slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

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slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby mahaffc » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:08 pm

I have a 5 year old, big, muscular cocker spaniel boy, Darby Crash, who a month ago suffered a slipped disc in his back. He was put on Rimdyl and improved immediately, but the vet said it would probably recur and it has. I am reluctant to continue with rimadyl and currently have him on glucosamine/chondroitin 200 mg a day. he seems to be doing better. I just wondered if anyone's dog has had problems with back, rather than arthritis of hips, etc. and if you used anything that worked well and isn't super expensive. Thank you very much in advance
"When I dare to be powerful--to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."
--Audre Lorde
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby CarolC » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:03 pm

Hi,

The usual conservative (non-surgical) treatment for a mild disk problem is several weeks of crate rest where he's in a crate 24/7 and you carry him out to potty and keep him on a leash, then carry him back to the crate. No running, jumping, stairs, or unnecessary walking. They don't like it, but it's worth the boredom if it helps. The dog may be given prednisone or another anti-inflammatory, and possibly muscle relaxers, a pain med, or other medication. It can take over a month for a disk to heal, so if he was active while he was on the medication recently, he may not have given it a chance to heal. Crate rest is free and may do a world of good.

If the disk problem gets bad enough to cause disability, loss of bowel and bladder control, loss of deep pain sensation, then the best option is immediate surgery, which is expensive and not guaranteed to work, but still the best chance. If you cannot afford it, many people take out a loan through http://www.carecredit.com to pay for the surgery. If the dog cannot have surgery and remains paralyzed, you can care for him by manually expressing his bladder and getting him a wheelchair and he can still have a happy life. Many people here are caring for paralyzed dogs (I have 2), you can definitely do it if your schedule and ability to lift the dog will allow it.

You can find a lot of information by searching for "IVDD" or "intervertebral disk disease" in dogs.

Here is a website dedicated to caring for dogs with IVDD (especially dachshunds, but also other breeds), giving information on crate rest for an episode such as your dog seems to be experiencing.

http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature.htm

:gang:
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby mahaffc » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:41 am

Thank you so much, Carole, for your kind, caring and helpful reply.
"When I dare to be powerful--to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."
--Audre Lorde
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby connie » Sat Apr 10, 2010 9:20 pm

i agree with carol 100%. my cricket went paralyzed in 06. 2 vets in different states told me if we had know it was a disk and i had 100% crate rested him, he might not never gotten paralyzed. they need to rest and heal. after surgery, i had to crate cricket for 8 weeks. if i didn't do that, i don't think he would be as good as he is now. still paralyzed, but running and walking spinally all over the place. if i could only go back , but now i try to give same advice as carol. these gals sure know their stuff, they saved me from so much stress.
good luck, your both in my prayers,
connie and cricket
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby jazzybaby » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:01 am

I too have a cocker spaniel and I too have been in your shoes. She first started having back problems in Jan of 2009. It just started overnight she was fine when we went to bed but the next morning she was not herself she went down our stairs very slow and whe she went outside she just stood there looking at me she would not come back up to the house she just sat down in the snow. When i went and picked her up she was shaking and shivering. And she was making sounds like she was in pain. So I stayed home from work and took her to the vets as soon as they opened. They took x-rays and it showed she had a disk problem but very mild, they gave me pain meds and told me to keep her from jumping and keep her calm and no stairs and to walk her on a leash for two weeks. they never said crate rest or anything(we did not get to see her normal vet) So i called her normal vet to go over everything and she said she would get better and that this would be something we would always have to watch for that it could come back or she could never have a another problem. Well after about a week she was doing much better she was back to her old self we went back to the vets and they said she looked good and no need for the rest and she could go back to doing stairs and palying. Well on April 16th last year she started showing signs again of having some pain so we called the vets and they told us the same thing to not let her use the stairs or to jump and we restarted the meds again. Well she went down hill very quickly, by the next night she was falling over her feet and then she could not even stand up, we rushed her to the pet ER and they told us that she may have to have surgery that we should tak e her home keep her calm and take her to her vet in the morning, well by that time she had no use of her back legs and was not going to the bathroom either. Her vet said she was worried this would happen and that if she had any chance of ever walking again that we had to do the surgery right away she called a neurologist and we emptied out our savings and drove the hour and half to the neurologist by the time she got there she had no deep pain which she had had at the other vets. So the nerulogist said we had a very 50/50 chance with surgery so that is what we did, and two weeks after surgery she still had no deep pain and the neurologist said her chances of walking had gone down to get her a wheelchair and be down with it. He never talked to us about therapy or anything, i just did not want to believe it so I started researching online and found the site and everyone here is great they know alot and always have great ideas and advice. They told me we could try therapy and never give up they also told me even if she never walked on her own again she could live a normal happy healthy life. So we called her normal vet and she it was way to soon to give up on so we started with range of motion therapy and then a short time later we started taking her a couple times a week doing laser treatments and then after two and half months we started two times a month taking her to therapy to do underwater treadmill therapy and elecro-stim treatments. she slowly she started to improve she wagged her tail for the first time in months and then she stood up and then she took her first steps all over again. It is now almost a year post surgery and she stands with no help and walks and even runs it is a wobbly walk and she sometimes still drags herself if she wants to get somewhere fast but she does not use a cart and is back to her old self. My only regrat is i wish i know what i know now than and I wish someone had told us that it could get worse and after one time she needed to not jump, but i can't go back now. If i were you I would try the crate rest limit his jumping and use of stairs. And read up on IVDD so you know they signs if and when it would happen again. Good luck and you have come to the right place the people on here are great people.

Stacy & jasmine
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby mahaffc » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:12 pm

Thank you all for your kind replies and that you are the kind of people who work so hard on your dog's behalf.
"When I dare to be powerful--to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."
--Audre Lorde
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby servicedogroo » Mon May 03, 2010 6:51 pm

alternative care...http://www.avcadoctors.com/ I have used with great success a canine chiropractor. I am the odd ball out around here advocating alternative care before surgery. Personally I pay $50 for each adjustment but so worth it.
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby wbrucelarsen » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:35 pm

My 5 year old cocker suffered a herniated disk and is now paralyzed. I strongly suggest you consider an MRI and the minor surgery to repair now. The disc and herniate at any time and goes into the spinal column like a bullet.

I had the same advice about crate rest and medication - if I would have been more aggressive in fixing the problem he might still be walking today.

Bruce Larsen
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Re: slipped disk in back...cocker spaniel

Postby wbrucelarsen » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:38 pm

Stacy, could you tell more about the laser therapy? My cocker does not have any deep bone feeling in this rear legs - did yours?

I was told hydrotherapy was not good unless they had some feeling.

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