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Hi - New family - Doxie with a ruptured disc

August 29th, 2007, 09:57 PM
This may have been covered before but even as I was trying to read past threads, the thread count was growing. :frustrated:

Our emergency vet diagnosed Kiwi :dog: with a ruptured disc in her back. :sick: She has no mobility in her hind legs. She does have bodily functions though (urinates,etc).

The vet suggested 3 things.... Euthanize :cry: - EXPENSIVE surgery :eek: (which I would do if I could financially - without blinking an eye) - or at home treatment (approx 8 -12 weeks of meds and therapy). We chose the latter.

Are there any suggestions of how to keep her spirits up, is a cart a good thing, tricks for getting the meds down after the first few days, her cleanliness?? Anything would help - thanks in advance.

August 29th, 2007, 10:03 PM
Sorry I can't be of any help other than to send you :goodvibes: Hopefully Snowdancer will pop in ~ she has had two Doxie's who had the same issue and went through surgery.

August 29th, 2007, 10:07 PM
I will watch for a reply from her... I'm open to anything.... thanks for the warm fuzzy....

August 29th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Sorry to hear about your baby's back troubles. :grouphug:

I don't have any experience with ruptured discs, either, but I did want to welcome you to the board. I hope Kiwi has a speedy recovery! :fingerscr

August 29th, 2007, 10:14 PM
Thank you hazelrunpack for the :grouphug:. My poor lil girl is so quiet - not at all the barker she once was.... but I did get some hopeful "kisses" from her - I'll keep you all posted...

August 29th, 2007, 11:09 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Kiwi. My dog recently passed away from a spinal tumor and had lost her hind leg mobility. I kept her clean by using baby wipes when she urinated or defecated and took her out every couple hours so she would not have accidents. I also washed her legs pretty regularly so she would not get sores as there usually was some urine that got onto her paws and legs. I looked into getting a cart but because her illness took her so suddenly there was not time, ask your vet what he/she thinks about it.

What meds is she taking? They had Shade taking prednisone (steroid) and robaxin (muscle relaxer) at first and then switched the robaxin to neurontin (anti seizure med with off label use for nerve pain). That really helped her with her pain. The steroids made her pant like crazy though.
Have you talked to a neurologist? We took Shade to see one when she started getting weak and he was a great help.

The meds can get expensive, ask your vet to call them into Costco if you have one nearby and get generics, that saved us a ton of money.

Good luck with everything and I really hope that things turn out for the best for you and Kiwi :fingerscr :grouphug:

August 30th, 2007, 09:11 AM
Hi, I just lost my overly lengthy response - I timed out as per timing. I have to get my Eskimo to his appointment so will reply again later. But note that all should not be lost yet - and don't fret about wheels at this time - but keep in back of mind. Make sure you give your guy the steroids from the vet and keep in a crate not much bigger than he is. This is essential to restrict movement as much as possible. Weight must also be kept at the lighter end of normal for a pup his size. No way to keep a Dachshund happy under such circumstances - the happiness will come when he can walk again. This will go on for several weeks and you will always have to watch for a second "event". No stairs again - ever - and if possible ramps to the bed and couch. Will report in later. But the steroids are essential. Give him a hug for me - and don't even think about euthanasia at this point.

August 30th, 2007, 09:51 AM
Some years ago, one of our Bassett's ruptured a disc. The vet I saw (it was a Sunday) suggested the same as yours. After consideration we decided to take him home and see what, if any, progress he made. Our own vet also arranged for him to see a chiropractioner, who said that until he showed some movement he was unable to do anything for him. He was on medication and we assisted him on going outside by placing a towel under him so that he could walk by using his front legs with us behind. This went on for a couple of months, until one day I saw his toes twitch, gradually he started getting more movement and 3 and 1/2 months later he was walking. Being the good fellow that he was he kept his spirits up. I think that the thing that upset him the most was that he could'nt run around with the rest of guys and he would just sit and howl from the other side of the fence.

We also massaged his back legs daily and seeing those toes twitch was just the greatest thing.

August 30th, 2007, 11:08 AM

Link is to another post on this forum and discusses Invertebral Disk Disease. You can also find lots on it if you google. My Lab girl has it, though not an actual rupture, and is on Dexamethasone. I have a post on it which might also give you some insight. Not all dogs on it pant as my girl does.

August 30th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Hopefuly 3rd time is charm - kept kicking me out! Is Kiwi your 1, 4 or 5 year old Dachshund? How big is she? How much time elapsed between Kiwi paralyzing and her seeing the Emerg Vet and starting on meds? Time is always of the essence here. By "therapy" at home, do you mean very strict cage rest (excluding bathroom breaks)? Crate should be no bigger than would allow Kiwi to turn around. As movement begins to return, she will try to take advantage of it. You just can't allow it. All meds must be taken and do not worry about trying to Kiwi to take the pills, Dachshunds are gourmands - just put meds in something non-fattening. If Kiwi starts trying to bite her toes, it may mean feeling is returning and you will need an E-Collar to stop her. I expect at least a month in the cage. Has the Emerg Vet sent Kiwi's X-Rays to your primary vet? If not, he/she should so your vet can monitor progress. You also need to watch for any signs of neck disc disease. If you Google Dachshund Disc Disease you will find sites devoted to the Dachshund problems. Our first big guy had his first event at 1 1/2 and was hospitalized for 2 weeks in increasingly smaller cages and on heavy meds. 3 such events occurred by 1989 at which time he was a pioneer in full body surgery. We went through it again in 2003 with our second Wonder. After recovery, you will have to watch carefully for a second event - most likely will occur. But Kiwi has to live her life and not in a bubble. But you can keep her off stairs, help with furniture by use of ramps, let her play but avoid the extreme rough and tumble with the other dogs. Bottom line though is an event can occur just chasing a ball on her own. Did Emerg Vet say if any other discs were affected and the level of calcification in other discs? Some dogs - even those with considerable calcification, never experinece an event - but sadly Dachshund disc disease is all too common and getting worse. It will be very hard for you to watch Kiwi in her cage for the next month, but the reward may well be seeing her run again. If it comes down to wheels, your vet should be able to help and if you have a Vet Teaching Hospital in Houston, perhaps contact them as well. Some people use diapers to help keep their dogs clean, but problem if you pup is a chewer and can't be monitored. Since you have several children hopefully at least one will always be home to monitor Kiwi - just don't take her out of the cage. Constant movement will make situation worse. Please update as to how Kiwi is doing.

August 30th, 2007, 08:14 PM
She is our 5 year old Dachshund (the oldest of our four leggers). She is about 15lbs.
She was all over the yard Friday, we realized something was wrong late Saturday night and she saw the vet early Sunday.
Yes - she is on very strict crate rest (excluding bathroom breaks). The crate not big enough to allow Kiwi to turn around, so we have that part covered. She is taking all her meds. I don't know what food to give it to her with. Not biting at her feet at all.
We try to gently re-arrange her periodically to prevent sores and to make sure she hasn't soiled herself and needs cleaning. I do have an E-Collar ready just in case though.
Our follow up with her regular vet is Sat morning. Neck disc disease?? I'll google all that you have mentioned and do my research. Is surgery her only option??
She doesn't do a lot of playing and you'd have to know her to know that is what she was doing, but we know how to keep her entertained and not with the rough housing of the other 3 dogs or the cat.
Emergency Vet did not say if any other discs were affected or anything about the level of calcification in any other discs. I don't care if she never runs again just as long as she could be mobile.
I've located a set of wheels for the future and I'll search for the Vet Teaching Hospital - see if there is one in Houston.
She is not a chewer - thank goodness (really just a docile little girl).
She really belongs to my daughter (12) and she is a really good nurse. Making sure that she is clean and dry and feed w/water and helps to take her out for bathroom breaks and makes her comfortable. She gave up some of her own doll blankets for Kiwi's crate.
You say that constant movement will make situation worse, to clean her could we give her a quick bath in temid to warm water, esp if we dry her off really good??
I will keep everyone posted. THANK YOU ALL for your inquiries, suggestions, information and warm fuzzy thoughts. Kiwi - like her other "siblings" - is very very important to us. We need her more than she needs us and we are prayerful for a good recovery. :pray: :dog: :pawprint: :lovestruck:

August 31st, 2007, 12:34 AM
:grouphug: Keep us posted ! :grouphug:

August 31st, 2007, 10:13 AM
I am happy to learn that Kiwi is 5 and not 1 - little comfort I know, but my first guy was just over a year when his first event happened so that was not good - actually, neuro couldn't believe he had ever walked. Yes, you are doing the right thing with the crate and it is good that Kiwi is a "supervisor" - watching over everyone else. My 2 Alphas were that way - they would occasionally play with a toy to amuse us, but other than that, their job was said supervision - but still, it shows you how easy it is for the back to go - just like people - you bend over - and all sorts of things can happen. Just continue to give the meds wrapped in something or fool her - treat, pill, treat etc. 15 lbs. - is Kiwi a big mini - a "tweenie"? Or should she weigh less - I now that putting Kiwi on a diet at this time would be a nightmare, but if necessary, once she recovers. When at your regular vet you should ask her to review X-Rays - the Emerg Vet should have sent them. And ask him/her to show you how to hold Kiwi when you have to pick her up - there is a way -and also how to use a sling when is is deemed safe to take her out for a bathroom break. Re the neck disease, this came as a heck of a shock to us -our guy started limping - front left paw - took him to Emerg - they thought he had pulled something and gave pain pills. It wasn't - the discs in the neck were calcified - heck we almost lost him. Neck disc problems do require surgery. Neuro had him scheduled when his back went again for the 4th time - so he had the full body. I have never seen anything so heartbreaking and he didn't start walking for 40 days - actually left side came back after 20 days - but not right - it was awful. But he recovered. Even paralyzed he supervised the vet staff and other dogs. My hero. You may or my not ever need the wheels - hopefully not and I wouldn't suggest using them if Kiwi recovers to point of being able to get around. With our last guy had he not had the second major event and been able to maintain his 70% use of his legs, all would have been fine. That guy could move. But I would never have kept him alive fully paralyzed. I know a few people that do, but not a life at all, particularly for a bossy dog. Enjoy the time you have with Kiwi that is the only way I was able to look at it. There are so many things that can affect a dog's health - but it is just awful waiting for the back to go. In Germany they are trying to develop Dachshunds with shorter backs - mine both had very long backs and one was Dappled (the more unusual looking the dog, the more likely he/she will experience unusual health problems). Sometimes I feel that they should stop breeding Dachshunds since so many are suffering this horrible problem. Please report back after you see your vet and don't give into the imploring looks as hard as it will be not to. My poor first guy also had 4 bladder stones removed during the big surgery and had to eat Hill's canned C/D "lard" as I call it - not a good time. But he recovered and lived 7 more years. I am sure this is very hard on your daughter.

August 31st, 2007, 11:12 AM
What an inspiring story Snowdancer ~ such courage and bravery in your dog in the face of so much pain and sadness.

August 31st, 2007, 11:16 AM
What an inspiring story SnowDancer ~ your dogs were certainly a shining example to us all of bravery and courage.

August 31st, 2007, 01:33 PM
Thanks, "TripleMum". How I loved those guys. I think about them every day. Doesn't help that my Eskie was born April 1, as was my last little Wonder Wiener. They sure helped me though by being brilliant with military cunning - Eskie is brilliant but not cunning so I am one step ahead. Now those long legs though ... Yikes. There have been a couple of Eskies on the breed specific board who have just gone through back problems (and not well I might add) - I am forever on the watch for any sign of a back problem - would be at vet's before they opened.

August 31st, 2007, 06:42 PM
:grouphug: Thank you all for your messages... they've kept me going all day Even though today was the worse... I just couldn't get the meds in her no matter what I tried until late this afternoon. She is not moving at all. Not even her head.... my heart wants to rush her back to the ER but I don't think they'll do anything but suggest to put her down.... :wall: I will be at our regular Vet in the morning with her. :cry: My daughter has given her permission that if OUR vet says she needs to be down then she'll be okay with it but I'm going to do my best to get her well. Will update tomorrow for sure!!:dog: :pawprint: :o :grouphug:

August 31st, 2007, 06:45 PM
What are you using to hide the pills ? Peanutbutter ? Liver chunks ?

August 31st, 2007, 07:05 PM
She doesn't like the peanut butter... tried a little banana b/c she likes that as a treat.... didn't try the liver chunks but she isn't even really eating much of anything and just a VERY VERY little bit of water.... We finally crushed them real fine and add them to a tsp of water and she got them down...

August 31st, 2007, 07:31 PM
Poor kiddo ~ she's gotta eat :o Maybe you should try homecooking for awhile if you aren't already. Stick to a higher protein, low carbs and fats diet though so she doesn't pack on the pounds. I've always found my dogs prefer their meats seared then cooked. Smell is half the taste !

And liver ALWAYS works in my house no matter how disgusting the medicine tastes !

August 31st, 2007, 07:39 PM
Can Kiwi move her head and upper body but is just too weak and/or depressed to do so? There is a big difference if she can't. If she can't move I am very concerned and frankly emergency surgery might be only option and even then odds aren't great - you would need to know odds going in - and while there are absolutely no guarantees with this type of surgery, there is a point at which you would not go ahead. It is possible that Kiwi has Stage II disc disease which has resulted in some spinal cord death - this can't really be told by an X-Ray or the neuro would have seen it before he performed the emergency surgery on my second guy. Stage II is more insidious than Stage I - no event - just very quick paralysis. Tonight, if Kiwi starts to cry in pain, please take her to emergency vet - it would most likely mean that the calcified discs are pressing on the spinal nerves which is very painful and you would definitely have a hard time picking her up. This would no doubt mean having her put to sleep tonight, but better that than having her suffer. You will have no doubt whatsoever should Kiwi experience such pain and I know you would find it too hard for her to bear, as would your daughter. Please let us know how Kiwi does. I am sure that you are really hoping for a Rainbow Bridge - that is where I plan to go and meet up with my 2 guys.

September 1st, 2007, 11:03 AM
Kiwi's spinal cord died.... complete paralysis.... she was gasping for air this morning when I finally woke up after a long night. We were at our regular vet this monrning by 8am and they immediately put her on oxygen, fluids and pain relief. After three hours of waiting, tests, no real change in condition and a very very very hard decision... she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.... 02/2003 - 09/2007.
Dr. Parson said that she did have a ruptured disc but there were complications with it... similar to being hit by a car or severe trauma but there was no trauma. He said it was ascending paralysis that started in her hind legs and moved upward. Once the paralysis moves upward it also paralysizes(sp?) the organs and upper parts of the body (neck, etc). There is no treatment for what she had other than euthansizing her.

:rip: RIP KIWI LIME SMITH:cry: :dog: :pawprint: :o

September 1st, 2007, 11:05 AM
I'm so terribly, terribly sorry. She was very brave and you are a wonderful Mom. :grouphug:

September 1st, 2007, 11:11 AM
thank you mummummum - she was very brave to the end - not even crying in pain just there.... and finally now no suffering....

September 1st, 2007, 12:25 PM
I am very sorry. I knew last night that Kiwi would have to be put to sleep, but am very relieved that you did not have to rush her to emergency. It sounds as if Kiwi had Stage II disc disease as did my Jack. No "event" and of course we did not know it was Stage II and had the surgery as no time to think and we had had such success before. Are any of your other dogs Dachshunds? If so, I expect their routine will now be a bit different. You might think long and hard before adopting another Dachshund as it is just so heartbreaking. You will have a rough time as you notice the lack of a supervisor watching over the other dogs but in time you will remember the good times - this is what I try to do. My husband thinks I am morbid about it, but I am not. I do think about them a lot, but just to myself and do remember the days they died. Duke went to the bridge Sept. 13, 1997 at 11:30 so his anniversary is coming up. I hope that Kiwi is on the bridge with my 2 guys running and playing and playing the Diva as my 2 guys were hot stuff. Again I am very sorry. All you can do is your best and this type of disease is out of our hands. There are no health guarantees ever, but it is heartbreaking knowing that these poor dogs are starting out with such a big strike against them. Take care.

September 1st, 2007, 03:25 PM
Thanks Snowdancer... it's comforting to know that someone understands. I hope she's met them on the bridge... Along with my "Fifi" (Poodle -she was my first pet as a child), "Cocoa" (Toy Poodle - who was my engagment present), "Petey" (Rescue from the SPCA - breed unknown -who was just too young), "Madison" (Mini Chihuahua - cheated out of life by a car - my favorite of all), and "Gizmo" (Chihuahua - my little old man - the alpha male).
KIWI is the one I'll never forget.

Thank you all for your caring and support... I've never had such an outpouring about my "babies" in such a forum as this. I'll be back in a couple of days to check on my "new friends"

September 2nd, 2007, 11:11 PM
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how you are feeling as I lost my Shade recently. It is a relief to know that they are not suffering anymore, but their presence is sorely missed. Kiwi is happy now, running and playing with all of your other furry kids. I am thinking of you and your family and sending you hugs. :grouphug:

September 2nd, 2007, 11:21 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss, Mommie 2 5. :grouphug: It never gets any easier...and it's harder when they're so young--only five! :sad: She deserved another five years, at least!

Kiwi was obviously very loved. Your love was the greatest gift you could ever give her! And you know she loved you back with all her heart.

Our thoughts are with you! :grouphug:

:candle: Kiwi

September 7th, 2007, 05:00 AM
Hi, I also have a Chi/Dox mix that has the same issue. I had just signed on to post what has happened in the last two weeks...
We took her to a specialist, or actually an emergency clinic that also has specialists that do appt. by referral of the vet.
He was excellent. He too gave me the same desicions to make, excuse spelling...I chose to have the "milegram", and then surgury. After he did the "milegram", he said he would rather use Prednisone to treat and confinement. Well it has been a week exactly since Tinker started her Pred and nothing else....She is driving me crazy! I would have it no other way either. The Pred has worked so well, reducing the swelling and absolutely no pain.
This doc told me no jumping, playing and absolutely no up and down stairs. Confinement for 8-10 weeks. That is the hard part, but she is a trooper. They learn fast. She goes potty and was darting up the steps, and has now learned to stop and wait to be picked up. When we are gone, she is confined to the laundry room.
I think you chose the right treatment, and I only hope it works for you like it has for ours.
Good Luck!:cloud9:

January 22nd, 2009, 11:00 PM
I need you to get ahold of me that is wha thappened to our dog please 928-367-1795 Angie This may have been covered before but even as I was trying to read past threads, the thread count was growing. :frustrated:

Our emergency vet diagnosed Kiwi :dog: with a ruptured disc in her back. :sick: She has no mobility in her hind legs. She does have bodily functions though (urinates,etc).

The vet suggested 3 things.... Euthanize :cry: - EXPENSIVE surgery :eek: (which I would do if I could financially - without blinking an eye) - or at home treatment (approx 8 -12 weeks of meds and therapy). We chose the latter.

Are there any suggestions of how to keep her spirits up, is a cart a good thing, tricks for getting the meds down after the first few days, her cleanliness?? Anything would help - thanks in advance.

January 22nd, 2009, 11:19 PM
Im so sad about your dog but forgive me because I think my dog is very bad off with the disc problem. 3 year old lab,just jumeped off th bed and this dog was the strongest dog you coul imagine, I just am so sad ... took him to the vet oh by the way his name is tony stewart ,,, what a dog he would jump on all 4's about a foot and a half high boucing around so happy it is killing me. he is down and he does have feeling in all of his legs but doesnt cry or shine at all Im taking him to a chiropractor tomorrow i hopes that something can be done. The Vet,,, well it was just meds or 3500.00 to try maybe to fix him. Im broke and am eatine ramens just to treat him. My heart is broken Its killing me this dog is amazing and has a better right to medical treatment than prisoners or illegal alieons as far as Im concerned. why cant anyone help us with the cost they just have the money for the mutts that keep coming about everywhere, Im so distressd. forgive me but there has to be a way of saving this dog and I dont have the money, Angela Wolf oh I just read that back Im not correcting my English but just know Im in tears and this is hard even to write about this.......

January 23rd, 2009, 10:48 AM
Wiserwolf, I am so sorry to read about your beloved pet. Our little Hobo has disc problems too and it is very scary.

Did the vet prescribe any prednisone? Do you have Tony Stewart (:laughing: LOVE the name ) immobile, and by immobile I mean NOT moving anywhere/anytime.

I hope you have very very good references for the doggy chiro.

Please start a new thread and come back and tell us how things go today :goodvibes: