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old age and nerve damage

(12 Posts)
Debs75 Sun 21-Apr-13 20:46:26

My 11 year old bassett hound has just literally dropped on us. She has been slowing down and we knew something was off with her but was putting it down to old age. Last night she just dragged herself around and looked exhausted. This morning she could barely stand and her back legs were either left behind or they flopped to the side and she fell over.

A trip to vets and she is arthritic and has some nerve damage. The vet put her back paws upside down and she just stayed there, her front ones she flipped back immediately. She has put her on some pain relief and wants to see her Tuesday but I get the feeling she thinks the hound is at the end of life.

She hadn't moved all day until after we had had tea, she dragged herself to the back door but didn't do any business but then did manage to eat something, first today which is so unlike her. She is back in her bed, shaking and occasionally whimpering.

IS there anything that I should or shouldn't do with her?
A couple of weeks ago she was jumping around and doing circuits of the garden, now she looks like she is on deaths door.

Debs75 Sun 21-Apr-13 21:29:23

Anyone here at all?
UPDATE she has just managed to go and have a wee outside. She walked a bit better on the grass but she did fall out the back step.

Jayne266 Sun 21-Apr-13 21:52:12

First of all don't let her drag herself use a old towel under her tummy to help her out, she will get wounds.

Make sure she is eating and drinking and she is going the toilet normally.

Are you asking for help on how to look after her or if something can be done?

If she is not using her back legs it may be a neurological issue but if ur vets has checked her I am assuming they have ruled out a poss prolapse disc.

She will need thick comfy bedding and ideally not to use steps.

What pain relief is she on?

Jayne266 Sun 21-Apr-13 21:59:21

Sorry going to bed up early pm me if you have any worries. I have been with many dogs like this and the most important thing is pain control.

Booboostoo Sun 21-Apr-13 22:55:09

I would strongly advise you to take your dog to a specialist orthopedic vet as a matter of extreme urgency.

Sudden onset neurological symptoms usually indicate spinal compression which can be treated if the dog is seen quickly enough before permanent damage is done. She will need an MRI to see if there is a prolapsed disc, but if that is the cause of the problem the operation for this has a high success rate.

If the deterioration is gradual and she does not have pain sadly it could be degenerative myelopathy. This is a progressive disease for which there is no cure, similar to MS in humans. There are supportive treatments, e.g. vitamins and dietary changes, that may slow down progression. If you need more help with DM please get in touch, but you need an experienced ortho vet to diagnose DM by exclusion of a variety of other neurological problems.

TataClaire Sun 21-Apr-13 22:56:02

My dog was like this with a slipped disc, in the end we put him to sleep as the vet changed his pain relief and he seemed to have a reaction to it and couldnt get comfortable after that and he didnt want to eat, neither of us could cope - he was 12.5yrs old. The key is enough pain relief to keep them comfy, but not so much that they start trying to do more than they should. Im keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Debs75 Sun 21-Apr-13 23:00:31

I'm not too sure what vets think, although she seemed quite negative, until we go back Tues, today was just a check over really then they gave me lomicol to give her each day.

She has to go down two steps to get out either way but the aren't huge steps.

Will change her bed as she has a solid plastic bed with a thick blanket in it but she needs help getting in and out as she struggles with getting her back paws in.

She isn't dragging her tummy along the floor, more her back end is just dropping like it doesn't have the strength to keep up. She can't stand for long and when she sits she slides a bit.

Keeping her pain free is my main concern so how to do that would be a great help. Thankyou

Debs75 Mon 22-Apr-13 09:43:45

It is LOXICOM she is on, not lomicol.

She is brighter today, still not doing much but at least she has been out and had some breakfast and medicine.

I'm not sure how in depth the vets will go as it is PDSA and I don't have the money to go anywhere else. We had to cancel the insurance when they doubled it despite her never having anything wrong up till then.

I will discuss with the vet tomorrow about diet change and suitable long term pain relief.

Debs75 Tue 23-Apr-13 21:18:38

So back to vets today and they feel it is a spinal issue. NOt sure about injury as she hasn't done anything we are aware of which would of hurt her back.
More loxicom and some supplements for her joints. They indicated doing an xray to see how bad the damage is but as she had an op a couple of years ago and came out of the anaesthetic early they are reluctant to do anything now.
We have to make sure she doesn't run or jump or climb stairs which is easy to do and give her gentle exercise on the lead. A walk around our huge garden 3-4 times a day it is then. They have suggested hydrotherapy which we are looking into and maybe accupuncture.
She did ask me to decide on her welfare if she doesn't improve and I think they were looking for me to say we wouldn't let her suffer, which we have already decided.
Back in a week to check up on her but already she looks better and is more mobile. I guess it will be hard to get the balance right between mobile and pain free and not doing more damage

Debs75 Sun 28-Apr-13 14:05:17

Well a week on loxicom and numove and you would think I had a different dog. She is happier and more active, still walking her on the lead so that she doesn't have the chance to bolt off. Her back paws now right themselves if you put them the wrong way so something is still amiss.
We are back there Weds so hopefully will get some better idea of long term health

Booboostoo Sun 28-Apr-13 18:29:21

That's great news she's improving! It may well be inflammation that is going down and everything will return to normal! Degenerative myelopathy does not get better so it does sound like spinal compression.

Debs75 Tue 30-Apr-13 20:34:35

She looks so much better as well, her bum isn't as drooped and she just seems happier. Will know more tomorrow after going to vets

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