I have turned the information given to us by a breeder friend into a downloadable e-book in PDF format. (To download it right-click on the link if you use Windows, and control-click if you use a Macintosh.) It details the treatment for a dog that becomes paralysed. Since it contains a copy of a letter written by a vet, you may want to print it to show your own vet should you be unlucky enough to have a dog that becomes paralysed. Tips from myself to stop your dog developing a prolapsed disc are also included, along with an article on Vitamin C and arthritis.
The diary I started when our own dog Krystal became suddenly paralysed in her hindquarters follows:
On Sunday, 20 January 2002, we noticed our Dachshund Krystal was very quiet. In fact, she didnt seem to be walking very well. When this happened to Nicky many years ago, we instantly suspected back problems and all that was required then was a week or so caged up. Even when it happened again and he was yelping with pain we merely had to keep him confined for a longer period. However, when Roger examined Krystal he thought her tummy seemed hard so he thought she might be constipated. He took her straight to the vet.
Unfortunately, the vet was away on holiday and the locum was a very young woman not long out of veterinary college. She said Krystals anal glands seemed full and swollen and cleaned them out (a very unpleasant job). After that Krystal rallied amazingly, but very briefly; then suddenly her back legs went. She didnt seem to be able to move them, never mind walk. The young vet wanted Roger to get a second opinion (especially as the practice, a rural one, doesnt have facilities for the hospitalisation of small animals). So Roger took her to a vet in the city, who x-rayed her back and said there was nowhere near the damage he would have expected from Krystals symptoms. In fact, there was very little wrong at all. He prescribed a week of Prednisone, plus being penned up with water and newspapers, and gave us some suppositories for her bowels and also some coloxyl 120 tablets.
Nearly two weeks of never-ending washing followed because, although Krystal seemed able to tell when she needed to go to the toilet, the Prednisone made her drink far more than normal, which meant she was continually needing to urinate and she wasnt able to get far enough onto the newspaper to stop the urine going all over her bedding as wellnot to mention over the poor dog herself. Roger cut away as much of her feathering around her rear end as he could, but I doubt it helped very much.
Once she came off the Prednisone she slowly started to improve in terms of not wetting herself (simply because she didnt need to urinate so often) but she still couldn't seem to move her hind legs. Then a breeder friend suggested swimming. Unfortunately, unlike our friend, we dont have a swimming pool, so we filled up the bath. Poor Krystal didn't like this. Those high, white, smooth walls must be intimidating to a little dog. Also, we felt she didnt get much benefit from it. All she was doing was paddling with her front paws. Then we saw on the Internet some advice that suggested she shouldnt swim but should be able to touch the bottom of the pool, so we bought an inflatable paddling pool. We would have preferred a 2-metre one but it would have taken up too much room, especially as we knew we would have to walk round and round the pool, encouraging her with little pieces of biscuit. Also, the cost was $70, against $25 for one that was a little under 5 feet. It does the job and Roger placed a car tyre in the centre of it to encourage Krystal to walk closer to the pool wall.
At first Krystal just walked on her front legs, dragging her back ones behind her. Then we noticed (the very next day) that she was moving her back legs rhythmically as though swimming. What she was actually doing was walking on the tops of her feet. Next day she occasionally brought one foot down to touch the pool bottom with the pad of the foot instead of the top. Later that day she was doing this all the time. Unfortunately, the legs still seem too weak to support her weight. Today is Monday, 11 February, and we will continue to give her 20 minutes of walking around the pool twice a day for as long as it takes. One thing we are considering is slowly lowering the level of water in the pool so that she gradually bears more weight on her back legs. We heat the water to 30°C, by the way.
I shall post more information here as Krystal continues to improve. We see no reason why she shouldnt, though its doubtful she will make a full recoveryi.e., she may walk a little stiffly or drag one leg slightly as Nicky does. Nicky was actually very hump-backed for years after he recovered. His problem (which started much the same as Krystals, with him seeming quiet and not walking quite right) was the main reason for our stipulation that our house in the country had to be single-storied.
12 February 2002:
26 February 2002:
20 April 2002:
25 April 2002
14 July 2002
Suspect back problems in your Dachshund the moment you notice it isnt walking right and seems quiet!
30 October 2008
© L A Barker Enterprises