She's got a disc compression on her C7 vertbra, and so far can't walk because she can't use her back legs. She's got Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease. She's on 2 drugs right now (Dexamethasone and Tramadol) and got a Cortisone shot today, and we'll hopefully see some improvement within 36 hours or so. She can't walk or sit up at all - dr. wants her laying down except to potty and eat/drink. There's a 25% chance she'd need surgery, if these meds don't work, over by Detroit. I hope it doesn't come to that, but if it does we'll take her over there in a heartbeat. She's our "baby" and I'd do about anything for her.
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quote:
Originally posted by mar30:
She's got a disc compression on her C7 vertbra, and so far can't walk because she can't use her back legs. She's got Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease. She's on 2 drugs right now (Dexamethasone and Tramadol) and got a Cortisone shot today, and we'll hopefully see some improvement within 36 hours or so. She can't walk or sit up at all - dr. wants her laying down except to potty and eat/drink. There's a 25% chance she'd need surgery, if these meds don't work, over by Detroit. I hope it doesn't come to that, but if it does we'll take her over there in a heartbeat. She's our "baby" and I'd do about anything for her.

BLESSINGS sent many times over.
A pet is a member of the family!

I'm sending good thoughts your way and your beloved pet.

Keep me apprised..ok?
Blessings, Donna
No improvement yet. Frown
Symptoms started last Tuesday; she wouldn't lower her head to the floor to pick up a treat. By Tuesday night she was standing in place, quivering all over, panting, and crying. We paged the vet and he said it sound like pain, maybe back-related, and to give her 2 aspirin and call Wednesday. She finally calmed down that night and laid down; woke up at 3:00 to the sound of her drinking some water. I got up and she seemed fine. Wanted to go outside, came back in, acted normal again. I stayed home Wednesday morning to monitor her and she still did not want to lower her head to the floor from a standing position. Called vet's office back and made an appt for 3:15. DH left work early and took her in. She seemed alright. They took x-rays and did some flexing and other tests. Said it looked like a vertebra in her neck (C7) was shifted and compressing a disc in her neck. He didn't give it an official name, but after doing some internet research I believe she has Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease. Gave us some Tramadol pills to give her if she was having a "bad day". 2 hours later, my dog couldn't walk at all. Paged the vet again and he said to start her on the pills immediately and to bring her back the next day. DH stayed home from work Thursday and took her in. She still couldn't walk. Vet gave her a Cortisone shot and also gave us 3 weeks' worth of Cortisone pills (Dexamethasone). DH also stayed home Friday. We had hoped over the weekend we'd see some improvement. Nothing. I went up and got my mom (2 hours away) on Sunday. I had been planning on going to get her anyway, for this week for Thanksgiving. I took a vacation day yesterday and stayed home with the dog. Still no improvement. Called the vet's office and asked him "is this normal???" and he basically said that it could be, depending on the dog, etc. Couldn't really tell me anything. Said he'd be able to tell more today at her follow-up appt. Said he might be able to see progress that we can't, by doing reflex tests, etc. My mom is home with the dog right now; I'm going home at lunch to turn her over and clean her off, then DH will be leaving work at 2:30 so he can get home, do the same, and get her bundled into the truck for her 4:30 appt. I think I'm going to leave a bit early and meet him at the vet's.

Last week I was feeling pretty optimistic, but after 5 full days of medicine, both of which are supposed to bring down the inflammation, and no noticeable improvement, I'm pretty much a basket case right now. And it sucks because I so want to be home with her. My mom can't get down on the floor to pet her and lay with her, which is sometimes the only way to calm her down and get her to relax and go back to sleep. But employers, of course, aren't as understanding or easy-going when it comes to taking time off for a dog...."it's only a dog", after all. Roll Eyes My husband has already used up his last vacation day until April; I have 3 left, I think, thru the end of the year. I just don't know what's going to happen if she has to have surgery; we can't just take unlimited time off for 2-3 weeks or more until she can walk again. But I don't know what to do if it's not safe to leave her home alone, and I wouldn't want to do that anyway. At least my mom has offered to stay an extra week or two if that's what it takes right now.

I would almost just take her over now and get the darn surgery so she can get fixed up, and not play this waiting game with the meds anymore.
Well, things did not work out. Frown

I called MVS in Southfield Tuesday after I posted. Talked to a girl in the neurology dept there and explained what had happened to that point. She suggested taht we not even go to the 4:30 appt., and instead head over there immediately. Due to the fact that she hadn't walked/had any use of her back legs for 5 days and meds were not showing any signs of working. So we took off work at Noon and came home and got her, stopped at our vet's and got her history, and headed toward Detroit. Got there around 5 and they wheeled her in on a gurney. After a short time a doctor came in and told us they did not think the prognosis was very good. She showed no signs of deep pain or reflexes in her hind legs at all. Could be a couple different things, which they could pinpoint more if we were to proceed with testing/diagnostics, and then surgery if we wanted. So we approved the diagnostics, schedule for the next day, Wednesday (yesterday). They called us at the hotel around 10:30 yesterday to let us know they were going to start the tests in about an hour, and that her condition seemed to have progressed a bit overnight. She had a slight fever, and her front legs now seemed to be a bit rigid. So we packed up and went to the vet. hospital to wait it out. They came out around 2:30 and took us into a room. They did multiple x-rays, as well as a myelogram and CT scans of her back. The problem was NOT in her cervical vertebra at all, as our vet had told us - it was in her thoractic vertebra lower down. They would not know 100% for sure unless they actually did surgery and cut her, but there were a few different options that they felt were the cause. They could see a large lesion area on her back vertebra that covered 3-4 disks. Their best assumption was that it was myelomalacia - death of spinal cord tissue. Frown And when that happens, it can continue to get worse and die off, and eventually spread up the spinal cord and eventually affect her front legs and eventually cause death by respiratory failure. Another possible cause was FCE - Fibrocartilaginous Embolism - basically a stroke of the spinal cord. Another option with a bad outcome. Or it could even be something like a tumor that was putting pressure on the cord and irreversibly damaged it. None of the options were good at all. Due to the amount of time that had passed, and the fact taht she had no deep pain perception anymore, they held out very little hope that she would recover, and that it would actually get worse. We had talked about it the night before, and decided that if the prognosis was good, even if she didn't recover her hind legs, that we could do what we had to, by getting a K9 Cart, manually expressing her bladder, etc., to keep her with us. But the doctors did not think surgery would accomplish anything in the end and the tissue would continue to die off. So after a gut-wrenching meeting with the docs we decided to have her put to sleep. She was already under general anesthesia for the tests they had done; it was just a matter of giving her the injection to stop her heart. So we went in to the ICU where they had her on a gurney with a warming blanket on her, and stayed with her and talked to her and petted her, telling her what a GOOD GIRL she was, and after about 30 minutes or so we were finally ready and they gave her the final injection. We stayed with her a bit longer afterwards - I just didn't want to leave her. I knew it'd be the last time I'd be able to pet her soft fur. Let me tell you - that was a loooong ride home from Detroit last night. They are going to cremate her and send us her cremains, as well as a cast pawprint they took of her paw. Our house feels so empty now...everywhere I look I imagine her there. She's a PART of this house. She was only 10 and had no other health problems. She was our baby - we don't have kids, so she essentially WAS our kid. She had so much personality for a dog - I swear she thought of herself as a person. If you'd like to see an online album that I started earlier this year of her, see it at Sony Imagestation site (registration is free). I had planned on adding to it once I got a chance to scan in all the hard photographs I have of her - I still plan to do that now:

http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2124829535

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