Monday, December 17, 2007

Dog Health Issues

It has been a stressful day or two. As you know from previous posts, I have a 10 1/2 year old Boston Terrier Muffin. Here is photo taken a few months ago when things were green and not white and icy like they have been the last week or so.. After being out most of the day on Saturday, we came home and let her out of the crate she stays in whenever we are gone. I noticed that her left back leg was not working very good. Actually, part of the time it did not work or support her body. Thought maybe she had been laying wrong in her crate, but it did not get any better over the evening. Then on Sunday morning she was laying in the sun and I reached down to pet her on her back and she let out a very loud sharp yelp. Then I started getting concerned. This along with the leg problem bothered me. Almost decided to take her to the local emergency vet on Sunday. She also seemed to have problems going up and down stairs part of the time. Decided to just wait until morning and call our vet. Called 5 minutes after they opened this morning. The long time vet tech said bring her right in. We were the first ones that Dr. Connor saw this morning. He almost immediately knew what the problem was. He pulled her back legs out and said it appeared to be a back and spinal cord issue. Took several x-rays. With a dog her size it was like a full body x-ray. Very interesting to see the inside of your dog. One thing he was trying to rule out was a tumor.

In the end it appears that she has at least one and maybe 2-3 slipped discs in her back. We have no idea what she did that might have caused this to happen. She is a very active dog, playing and jumping, etc. So it could have happened any number of ways. He said when this happens the middle part of the disk is a jello like substance and as we age it turns to more like cottage cheese. This substance acts as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. Whatever she did caused the disks to move and some of the substance was pushed out and touched the spinal cord. The spinal cord does not like to have anything touching it. It then became inflamed. Over time the disk will heal itself with some fibrous substance kinda similar to when disks are fused on humans.

The treatment for her is some pain meds for a few days, some steroids for inflammation, some other meds for inflammation and to be confined in a very small crate for 6 weeks, 24 hours a day. She can only get out of the crate, 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. It has to be a small crate that she can only turn around in and basically lay straight and not move around in. She has always been crated when we leave, but beyond that she has the run of everything. I had to go out and buy a much smaller crate than she is used to. Basically is is for cats or dogs somewhat smaller than her. The first time I put her in it, was a struggle, but I managed. Then she has to stay in it while I am stitching, etc. and it breaks my heart because she does not understand why she has to be in there. The vet said this would be harder on us than on her. This is going to be a very long 6 weeks, especially since it broke my heart to put her in there the first time and I have to do that 2-3 times a day for 6 weeks. Morris just keeps telling me we have to do it or she will not recover and could become paralyzed. That would be harder to handle. So I guess I need to pull up my big girl panties and deal with it. LOL!!!

She goes back to see the vet in 10 days. Hope she will have made great progress and we can adapt her treatment.

Have some stitching news to post, but need to take some pictures and get some pictures from a friend that were taken tonight at our Monday night Stitch Therapy Christmas Party.

Off to put Muffin out before going to bed. It is not going to be the same without her there to keep me warm.


Vonna said...

Oh no best to Muffin and to your resolve :) I had to LOL about the "big girl Panties" as that is a regular topic of discussion at our house with a 2 yo and potty training :) LOL!
I hope Muffin returns to normal soon and that no damage is done :)

Kendra said...

Poor Muffin! Back problems are always scary.

I don't know if it would make things worse (make her whine/scratch more), but can you move her little crate around the house with you, so that way she's with her people but still on bedrest?

Hope the 6 weeks pass by quickly for you and that she recovers well!

Peg said...

Hope your Muffin is doing better. My heart goes out to you, I have had one of my dogs have a slipped disc as well. He recovered nicely so keep the faith. Vet is right it is harder on you then Muffin. Our furbabies are so much a part of our family it's just like one of our kids when they hurt.