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Nick's Lower Back Injury - help?


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#21 terrecar

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:45 PM

If there is any lingering question of a herniated disc, I would seriously question any advice to ignore crate rest, or to encourage activity--other than therapeutic swimming under the advice of your veterinarian. It doesn't take all that much for the gel/fluid from a ruptured disc to put additional pressure on the spinal cord, or even for a bulging disc to do the same.

It sounds like your veterinarian has ruled out the above, but I think you should be aware of it, just in case.

Just to give you some comfort... It hasn't been that long since the injury, correct? I think you have good reason to hope that this will be resolved with the help of your veterinarian. I had a dog that was paralyzed in the back. After a few weeks of treatment, she came back up and could run and play again. I never had a problem with her back after that.

#22 Blackdawgs

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:31 PM

Sounds a bit like my old dog.

You may want to try a rehab vet.

Both of my dogs have had misaligned pelvises (ie crooked hips), which can cause lameness and all sorts of bizzare symptoms which are mostly muscle spasms. My rehab vet said that SI subluxation (and i'm not talking subluxation in the chiropractic sense) is pretty common and from my experience most vets don't know to look for it.

You said that your dog's hips were crooked...are they still crooked?

Unlike the chiropractor, the rehab vet will give you exercises to keep the pelvis in place. This makes all the difference in the world.

#23 KelliePup

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:15 PM

{{{HUGS}}}

Yet another Care Credit vote. It was a real lifesaver for me. I wish I could help more.
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#24 Tea

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:10 PM

Wolftown has started a fund to help Gloria's Nick.

The MRI has been paid for. Contributions can be made at our site.



Sorry in advance if this is wrong to put here.



#25 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:23 PM

Guys, thank you SO much - for everything. You all rock. :D

Let's see if I can manage some replies ... As for Care Credit, we actually do have that! But it's already kind of maxed out, because I had some emergency dental work done (broke a tooth) and then we spent about $800 on tests for our old corgi, a couple months ago, when we thought he was in renal failure. (Turned out to apparently be a really, really bad bladder infection.) So until we can pay that back down, Care Credit is off the menu. *sighh*

However, it looks like we have some help coming, so at least at this date, the financial strain won't be so bad. God has indeed sent His angels among us. :)

Per how much rest Nick gets ... at this point, I'm treating him like he's made of glass. Until I get to Dr Richardson next Thursday and get his orthopedic expertise, (and probably the MRI,) I'm not taking any chances. Nick is a house dog and he doesn't go anywhere without supervision. So far, his little sister is the one most impacted by the change! :P

As for calling UC Davis ... we'll see. I've help with regards to my visit to Dr Richardson, and the MRI if he wants to do that. But other than that, again, finances are a definite limitation. However, I'll know better what we're looking at, after seeing Dr. Richardson. (Dr. R is, by the way, an orthopedic vet. I didn't realize that when I panic-posted last night!) :rolleyes:

I'm going to pursue the chiropractic and acupuncture angles, definitely. Nick has an appointment with our local holistic vet when she comes down on the 22nd.

Cindy, thank you for the link about Cauda Equina Syndrome! That's another thing I can ask Dr. R about, when I see him. Knowledge is power, they say, so I'm open to all eventualities. The symptoms do sound relevant - and if it should prove to be CES, I can hope Nick's case is not very advanced, since his symptoms are quite mild, compared to those outlined there.

Though who knows what it will turn out to actually be ... :huh:

Therapeutic swimming sounds promising! I'll have to see if anything is available over here, since I'm pretty sure the local pool won't allow dogs. :P

To everyone who has shared experiences and spoken well of Dr. Richardson - thank you. Thank you a thousand times! I feel a lot better about things, if only for the fact that Nick is exhibiting virtually no symptoms today. This tells me that he's not in a lot of pain, which gives me hope for a positive outcome to this whole thing. I dare to hope that, so long as his (carefully monitored) mobility looks good and he's not in visible distress, his long-term prognosis may be good.

At any rate, I feel a good deal more hopeful. I'll keep everyone posted, when I know more!

Guys, thank you, all of you, for everything. Now I just hope I get a good night's sleep, tonight. :P
With fond regards,

Gloria
(and Nick)
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#26 DeltaBluez Tess

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:29 AM

What Tess said. I had a similar injury to one dog and took her immediately to the vet chiro and it really helped. Another dog I had had stenosis and a week's treatments with chiro and accupuncture did tons fo good for him. we kept up the accupuncture for many years whenever he would start to get bad and he always showed visable improvement.


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#27 Serena+Eluane B.C.

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 02:28 AM

Oh, no!!! how horrible to hear, Gloria! nothing I can say to help ease all the sadness and worries you are feeling. And such a young dog too!!!! I just caught sight of this thread. One of my good friends got so depressed too after her brilliant young dog, also had a back injury from a severe collide at full force at an obstacle course when a stray dog ran through full blast. So when our dogs suffer, our hearts bleed too, and we want nothing more on earth than for them to heal and be completely free from pain! I can only imagine all the worry, and thinking what if nothing works???? But as others say, the chiro and eventually hydrotherapy when the dog is better seem to bring quite a bit of relief and gradual strengthening, so we are all keeping our fingers crossed for you! In the UK, hydrotherapy is very popular and has helped many dogs strengthen weakened muscles too. I'm glad so many people are helping out, and the angels in rescue. Tea, what a blessing!

#28 Tea

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 09:29 AM

It is not me, but thanks, its the project. Many people contributed in Dec on paypal. And I think it was because of the little note Shoresdog put up. The board and I decided to use it for a dog related emergancy. And it turned out that was Nick. Everyone helping a little bit makes this world kinder and better.



#29 nancy in AZ

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

Tea, can you please post a link to the Wolftown site you referenced?
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#30 Serena+Eluane B.C.

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 02:45 PM

Time for me to cry on the keyboard. What a beautiful gift, Tea and Wolftown...Coincidentally, the day before I found Gloria's thread, I was trying to find photos of Tea's lovely dogs, and lost sight of a photo I had found, and found a buried link. I still don't know how I found the link, can't remember cuz I've got crap memory... :P ( I've been visiting Tea's blogs)

But here it is what I've found.

http://www.wolftown.org/index2.html

#31 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 09:31 PM

Greetings all ~

Just a quick note that I've had some further input on Nick, and I feel more optimistic about him. Another vet gave him a look-over and no matter how they poked, prodded or manipulated, they were unable to illicit any pain response or discomfort response in Nick, whatsoever, and no sign of anything neurologically out of whack. If nothing else, I found that hopeful.

So, I'll see what the MRI reveals next Thursday, and I'm keeping fingers crossed, but at the moment, Nick appears to be doing well. Whatever is going on, hopefully it will be manageable, if only by time, rest and ... whatever other measures, but at least I feel guardedly better about him, now. In the meantime, he remains on lock-down, poor guy, but such is life.

Thank you again, everyone, for all your kindness and input. It means everything. :) I'll come back to report when I know more.
Cheers ~

Gloria
P.S.
Ray, I meant to say thank you! :)
We have a dog chiropractor who comes down out of Truckee, Wendy Robinson, and she has already worked wonders with my old dog, Jesse. She worked on Nick back when he first hurt himself and was good help, so I'm taking Nick back to her on the 22nd. I've become a believer in dog-chiropractors, so thank you!

Edited by Gloria Atwater, 07 January 2012 - 10:58 PM.

You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#32 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 10:46 PM

I think someone earlier asked about x-rays. Here's Nick's - it's a picture of a picture, as I taped the plate to my front window with the sun behind it. So, it's not the best quality, but here y'all go. The innards of a dog. :P

Posted Image

Again, I find it encouraging that today a vet was unable to find any pain or flinch response in Nick at all, no matter how or where they prodded or pressed. Keeping fingers crossed ...

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#33 workindogs

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 11:59 PM

Gloria
I'm sorry you are struggling with Nick's back pain.....you've heard a lot of good advice about diagnosis, treatment, chiro, PT, etc. Regarding spondylosis, most working dogs have it....only the dogs that are x rayed are diagnosed. It is uncomfortable and maybe even painful for some dogs, but many many dogs continue working (maybe with some 'ouchy' periods) for many many years. It is not the end...by no means. But you do need to consider it therapeutically...ie chiro, glucosamin/msn, adequate and, if needed, NSAIDs.

I am a little unclear....and I think the rest of the med industry is, as well....but I went through a very scary 'back pain' diagnosis with my own dog (who I love very very much). It was made clear to me that Vet Neurologist treat spine issues, not ortho vets. However, my local ortho vet sees all back issues.

Please keep in mind that an MRI is only a diagnosis tool....the $$$$$ only get worse after that....in other words, treatment hasn't even begun.

Again, from my own experience, if nerves are involved, steroids are typically prescribed as they are the only nerve anti-inflammatory. Gabapentin is a great spinal pain blocker...it can be used with NSAID and tramadol, if needed.

If I can offer any advice...go with your gut and certainly get a 2nd opinion if you feel uncomfortable. I thought an MRI would tell all, but it only ended in a terrible and WRONG diagnosis and a lot of confusion by the veterinary great minds. MRI is not the answer and is certainly not cure for anything....it is only a very expensive diagnostic tool.

In my own experience, UC Davis is a great facility....they were more conservative and much more sensible than my experience with private practice vet specialists. I will PM you with the details of my own experience.

Best of luck with dear Nick.

Elizabeth
with Ross, Soot, Craig and Hattie
Steadfast Stockdogs
Oregon, USA


#34 MyTDogs

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

Again, I find it encouraging that today a vet was unable to find any pain or flinch response in Nick at all, no matter how or where they prodded or pressed. Keeping fingers crossed ...

~ Gloria


Do you know if they palpated rectally? I ask because Gilly is very stoic...the only time I've ever heard her cry out or try to bite was when the neurologist palpated the vertebrae/disc during a rectal exam. I was shocked because up until then we couldn't figure out what was wrong. I felt horrible that she could have so much pain & I [a longtime vet tech] didn't realize it. These dogs will tolerate almost anything!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for Nick too.
Cindy in FL
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#35 workindogs

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:53 AM

Yes, I agree with Cindy....a rectal palpation of the spine is very much part of a spinal exam. AND the dog should not be on pain meds during the exam because the vets are looking for pain response and the dog "feels no pain" when on pain meds. Consult with the vet office about pain meds prior to his specialist appointment.

My 2nd opinion vets were very frustrated by the pain meds prescribed by the 1st opinion vet......they had to call him back for a recheck 6 weeks later after taking him off meds.

Elizabeth
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#36 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:19 AM

Hi Elizabeth and Cindy ~

A couple replies, before I fade for the night. Elizabeth, I shall heed your advice. The MRI is just a tool, and if Dr. Richardson or anyone else wants to prescribe some great, terrible, expensive line of treatment ... it just ain't happening. I don't even have a house to mortgage, if I wanted to. I'm doing the MRI mainly for peace of mind, in order to find out what Nick's injury is not.

So, I'll take whatever Dr. Richardson gives me as information, and I'll consult with my primary vet, but I'll also go back to this other vet (who is perhaps more conservative,) with whatever results we find.

Regarding spondylosis and therapeutic treatments, what you've written, above, is essentially what this second vet said to me. Working dogs are hard on themselves and we just have to manage them - because they won't.

I'll go read your PM directly after this, so thank you for taking the time to write. I know you've been through a lot with your dogs.

Cindy, neither of the 2 vets I've now seen palpated rectally. However, this second one talk about doing it. I forget why they ultimately declined to do so, but the reason they gave seemed sound at the time ... :rolleyes: (Sorry, I'm wrestling a head cold and I think my capacity to absorb anything but snot is severely limited!) Previously, Nick did react notably to pressure on his lower back, and now that he's had several days of rest, he's no longer in pain. He's actually not that stoic - not like my first border collie, who would happily run on a bloody stump. B)

Anyhow, I'm not putting Nick on anything now, since he doesn't seem in pain and I'm wary of administering rimadyl or anything else, just as maintenance. I had guessed that he should not be on pain meds, when I take him in to Dr. Richardson, for the reasons Elizabeth gives.

Blah, apologies if I'm not tracking well, here. The Nyquil is starting to kick in. :o Thank you, ladies, for your input and advice.

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#37 juliepoudrier

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:14 AM

My old Boy had spondylosis, as Elizabeth noted it was discovered at age 7 (IIRC) when we X-rayed for bladder/kidney stones. Even at that age he had long spurs and later they did fuse. By the time he was 14-15, he couldn't bend well, and I think the permanent limp he had on the front was the result of those boney processes putting pressure on his spinal cord in the shoulder region. But aside from not being able to turn around in tight spaces, and the late life lameness, it never caused him any real trouble.

Because I am another one who has no money and already has large vet bills needing paying off (still paying off Willow's oncologist and it's been nearly 2 years since we stopped going), I almost always choose conservative treatment first. So far, I've not been sorry that I didn't do the expensive diagnostics and treatments. For example, when Kat had a suspected FCE a year ago, I didn't opt for immediate back surgery, but instead chose a conservative route than included steroids and electroacupuncture. Kat is still with me today (unlike a couple of dogs I know whose owners opted for surgery), even though her gait isn't quite normal (it doesn't really slow her down either). (Granted the owners who opted for surgery might have been dealing with slightly different back problems, but still. I've also had similar luck using conservative treatment for torn ACLs.)

Anyway, I've found that when I explain my financial situation to my vet, the vet can be quite creative about coming up with solutions that don't cost buckets of money.

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

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#38 Tea

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:28 AM

Hum...one good thing to remember, by going through any 501c3 emergancy fund the Vets will reduce the fee. The project screens requests through our Vets. Sorry Julie you had such big vet bills. So did Diane! I wish the project could help everyone, but we are stuck just trying to do our best.
and sadly some of it is timing when specific funds come in.



Serena- those are not dogs. That is the wildlife site. I do not think any Sheep dog trial would let me run those kinds of Canids.

(Although my trial on sat was kinda like them.)



#39 juliepoudrier

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

Tea,
I wasn't asking for money--just pointing out that one doesn't have to throw a lot of money at a situation, especially if you don't have the money to start with, and you can still have a good outcome.

Anyway, I've found that when I explain my financial situation to my vet, the vet can be quite creative about coming up with solutions that don't cost buckets of money.


My point was that lack of funds doesn't mean you can't do something for an injured animal--it means you (and your vet) just have to perhaps take a more creative approach. That's all.

There are also a lot of organizations around the country that help with veterinary bills for people in need.

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

~Vincent van Gogh



mydogs_small2.jpg

Julie Poudrier
New Kent, VA
Willow (6/1997-5/2014, run free, my heart), Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Farleigh (12/1998-7/2014, RIP), Kat, Twist, Lark, Phoebe, Pipit, and Birdie!
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#40 Tea

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 02:28 PM

I understand and agree!
(I didn't think you were asking for money. Its just we get alot of requests for help when we have no funding.)


:)




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