Stirrup Help

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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2023 11:35 am

Stirrup Help

Post by hbartek »

My mini Doxie is unstoppable when he is in/on his wheels. However, we are having issues with friction burn on his legs from the stirrups. I think some of the problem is that his body curls up on itself when he is not in his cart so when we put him in the cart we have to allow time for his body to straight out slowly. He also has a slight twist to his spine now due to unexpected issues during surgery recovery. I know others use boots to protect their feet and legs from the stirrups but when he is in his cart is the only time during the day that his is not in his boots. He tries to eat his feet so we keep boots on him almost 24/7. His body shifts so much when his is walking/running that his legs swing and I think this is the problem. I have tried to tighten and loosen the stirrups with not difference. It takes the hair off and sometimes rubs little sores on his legs. He is in his cart for several hours a day because if we don't wear him out then no on sleeps because he cries all night. It also doesn't help that he has to wear a cone at night because he tries to get his boots off and night and has been successful several time. We just got that injury where he lost a nail healed.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Stirrup Help

Post by CarolC »

hbartek wrote: Sat Sep 30, 2023 12:13 pm He tries to eat his feet so we keep boots on him almost 24/7. <snip> It also doesn't help that he has to wear a cone at night because he tries to get his boots off and night and has been successful several time. We just got that injury where he lost a nail healed.
Hi hbartek,


Hopefully someone will be along to answer your stirrup question soon. If you need a quick answer, there is a phone number you can call (posted above).

Your dog is cute! :wub: I wanted to respond to the part about chewing. I wrote a very long post about it previously for someone else whose dog was chewing, with examples quoted about other dogs that chewed, and I will post a copy of it below. I hope all the quotes are not too confusing.

The short answer is, I would see about getting him on medication ASAP. A common medication used to prevent chewing is gabapentin, but there are also others, such as pregabalin. Be sure you get the veterinary formulation if you get gabapentin, as the human kind may have an ingredient in it that is harmful to dogs.

Here is the long post I mentioned. I hope it will be helpful.
CarolC wrote: Sun May 07, 2023 12:40 pm <snip> a return of feeling can sometimes cause a pins-and-needles sensation (or other odd sensations), sort of like when we sleep on our arm funny and it goes numb, then it tingles when it starts to wake back up. I have a spot on the back of my neck that itches all the time from nerve damage from a rear-end collision. It doesn't hurt but scratching it does not make it go away. If dogs are experiencing something like this, it can be annoying, and they may lick or chew at the area to try to stop it. Unfortunately, they will not always quit even when they draw blood. Dogs have injured themselves chewing at the tingling nerve sensations, chewing off toes or worse. So you might want to keep an eye on him in case he does start licking or chewing his leg, toes, or other part, just in case sensation is returning. It is a temporary phase some dogs go through during recovery. (It can also happen with dogs with a degenerative neurological condition like DM as sensation is gradually being lost.) Here is a more detailed post about this situation. wrote:I tend to be very-very cautious with this subject of chewing because I've seen so many dogs here dealing with the problem There was Pete who nearly chewed his foot off repeated (before they had medication for it), Eros (a GSD) who chewed his feet and had toes amputated, 2 dogs that chewed so badly they were put to sleep. In one case the owner had been keeping a cone collar on and went into the other room for only a few minutes, but that was all it took for her dog to chew. Here is what she posted. wrote:
For the past week I've been doctoring her back feet which she had started chewing on. Her foot was almost healed and when I left her alone today for a few minutes to eat, and when I came back into the room, she had chewed off so much she just couldn't be saved.

Another dog had a double amputation of both hind legs.

Another dog chewed his penis off. wrote:
I came home from work and towels, blanket, dog, everything was covered in blood. I took him out in the yard, I could tell he was bleeding from his penis, but not exactly where he was injured (he still had his penis at this point). I cleaned him up the best I could, and went in the house to get a grip. When I went back outside a few minutes later I couldn't see his penis anymore, and there were "parts" laying on the ground under him. He actually looked comfortable, and not upset at all. I almost fainted.

Another dog chewed at night while the family was asleep and was euthanized.

I do not think you can possibly be too careful. I understand about letting air get to the feet, but I don't think I would take the collar off unless I was going to be right beside the dog. And dogs sometimes get out of cone collars so if possible, I would tie the cone on, and then also tie the strings onto her leather collar for extra security. wrote:
Houdinis: some animals are very good at escaping the cone. In these cases, the more secure fastening of the e-collar may be necessary. These can include tying the cone to the animal’s regular collar or harness

You may have seen the link earlier in this thread to a family that made hard leg protectors for their dog out of electrical conduit. That dog was a GSD like yours. Here is the link if you want to look. wrote: I have a 5 year old German Shepherd named Kaeley. She had a stroke of her spine about a year and a half ago. Like you, we have to help her urinate and defecate. She is about 70 pounds and we have a cart for her. At first she just went backwards, trying to get away from the cart. Now she is unstoppable. She waffles her brothers and can maneuver like a pro. She recently began to chew on her back legs which dont work. So far we have only lost a toe, but even tho she doesnt chew on her feet when we are around, she will dive in the minute we leave her alone. I improvised with a trip to home depot and made up two "Braces" made of electrical conduit which I slip over her back legs and tape them to her legs. I got the pipes that are angled at 45* and they fit perfectly.
Nothing is going to be 100% guaranteed, but if it was my dog I'd feel better with something hard and chew proof covering her legs, and I might keep the collar on to prevent chewing the tapes off the leg braces. I would keep them on until you and the vet are sure the medication has the chewing under control.

I am going to make a summary of what I have picked up from experience here.
  • Chewing is usually considered a temporary phase some dogs go through following spinal injury, however it should not be underestimated, in extreme cases it has been fatal
  • It often means the nerves are improving, but in some cases such as degenerative myelopathy it can occur as the nerves progressively deteriorate
  • The theory is the dog is feeling a pins-and-needles or burning sensation, sort of like we feel when we sleep on our arm funny and it goes numb and then tingles while it is waking back up
  • It is usually temporary, but I'm not aware of any guideline on how long it might last for any indivdual dog
  • It often occurs following a spinal injury or spinal surgery but can also occur later. There have been dogs here that developed chewing 2 years and 4 years after spinal injury
  • It can be treated with medication for neuropathic pain, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • Medication is the best solution as most methods to prevent chewing will not work, however the dog needs to be prevented from chewing until the right dose of medication has been found
  • Cone collar - dogs can get out of it, helpful to tie the strings and also attach it to the dog's leather collar, use your judgment
  • Muzzle - dogs can paw them off
  • Applying bad tasting substances such as Bitter Apple or YUK-2-E - dogs will ignore it and chew anyway
  • Bandaging - dogs will chew off the bandage
  • Putting the dog in a drag bag - they chew through the drag bag
  • Making hard cover braces for the legs as described above - worked for one family, however feet and legs are not the only areas that have been chewed, especially with male dogs who may chew the penis, so a cone collar may also be needed until you are sure medication dosage is correct

<snip> Hope this helps! Most people get through this OK, in spite of how super cautious I know I sounded in this post.
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Re: Stirrup Help

Post by critters »

Hmm. It's terribly important to prevent skin breakdown the best you can. Might a bit more cushioning help? I get what you're saying about scoliosis/kyphosis; my Ares, who was brain damaged rather than spinal cord injured, was bent and twisted, too. One of my SCI boys had to do 2 rounds of gabapentin when he hit the "funny feelings" phase. :welcome:
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