit Submit you find you were logged out. Aargh! I have learned to make a copy of any long post before submitting, to be sure I don't lose it and have to write it over. :roll: I would not want that to happen to you, especially right now when you are extra busy trying to get your new routine with your dog.
my2whitedogs wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:17 pm
Thank you so much for the thourough reply.
The doctor from the ER said during his physical exam he was deep pain negative and because they don't know how long he was like that he was not a good candidate for surgery. By the time we got to the 3rd vet he was no longer responding to them touching his back anywhere. She said he was not in pain but didn't believe he had even a 50% chance of recovery. The verbage on the discharge papers goes as follows:
Hind limb plegic, deep pain negative R/O IVDD, Neoplasia

I am reading the discharge paper and I am not quite sure what they mean. The part I would like to clarify is "R/O IVDD, Neoplasia". I do not know if they are saying they did tests and ruled out IVDD (a disk problem) and neoplasia (tumor) already, or if they are recommending doing tests to rule those out if you want to pursue further diagnosis.

Do you know if he was given a CT or MRI or Myelogram? Was MRI or CT or Myelogram on the bill? Those are some possible tests for ruling out IVDD.


His medications are:
300 mg Gabapentin every 12 hrs
50 mg Carprofen 2x a day with food
125 mg Tramadol every 12 hrs

These are common pain meds for a spinal problem. You said they were given by the first vet. Then later the 3rd vet said he wasn't in pain. Did the 3rd vet know he was on pain meds when she examined him?

The reason I am asking is, there is a common condition that can cause sudden paralysis in dogs, and it is not painful. It would be great to know if he is actually in NO pain, or if he does have pain but it is being treated by the meds. What is your impression, does he seem to be in pain? Do you notice any change when the medication begins to wear off and it's time for the next dose?

Carprofen and tramadol can both cause diarrhea, though it could also be stress or the burger as you said, or a combination of all three, meds + stress + burger. If you do call the vet tomorrow to ask about the R/O line on the discharge paper, it might not hurt to report the diarrhea. If the 3rd vet really thought he did not have any pain, you might ask her if he needs to stay on the meds. It's never any fun having a down dog with diarrhea (been there, done that). :blush:


I keep water near him all day and he seems to drink a normal amount. When I thought he was not going to make it the first 2 days I did feed him a couple burgers, so I'm hoping the liquidy diarrhea was due to that and stress. He's been through a lot, but he still hasn't pooped now in 24 hours. He also hasn't been eating as much after being spoiled with burgers, I know he will eat, because when I offer him a treat or a piece of beef, he eats it right up. I tried the On Demand method and using a glove, but I will explore the other options.

We do rotate him and today I carried him down stairs (I live in a 2nd floor apartment) and gave him some outside time. I use a help em up harness to walk him around the yard. I want to get him fitted for wheels but due to covid many places won't take a new client, and the one place I did find couldn't see us until mid August. I would like to start therapy ASAP because even in the last day I've seen some movement in his tail and when he sleeps his legs twitch. I don't know if that is involuntary or not, but he definitely has wagged his tail (weakly) more than a couple times.

He looks like he's at least 70 lbs, if not more. How much does he weigh? That's a lot to carry up and down stairs. Glad you have a good harness.

There are adjustable wheelchairs that do not need to be custom fitted, you just take a few measurements at home to figure out the right general size, then you adjust it for a more precise fit when it arrives. It's totally up to you but you might want to wait...? Because you may see him start to improve, and if he improves then he may not need one.

Also, if they have not yet ruled out IVDD (I am not clear on whether they did or didn't), they don't usually recommend putting an IVDD dog in a wheelchair for at least 6 weeks to give the disk time to heal. However, he is big to have to walk with a harness, so if it will save your back or your partner's back, then that is a good reason to go ahead and not wait to get a wheelchair. It's a judgment call based on what's good for him physically, what's good for your back/knees/shoulders/etc., and also financially. You can resell an adjustable wheelchair if you buy it now and then find out he doesn't need it after all because he's improving, but then you have to go through the process of selling it and probably shipping it to someone.


I am going on a shopping spree on Chewy to get the belly bands, and a waterless shampoo. I think he does have urine burn, is there a product for that? I just want to take the best care of him that I can. He seems more adjusted than I am, today I walked out of the room for 2 seconds to water a plant and he was sitting up by himself (Scared the bajeebus out of me).

The best thing I know for urine burn (if it isn't really-really bad) is original Desitin diaper cream. It is a white ointment that you put on and it protects the area from any more urine contacting the skin. The great thing about it is, you don't have to keep putting it on every time you change him, it will last more than one day, maybe a couple of days, then you can put on a little more as needed. The important thing is, you should only use it if your are sure he isn't going to lick it. I used it on my dog underneath his belly band for 3 years, and he didn't lick it, and it kept his skin healthy. People do not usually report any problem with their dog licking it, especially when it is covered by a diaper or belly band, but it contains zinc, which can be toxic to dogs if they lick enough of it. My vet was not concerned when I asked about it for my dog. He said he'd never had a problem with it in dogs he'd treated.

If you are worried about him licking the diaper cream, you can use other things such as plain vaseline, but you'll probably have to keep applying it more frequently, and somehow it doesn't do as good of a job as Desitin, in my experience. I've used Vaseline, A&D ointment, and Desitin on my dog, and Desitin was by far the best. If your dog got a bad enough urine burn that you are worried it might get infected, you probably want to ask the vet for some veterinary ointment. I do not know, but possibly you might not have to take him in, if you could take a photo of the area and send it to her, because getting appointments is complicated right now with the pandemic, and also he is a big dog and it would be easier if you didn't have to put him in the car and take him to the vet.

I always kind of take it as a good sign when the dog seems kind of "adjusted" (that's a good word). As if they somehow know inside that everything is going to be all right. :)


Thank you again for your reply, I was thrown right into this with no help and just this has made me a little more confident.

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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:53 pm

my2whitedogs wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:20 pm
oh! One other thing... How do you guys do this solo? With two people it is hard, but I am dreading dealing with this by myself tomorrow while my partner is working.
It can be a challenge with a large dog. My golden retriever was only 63 lbs but I could not lift him. I was wondering if perhaps you have a balcony you could use to express your dog, instead of taking him downstairs while you are caring for him by yourself?

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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by critters » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:16 am

:welcome: Those are good meds. Just know that there are also pee meds like bethanechol and phenoxybenzamine that can help with peeing. You might also talk to one of the vets about poop softeners like laculose, if you think he's constipated. It's too bad nobody took the time to show you how to express. It's not rocket science, but it's a different experience and takes a little doing. Many vets don't think plain old people can learn to express, but they forget they weren't born doing it either.

They can be hard to find, but skin barrier sprays for people with ostomies can keep poop and/or pee from touching the skin altogether. Cavilon spray used to be a good one, but I don't know whether it's still manufactured anymore. With those you would probably want to shave the area, which may be a factor as well.

my2whitedogs
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:05 pm

We decided to stick to the routine as much as possible and this morning I took him out to the balcony to let him "go out". Last night I refrained from the carprofen as the vet said as necessary and I didn't want to give it to him if he wasn't in pain (and to ask a previous question, yes the 3rd vet knew of all the medications, and had me stop the methocarbomal and switched him to gabapentin, everything else was the same). However this morning when I tried to express his bladder but he tried to bite me like I was causing him pain. I also tried the ice cube method for #2 and he snapped at me again. I gave him a second to calm down and carried him down the stairs where He walked around the yard and found his spot and I held his back end as he pooped by himself. He does constantly pee in the diapers, but I am worried about not being able to express his bladder. Is this something I should call the vet about or is him peeing in the diapers the bladder emptying?

We got an appointment at a rehab/therapy center for Friday and we plan on renting a cart from them to give it a try before we buy. The belly bands will be here in a couple day but the diapers have really helped keep him dry. I change him at least every 4 hours if not sooner and the diapers are always soiled.

He seems to be adjusting well. He gives paw again while he is laying down, but I am having trouble getting him to eat his kibble again. He will eat chicken but tries to nose around the rice. Today he drank some broth. He has been a picky eater his whole life and I always would talk about his "hunger strikes", so I'm not sure if this is him just being stubborn because he got spoiled a little or if its due to pain.

Thanks for being so welcoming, I already feel much better about caring for him and even though it hard and I'm pretty exhausted I don't regret anything.

Pic of outside time on the balcony
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:18 pm

my2whitedogs wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:05 pm
We decided to stick to the routine as much as possible and this morning I took him out to the balcony to let him "go out". Last night I refrained from the carprofen as the vet said as necessary and I didn't want to give it to him if he wasn't in pain (and to ask a previous question, yes the 3rd vet knew of all the medications, and had me stop the methocarbomal and switched him to gabapentin, everything else was the same). However this morning when I tried to express his bladder but he tried to bite me like I was causing him pain. I also tried the ice cube method for #2 and he snapped at me again. I'm sorry that happened after it was my suggestion. Based on the fact that he can feel his bottom, and that he voluntarily defecated when you took him out and he found his spot, it would seem he does have feeling and he is not fully paralyzed. That would be very good news. Possibly the vet was mistaken when she said that he had no pain, or the vet was correct at the time of the exam but his feeling is starting to come back now, I don't know. I gave him a second to calm down and carried him down the stairs where He walked around the yard and found his spot and I held his back end as he pooped by himself. Yay!!! He does constantly pee in the diapers, but I am worried about not being able to express his bladder. Is this something I should call the vet about or is him peeing in the diapers the bladder emptying?

Peeing in the diapers may be the bladder completely emptying or it may be the bladder partially emptying. I do not think the vet will be able to answer that question over the phone without actually checking the dog. The best thing would be for someone with experience (like the vet or an experienced vet tech) to express his bladder and see if anything comes out. If they get urine out, then he is not emptying completely by simply dribbling.

If he is only partially emptying, then it may be enough to keep him comfortable, but having a little stale urine remaining in the bladder all the time creates an environment where germs can grow, and it's more likely he might get an infection. That is why you want to try to get him really empty once every 8 hours, even if he is dribbling between times.

It is unusual for a dog to have bowel control (he can poop by himself intentionally when you hold him up in the grass) and no bladder control. Ordinarly when a dog becomes fully paralyzed, he loses both functions. I'm not sure what to think about that. I wonder if he could be in the process of getting his bowel and bladder control back.

There is also something called an express check, where you take your dog to the vet, express him as well as you can, and then let the vet express right after you to see if s/he gets any more out. That is the best way to find out whether you are getting him as empty as you would like, but this is still early days, this all just happened, and you should not expect to be getting 100% right now, we just do the best we can.

I know you don't want your dog to get a urinary tract infection, and as far as I know that doesn't usually happen until about a week or more has gone by. If he does get a UTI it is normally cleared up pretty easily with antibiotics, so the good news is, dogs do survive our learning curve. Some vets will put the dog on a preventive antiobiotic for the first couple of weeks to give him some protection while you are learning to express. You might explain the situation to the vet and see what she thinks.

There are several reasons it can be hard to feel the bladder. If the dog is overweight (yours is not) it is hard to find it with the fat. If the bladder is nearly empty then it is very small and it is hard to feel. If the bladder is really full it can also be hard to feel the outline because it is filling so much of the abdomen, you may only feel an abdomen that feels tight as a drum.

I am wondering...are you expressing indoors or out in the yard? If you have been doing it indoors, I wonder if he possibly does have some control and is resisting you. If you take him out in the grass to a place he might normally pick to urinate, and stand over him (like riding a horsie) and squeeze his abdomen to help him start urinating, I wonder if he could do it and really empty himself? I have no idea, and I don't want you to get snapped at again. But I wonder if he would rather be doing all of this outside, and I wonder if he is capable of more than anyone thought. I just don't know, it's something to think about.

Another expressing tip with male dogs is to maintain pressure for a long time. For example, position your hands and squeeze and even if nothing comes out right away keep squeezing for a full 10 seconds, which is a l-o-n-g time. If you still don't get anything, move your hands a little and try again in a slightly different spot. There is something about male dog anatomy where squeezing longer may work better. When you are trying to find the spot, you may watch to see if he raises his tail a little when you start to squeeze. That usually means you're squeezing in the right spot.

Another very good tip for large dogs is to squeeze with your fists. This helps give better pressure if the dog is big or you are not overly strong. We call this Martha's method because she described it in this post:

https://handicappedpet.net/helppets/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3046&p=13982#p13982 wrote:I am also trying to learn this skill of expression and what has helped me as a woman is actually making a fist with each of my hands and either using the open face of my fist(thumbs pointing forward) or knuckle to knuckle (thumbs pointing toward me when expressing. Perhaps I didn't have the strength in my palm and fingers or I was putting too much pressure on the finger tips, but I had no luck expressing until I used my whole fist which allowed me to use more pressure spread over a larger area than just my fingertips. All the advice written here about positioning with a very full bladder seems accurate. Overcoming the spincter is the hardest part so firm pressure is necessary in the beginning and once you get your dog going you'll have no more trouble. I express all I can, wait a moment and then do it again with duplicate results say 10 or 12 times each session. You can only feel the bladder when it is not abnormally distended. Just find the spot that works for your dog and repeat the actions numerous times each session. I asked a vet at our local veterinary teaching university hospital if this method was OK and he said many of the women students use this method. Hope this helps. Best of luck, don't be discouraged.
Martha

We got an appointment at a rehab/therapy center for Friday and we plan on renting a cart from them to give it a try before we buy. The belly bands will be here in a couple day but the diapers have really helped keep him dry. I change him at least every 4 hours if not sooner and the diapers are always soiled.

Did you buy some Pampers or something? Good idea. That is great that you've got an appointment and have the diaper situation solved for the moment. For dogs that urinate a lot, you can actually lay a disposable diaper flat and use it inside a belly band instead of a Poise pad (if the belly band is long enough to accomodate the extra bulk). You may need to snip the elastic around the legs of a disposable diaper to get it to lay flat inside a belly band.

He seems to be adjusting well. He gives paw again while he is laying down, but I am having trouble getting him to eat his kibble again. He will eat chicken but tries to nose around the rice. Today he drank some broth. He has been a picky eater his whole life and I always would talk about his "hunger strikes", so I'm not sure if this is him just being stubborn because he got spoiled a little or if its due to pain.

Thanks for being so welcoming, I already feel much better about caring for him and even though it hard and I'm pretty exhausted I don't regret anything.

Nobody should underestimate the stress of suddenly having a large down dog. The first days and weeks are the hardest, but it gets easier. :)

That's a great picture! :D
Pic of outside time on the balcony
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my2whitedogs
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:10 pm

Thank you so much for the tips. I have been highly emotional since this all happened and all the responses are so thorough and encouraging that I get all teared up every time. You guys have made me feel like I can really do this and that we are going to be fine... eventually.

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CarolC
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:18 pm

You are more than welcome. We've all been through this so we know what it's like. In the beginning you are so focused on dealing with everything. You are thinking about it all the time. Even if you are not actually caring for your dog or googling about your dog, it is in the back of your mind while you are eating, driving, doing laundry-laundry-laundry, trying to go to sleep. You are wracking your brain for ideas on how to do this or that better. Bedding, meds, diet, potty pads, diapers, harnesses, expressing, your schedule, finances, family discussions, comments by friends, PT, looking for improvements, deciding whether to get a wheelchair and what kind, how to even get your dog into the car for appointments.

Right now things are complicated by the pandemic. Here where I live, both of my vets do not allow the owner into the building, and it is harder to reach the vet by phone. My main vet has 4 lines but with everybody sitting in the parking lot on their cell phones calling in supply orders or making appointments or discussing their pet's case with the vet by phone, the lines are tied up. Depending on where you live, you may not want to be popping into a half dozen stores with a supply list. Thank goodness for Chewy and places like that, the delivery is ususally pretty fast.

If you have any question about any little thing, please don't hesitate to ask, chances are someone here has been through it or will at least know what you are talking about and can find some links on the subject.

There was one more idea I was going to share yesterday that I learned with my golden retriever. I know you can pick up and carry your dog (you must be in good shape!) but when you go to the vet, you might consider letting them help you. If you ask, they will send someone out to bring your dog in, and later they can put your dog back in the car. If it's a really big dog, they will even come out with a gurney and roll him in. You still have to get your dog from the apartment to the car and back, but they can get him from the car to the clinic and back. It will save you a little bit of effort. I would recommend it. :) He's big enough that it may be a good idea to take advantage of assistance when it is available. The same is true if you go to PT. If you ask, I think they will bring him in for you and that will make your life a little easier. :wink: Just a thought!

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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:00 pm

Thanks, we are figuring out how to carry him and reduce the stress on him and us. He has lost some weight but he still weighs about half of what I weigh so you can imagine my back has been a little sore. But everyday we learn something to make it easier. The last 24 hrs he has started to hate the help em up harness and has tried to bite me more than once. I am currently in the parking lot of the ER again because although it is great that he has some feeling back, it seems to be pain. I am hoping just a bladder infection, he did try to pee today but only got a few dribbles out... his diapers are constantly soaked. I had planned on bathing him today, his legs are pretty red, he's never had much fur on his belly/legs, I assume from them always being squished together from his lack of hips. So the urine seems to really be irritating him. Tomorrow I get a chewy package with belly bands, dry shampoo, and doggy wipes. Whew. What an abrupt life change.

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CarolC
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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:20 pm

my2whitedogs wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:00 pm
Thanks, we are figuring out how to carry him and reduce the stress on him and us. He has lost some weight but he still weighs about half of what I weigh so you can imagine my back has been a little sore. But everyday we learn something to make it easier. The last 24 hrs he has started to hate the help em up harness and has tried to bite me more than once.

There have been quite a few dogs here who have bitten or tried to bite during early recovery. One of our moderators had a dachshund who did it a lot at first. It may be helpful to have either a cone collar or a quick muzzle while you are working at finding the right meds for him and you still have to be able to give him daily care.
:collar:

I am currently in the parking lot of the ER again because although it is great that he has some feeling back, it seems to be pain. I am hoping just a bladder infection, he did try to pee today but only got a few dribbles out... his diapers are constantly soaked.

Even a few dribbles is fabulous if he did it intentionally. That is very, very encouraging.

My dog was paralyzed on the 23rd and diagnosed with a bladder infection on the 29th. I had been expressing her bladder very conscientiously, but she got the infection anyway simply because I wasn't very good at it yet. They put her on antibiotics and that cleared it up fairly quickly.

I hope you can get some meds that really work for him. It's all a little confusing, what exactly is hurting. I hope you are right and maybe it is some tenderness around the bladder. But in spite of it, it sounds like he is making progress, and you can never be sure if they will or not, so that is absolutely great.


I had planned on bathing him today, his legs are pretty red, he's never had much fur on his belly/legs, I assume from them always being squished together from his lack of hips. So the urine seems to really be irritating him. Tomorrow I get a chewy package with belly bands, dry shampoo, and doggy wipes. Whew. What an abrupt life change.

I think you will find it much easier with the belly bands. Belly bands are your friend! :D With his size you're probably going to want the ultimate absorbency Poise or whatever generic you use. Also the Desitin original diaper ointment for the male area. I suspect his legs will heal up once they stop being exposed to urine.

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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by my2whitedogs » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:47 am

The vet yesterday said she thinks he had an FCE and that judging by how much he has started to regain function she now thinks he has a good shot of regaining some mobility. He had feeling in his toes yesterday. The vets did not have any issues with him trying to bite so they didn't believe he was in pain and to continues meds as initially prescribed. However once I got him home he seemed very agitated again. He is very sweet and likes cuddles while he's laying down, but as soon as I try to get him up he really does try to bite. I borrowed a muzzle from a neighbor, but he thrashes and tries to break free from me when I try to carry him now. I don't know what to do. I called the vet again and I'm waiting for a call back. I'm very exhausted.

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Re: Walking to paralyzed in 24 hours. Advice please.

Post by CarolC » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Hallelujah for feeling in the toes! :ecstatic:

I was wondering if it was an FCE, too. That was why I was asking so many questions to figure out if he was in pain or not. FCE causes sudden paralysis like you saw with your dog. With an FCE, there may be pain at the time of the incident, but a day or two later the dog is pain free and remains pain free, and recovery is the norm. The vet could not find any pain, yet he is acting like this. I wonder if he needs something like Valium to just mellow him out. You have to be able to work with him. Supposedly disabled dogs can feel very vulnerable and fear bite when they are down. They say it may be related to the pack instinct where packs will sometimes turn on a sick or injured member, so it is their instinct to be scared. I don't know if that is true, I'm not a doggy psychologist.

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