My chessie/lab mix had a ruptured disc and was paralyzed from the neck down for a week. It was a good thing that DH was out of town and I couldn't make "the decision" with out him, 'cause after heavy steroid dosages, Kahlua started to regain some sensation. Long story short, she stayed at the vet's until she could empty her bladder with out someone manipulating her bladder, and we did months of water therapy with her...but now she runs like a deer and only has a slight limp when walking. She has a bit of difficulty getting into/out of a sit or down, but is healthy and happy. Keeping her weight down is very important.
You probably will get a lot more advice and input if you post this recent problem in the Health forum.
Good luck and hope Rex is feeling better soon!
I'm very interested in the water therapy as I wondered if this might help. My vet said absolute crate rest for 3 weeks and then restricted exercise for 6 months and see how it goes but didnt suggest swimming.
When did you start your dog with water therapy after?
I've posted in the health forum too as i thought it might be a better place for it.
Crate rest and meds may help with the disk problems or may not. It is really hard to tell. This can be a very painful condition for a dog.
The spinning, the head tilt, the leg weakness etc is also potentially connected to SM. I would at least ask to try giving him neurontin to see if that helps relieve those activities and relieves some pain. SM would not cause a prolapsed disk but yu could easily have both conditions or the disk alone might cause all the things you describe. I personally would suspect he has some degree of SM along with the disk problem, given his long history of scratching with no apparent cause and the fact that these additional symtpoms tabulate exactly with some of the more severe symptoms of SM. These could possibly be mitigated through steroid and neurontin use and again I would STRONGLY recommend going to Chestergates, where they are very familiar with SM and could probably give you a diagnosis without an MRI. Yopu need a specialist for this, not a vet, and urgently I think.
You are clearly at a difficult point though where you need to think of Rex, and weigh up whether each day continues to be a day where Rex is happier to be with you rather than suffering through each day. It is very hard to reach such a point, but a dog has no fear of the unknown and lives in the moment -- and living with daily severe pain and discomfort if this is the case is really where you need to consider what is best for Rex and what allows him the most diginity and least suffering, after so many years in which he gave his all as a loving companion to his people. You might want to read through this caring article that deals with this difficult topic:
:flwr: I know I can speak for many when I say our thoughts are with you as you care for this much loved dog and makes decisions about what is best for his future.
thanks for the swift replies
I have passed on the advice to my Mum and hope that she will be able to take Rex to the vets in Wimbledon asap to check re SM before making any further decisions, as they are now back in Surrey.
Rex does seem a lot better than he was before Christmas so we are hoping it is something we can help him with but also bearing in mind his wellbeing and quality of life.
Please keep everything crossed for him.
I had a Lhasa with a ruptured disc and she became paralyzed in her back legs. She was given IV steriods over several days, had to stay overnight in the specialty clinic, and was also given IV antacid/ulcer preventative because that is also a side effect. It took many weeks for her to become active again, and she walked bow legged a little for the next 7 years but appeared to be pain free. She was treated by a neurologist for this .
Ketty - I haven't been able to log on and check my mails, and have only just been able to get in, poor Rex no animal deserves to be in such pain, I am only in Banstead and work in Wimbledon if your mum wants someone to go with her to StoneLion then please ask her to give me a call (you can PM me for number). But I must say that she has got to find out about the price as when we had Ozzy done it came to over £1200.00.
Thanks for the very kind offer Claire - I have passed it on to my Mum. I have also emailed Stone Lion to ask them when they reopen and explaining why in case they say to come in straight away.
Rex was a little better yesterday only having one little yelp of pain and then quiet again. Keeping my fingers crossed that its something we can help him with / that will improve with either surgery or meds.
Very relieved he's feeling a bit better anyway and seems to be lying quietly and scoffing his chicken dinner like a good boy.
I've already told Mum she has free reign to spend our inheritance :yikes (such as it is) on him if necessary, so hoping the vets accept magic beans... :lol:
Well its bad news I'm afraid, but at least we know what we are dealing with now. It is confirmed as SM (he had the MRI today) and I am only grateful that I got all the info I did from this site or we might have put him through a major op for a prolapsed disc when it might have done more harm than good.
Many thanks to all and especially Karlin for insisting we look into it further.
He will now start on nerve specific painkillers asap to see if that helps and we will take it a day at a time and see how he goes.
Please keep things crossed for the little man.
So very sorry to hear this news Ketty - at least you know what you are dealing with now, and that Rex can be started on the appropriate treatment :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:
I'm sorry to hear it was a positive diagnosis but so glad he didn't go through an unnecessary op. That's why this forum is here, and why it is so good to share information and have health issues out in the open and openly discussed -- many times it will be the case that something else is indeed the problem and a dog thankfully won't be handling the discomfort and challenges of SM, but when it is the right diagnosis it means the dog can move to the best treatment possible and suffer less. Don't blame your vets at all; they were doing the right things and trying all the obvious approaches and few would know what to be looking for with this condition, which would be very rare in almost any other breed.
Clare Rusbridge at Stone Lion will be aware of all the best possible approaches so I hope you find, as many of us have, that neurontin, steroids, and/or something like frusemide or the new option Tagamet (which seems to help some dogs without frusemide's side affects) helps.
If you know Rex's breeder (eg if it is someone who continues to breed) please let them know his diagnosis. It is very important for breeders to know if they are producing dogs that eventually become symptomatic as this helps them make future breeding decisions about their lines.
Feel free to post or PM with any questions, any time -- several of us here have SM dogs with different degrees of affectedness. :flwr: