View Full Version : Angel - back rayz... ***update 2/13***

02-10-2012, 09:40 PM
The last couple of days she has not been wanting to jump (acts like she wants my attention but just makes little hops with her front paws instead of jumping fully onto my lap), and today when I got home from work she did not want to run for her pig toy like she always does at dinnertime. She is slow when she walks around and is shaking a little. I could not find any painful or tender areas along her spine. DH is out of town but when we talked on the phone he thought it might be a stomach problem, because one of them has been having diarrhea/loose stools (we use puppy pads, so not sure who).

However, I've been on a doxie forum long enough to know what to suspect.

We're sitting in an x-pen at the moment :rolleyes:. I knew I should have bought that dog stroller I was considering.

Will take her to the vet tomorrow and update. My mom can go with us to help with Cass.

Rayz would be appreciated.

02-10-2012, 09:44 PM
Oh, no! I hope that it is just a stomach problem that can be quickly remedied. Sending tons of Texas sized :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for the :angel:

02-10-2012, 10:03 PM
Good for you for taking precautions...
many many :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:
and I hope it IS just her stomach. But with Laika, I messed around too long cuz my vet said it was her tummy :(
They typically do NOT show tenderness around the back/spine...oh no...that would be too easy.
:crossfin::crossfin::crossfin: that it's nothing serious.

02-10-2012, 10:42 PM
I totally agree with Amy, the good news is that if it is her back, it sounds like a leak vs. a blown disc. The bad news is, that is 8 long loud weeks. So I really, really, really hope your sweet Angel doesn't have to go through this. :crossfin:

What you want to watch for is any signs of pain. Shivering is the most noticeable one. You also need to really closely watch for any neuro defects. Back leg skipping, they look slightly unbalanced when they walk (subtle). Pixel had what you are describing for 2 or 3 days before he went down. It is so friggin' tough because they are generally very stoic little dogs. Pixel went for a full exam and the vet though I was crazy, then Pix dropped a bit on his right side and our vet went "oh yeah, I saw that".

Because it is Saturday tomorrow, maybe ask for the drugs (tramodol, robaxin - methoblahblahblah - given you a pharmacist, I am sure you know what it is, and either metacam or pred whichever way you go).

If you need anything day or night, you know my digits. If it is IVDD, although definitely not the worst thing a dog can be diagnosed with, however, it is extremely draining emotionally.

Hugs to you and lots of rayz for your pretty girl. :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz:

02-10-2012, 11:02 PM
Oh Kim, I hope it is just her stomach.

Sabrina's was gradual too. She is a stoic dog. We didn't wait for her to go down completely, she walked like a drunk with tons of breaks to sit down. I know there is a clinic in Tampa area that has specialists. My vet mentioned it to me but I ended up going with the local neuro here. If you want her info, I can def give it to you.

02-10-2012, 11:10 PM
I don't think it is stomach-related. She was happy to eat her dinner, and chew on a bully stick in the crate, and seems content resting in there.

Olga... may check back with you for the neuro info. Tampa might be a bit closer, but not much. Will see what the vet says.

02-10-2012, 11:22 PM
Kim, here is her website. http://www.petneuro.com/ They offer 24/7 service now since they moved into a larger building. Sabrina's doctor was Dr Chauvet. She has a dachsie and does donate services to rescue. She even operated on a lioness:


02-10-2012, 11:38 PM
It sounds like you are moving in the right direction, Kim. Please update us tomorrow when you can. :hug99::hug99::hug99:

02-10-2012, 11:58 PM
Mega :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for sweet Angel. Hope you don't mind that I did a quick Tarot reading for her and there were no bad cards. Don't think it's serious.

02-11-2012, 12:19 AM
Here's some :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for you and hope it is nothing serious! We have some great neuro guys here in jax too if needed!! /www.nfneurology.com/)

02-11-2012, 09:30 AM
How is Miss Angel this morning?

02-11-2012, 10:27 AM
We just got back. We switched vets recently and the one we had seen once was not there (also this office is weird - they do not make appointments). But we didn't have to wait.

She is the same, just doesn't have any desire to walk long distances or jump. He checked her out and of course did not find any signs of neurological damage or tenderness (and naturally she is nervous so she is shaking and tense anyway, so it's not like he could see the differences). He said he doesn't think it's anything serious & could just be a muscle spasm. He gave her a Valium shot and had me start Rimadyl, and said to try to keep her quiet/no jumping. I asked about crating and he said I could if I wanted to for about a week.

I dunno... to me, doxie with back pain usually = IVDD. However, I can't crate a dog with a potential muscle spasm for 8 weeks (which BTW, he had not heard of... says the max is usually 4).

We're just too proactive for vets to know what to do with :conf4:.

So in other words, I think I just wait until she either gets worse or better :rolleyes:?

edit: Oh, and thanks for the rayz (and Candy, the Tarot reading is very much appreciated).

02-11-2012, 10:46 AM
He could be right! It may be a pulled muscle. It is good that Angel isn't trying to push herself and she is taking it easy.

:bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz:

02-11-2012, 11:26 AM
I hope your vet is right! Sounds like she's taking it easy without being crated so maybe an x-pen would be better, with very limited movement for a while. I know lots of people hate cliches, but better safe than sorry. Seriously hope it's NOT a back issue!!! :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:

02-11-2012, 11:50 AM
It could be muscle spasms. Bandit had them for years. She didn't have them often. Maybe once or twice a yea., But when she did she was not a happy camper. This was about 15 years ago so treatments, etc. may have changed but my vet (who always takes the conservative route on treatment) had me put her in a bath tub with the water halfway up her sides. She said that the water helped buoy up their body and take some of the stress off of her back and relax the muscles. I'd put her in for about 15 minutes 3 times a day and it did seem to help. I'm sure the warm water helped her to relax, too.

Restricted movement will probably help her feel better. It's hard to do but it can work. It worked really well with Miller's hurt leg even though it was a real PITA. :rolleyes:

Alex's Mom
02-11-2012, 11:55 AM
Geez, Kim, how the heck did I miss this??!!?? I'm so sorry to hear your beautiful girl is poorly. Sending tons and tons of :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: and :hug99::hug99::hug99:. :crossfin: that it is only spasms, not a disc. Keep us posted, ok??

02-11-2012, 12:00 PM
Laika had horrible muscle spasms that came and went...vet thought it was her stomach. But it was NOT, it was due to pain in her back. I feel so awful about that still :( I'd crate her for at least 2 weeks and see how she does. Also, use a stomach protector 1/2 hour before the rimadyl...if she continues to seem painful a muscle relaxer or tramodol will help...
a bazillion :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:
I wish every vet was an expert on IVDD. I have trained my sister the vet...any doxie with anything that remotely could be back issues is IN THE CRATE with NSAIDS (she prefers those to steroids for whatever reason) and pepsid or sucralfrate.

02-11-2012, 07:00 PM
Sending lots of feel better rays for Angel!!!!

02-11-2012, 08:21 PM
I agree... hope it is only a muscle spasm, but I know how we worry about our babies! :bigrayz::bigrayz:

Mama S.
02-11-2012, 09:02 PM
Where the heck was I ???? I am so sorry that i missed this. Read a note from you about worrying about dog and went :wtf2:- go hunt now. Yikes:( Poor baby.. Sam was the same way - he started the shaking shivering thing a couple of days before he went down. I thought pulled muscle too until I came home and found him behind the toilet in agony. :sosad:
Needless to day - he is his normal sh*tbird self so with love and the DLC you can make it through!!!:sosad: :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:

02-11-2012, 11:33 PM
Sending :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for Angel and :crossfin: it is not her back.

02-11-2012, 11:51 PM
I hope she continues to improve with crate rest! :crossfin::crossfin:

02-12-2012, 12:00 AM
Sending many :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: and :hug99: for Mom. My old guy Chester loves the electric lap blanket I have; when he is hurting a bit he always looks for me to turn it on.

02-12-2012, 12:15 PM
Sorry, Kim. Head up hiney in Kentucky and missed this. Go with your gut. Just like a mom with skin kids you know yours better than any doc ever could. If she's a frogs hair off normal you're the only one who will know.

02-12-2012, 09:05 PM
Sending more :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for feeling better. I'd say you know her best and try the meds and a bit of crate rest but if you feel odd at all get another opinion from a neuro specialist. There's plenty in the state with the U of F so close!

02-13-2012, 05:51 AM
I'm sorry to hear Angel is not feeling well. Sending many get well quick :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for her.
I hope the injection and rest will cure whatever is ailing her. :crossfin:

Alex's Mom
02-13-2012, 08:17 AM
Update on our girl, Kim??

02-13-2012, 09:21 AM
I would like an update too. How is she this morning?

02-13-2012, 10:21 AM
I am so sorry I missed this! Kim, I hope she is well soon. I hope its nothing serious. Keep us updated! how is she today? :hug99: :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:

02-13-2012, 03:30 PM
Hope she is feeling better. :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:

02-13-2012, 08:36 PM
Well, I called it right (yay me :rolleyes: ) and of course it is a disc. She is doing pretty well, though. I will update in IVDD.

edit: OR... I will update HERE, since someone already moved my thread to the IVDD forum (LOL - thanks!). :)

02-13-2012, 08:44 PM
Of course it was. dam vets...we KNOW but then doubt ourselves cuzza after all, we haven't been to veterinary college...HOpe she's doing ok..

02-13-2012, 09:22 PM
Angel had vomiting on the Rimadyl (despite Pepcid and taking with food), and there was a little blood in it this morning. It also bothered me that the Saturday vet did not do much of an exam, or any labwork. DH and I were concerned that something else might be going on with her GI tract. I took her back to the vet today and saw the one I like, who was absolutely wonderful and totally agreed with me. He kept her for labs and an x-ray. He says doxies are prone to HGE (hemorrhagic gastroenteritis). He could not be absolutely sure there wasn't something else going on besides the NSAID irritation (maybe a bacterial or viral problem?).

She got a dexamethasone shot and a Cerenia shot and we will try starting prednisone tomorrow. She is on Carafate for her stomach. I would appreciate rayz that she can handle the steroid or we are in a bad situation :crossfin:.

He showed me on the x-rays where he believes the damaged disc is. He actually said quite often they CAN see evidence of extruded disc material from x-rays, but not in Angel's case. Neurologically, her back legs are very weak and uncoordinated, and she has lost proprioception (the toe-flipping). However, she is doing surprisingly well considering she couldn't tolerate the pain pills.

She will get a tramadol before bed. I asked for some Hills ID food too and so far she's keeping that down.

If we do end up needing surgery, he said the absolute best in the area is the surgeon in Sarasota that Olga recommended, Dr. Chauvet :). So absolutely that is where we will go if needed.

It was a tough day for both her and Cass, who doesn't like pack disruptions and cried all day after I went back to work (DH was here, but got stuck on a conference call in his office - usually the dogs just nap in the living room all day while he works. He says if she needs to stay at the vet's again, he'll clean up his office so Cassie can be in there with him). I did have some time after I dropped Angel off in the AM, so my mom and I took her for a walk and I groomed her and let her chew a rawhide, so at least she had a good morning. She was happy to see her sister return.

Both Whiny Dog and Dog-in-a-Box are currently snoozing peacefully.

I will update again soon. Thanks for the rayz. It was much easier to go into this knowing what to expect and what questions to ask because of all of you who have dealt with this before :hug99:.

& special thanks to Lisa for the phone support and patiently answering my questions :hug99:.

02-13-2012, 09:47 PM
Oh Angel!!! Lots and lots (and lots) of rayz. :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz:

That is one of the best things about Pixel, the dog has an iron stomach, so I was able to do drugs without any issues.

Angel still has bladder and bowel function right? Did he say if you are going to do surgery when you should? I am not pushing surgery!! Just asking if he thinks there is a time when it should be done? I fully believe she will get better with crate rest, time and drugs - just I know surgery has a better success the earlier it is done. I am not sure if you are using a sling to help her for support when she potties, by we just use a long, thin tensor bandage. You just want to make sure you don't wheelbarrow her.

Angel is 7 right? I think both Pogo, Laika, Pixel and Jax were all 7??? Not that it means anything, just rambling.

I kind of wish now that I took video of Pixel at his worst. I was such a mess I couldn't bring myself to do it. But I did post a "now" video (http://doxielovers.com/dlc/showthread.php?t=34018) if you need some inspiration.

I am here day or night if you need support. Even just a shoulder to cry on. The emotional side of seeing your little dog in pain and having trouble walking is gut wrenching & horrible.

You are a great doggie Mom, Kim. You and your girl will come out the other side. There are days when it will seem like it will never end and it can't get better, but it does. Really. If I can survive it with Pixel, the most vocal dog in North America - I KNOW you can do it with your sweet, gentle Angel.

:hug99: :bigrayz: :hug99: :bigrayz: :hug99: :bigrayz: :hug99: :bigrayz:

02-13-2012, 09:49 PM
For stomach, disc, you, Cassie, DH...
Hopefully the steroids will be tolerated :crossfin: I know they recommend a wash-out period between stopping NSAIDs and starting steroids, but Laika had steroids without it cuz her surgeon preferred steroids (and my vet had her on metacam) She was on two stomach protectors and it was ok. and she tends to have a touchy stomach.

02-13-2012, 09:52 PM
I am sorry to hear that it is her back after all. I was hoping it wasn't. Well, sounds like you have a good vet and you have DLC for info. And you know where to head if surgery is needed. :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:

02-13-2012, 10:00 PM
Angel is 7 right? I think both Pogo, Laika, Pixel and Jax were all 7??? Not that it means anything, just rambling.

Sabrina was 4.

02-13-2012, 10:14 PM
Angel is 8 (9 in May). We think we know what caused the acute episode - she suddenly appeared in the front room one day when DH and I were in there; I thought she just maneuvered around the x-pen we had up as a gate but he reminded me later that if she had done that, Cassie would have followed. So she jumped OVER the x-pen onto a tile floor.

"Daring and courageous to the point of rashness" indeed :rolleyes:.

She's only had 3 doses of Rimadyl, so the vet felt a washout period was not needed.

Thanks again, everyone :)

Mama S.
02-13-2012, 10:16 PM
If Tex doesn't mind - I'll send you the sling I used! Sam refused to walk with it - Scooby was perfect!
Have faith! I got through it twice back to back! No surgery! Lots of love and prayers and DLC got us through! Your turn for that love!

02-13-2012, 10:20 PM
Angel still has bladder and bowel function right? Did he say if you are going to do surgery when you should? I am not pushing surgery!! Just asking if he thinks there is a time when it should be done?

yes she still has bladder and bowel control (she held both at the vet's despite their efforts - he could tell from the x-ray that she was rather full :) ). She does, however, have trouble standing very long to urinate, and Dr. Gibson warned me it would probably hurt her to get in position for a BM, so she might go in the crate, and she did. I asked about a sling and he said if I could get her to tolerate it, it was a good idea.

He says if I suddenly notice her leg being completely paralyzed/dragging, that's when I should make the decision about surgery.

02-13-2012, 10:31 PM
Oh, d**n! I was so hoping it wasn't her back. Even though my gut was telling me it was. I'm glad you took precautions right away. I'm sure that helped her from further injuring her back.

I believe Amy told me that the window for surgery was once they were down. Not while they were still mobil.

It is wonderful to have the DLC so that you're at least somewhat prepared going into it.

Sending :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for Angel and :hug99::hug99::hug99: for you.

02-13-2012, 10:52 PM
I'm so sorry, sending lots of :bigrayz::bigrayz: and :hug99: for the parents.

02-13-2012, 10:55 PM
Oh, d**n! I was so hoping it wasn't her back. Even though my gut was telling me it was. I'm glad you took precautions right away. I'm sure that helped her from further injuring her back.

I believe Amy told me that the window for surgery was once they were down. Not while they were still mobil.

It is wonderful to have the DLC so that you're at least somewhat prepared going into it.

Sending :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for Angel and :hug99::hug99::hug99: for you.

I think the window for surgery is based on the presence of deep pain???

02-13-2012, 10:59 PM
I think the window for surgery is based on the presence of deep pain???

I think you are correct.

02-13-2012, 11:52 PM
Thanks, Amy and Olga. I couldn't exactly remember. I know that Amanda was completely down when we had her surgery. I could remember if that was the criteria.

02-13-2012, 11:58 PM
Kim, I'm so sorry. Sending many :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:, good thoughts that she will not need surgery. :hug99::hug99: for you.

Alex's Mom
02-14-2012, 09:44 AM
Tons and tons of :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: and :hug99::hug99::hug99:, Kim. :crossfin: that she can tolerate the meds.

02-14-2012, 10:58 AM
First, tons of healing :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for Miss Angel!!!!

Second, I ABSOLUTELY do not mind if Mama wants to send the sling. Please, pay if forward!

Third, Jax was one month short of 7 years old the first time around, and one month short of 10 years old this past summer. Both times he went through surgery, both times he did great! This past summer, he was literally in surgery less than 12 hours after I suspected anything was wrong. I hope & pray that Angel doesn't need surgery, but I personally have seem great results....if you do have to go that route.

A few more :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz: for Angel (and her worried mommy :hug99:)

02-14-2012, 11:19 AM
Thanks, Amy and Olga. I couldn't exactly remember. I know that Amanda was completely down when we had her surgery. I could remember if that was the criteria.

That said, I opted for surgery and Laika wasn't totally down nor did she lose deep pain. I didn't want that to happen...we waited until morning for surgery but they were watching her closely all night and if at anytime they felt she was getting worse or lost deep pain, the surgeon would have been called and she would have been in surgery that night. I did not want to risk permanent damage to her spinal cord and I feel so glad we did the surgery ...with the adjoining discs fixed also and all the disc material removed that was pressing on her spinal cord..I dunno. I just really wanted it fixed.
Anyway, just saying you don't HAVE to have that happen, but if deep pain IS lost, then it's for sure a surgery situation but even then it might not have as good results.

02-14-2012, 11:49 AM
Shat. sorry to hear it wasn't just "one of those things..."

Much love to you and the other Oceangirls and hugs to daddy too.

Call me if I can help.

You are a great doggie mom.

02-14-2012, 12:43 PM
I am SO sorry about Angel's diagnosis! Sounds like you have very good vet care. Jack wasn't down totally the first time he had issues, and acupuncture and VOM, along with meds and crate rest, got him back up 100%. A year later, he had to have surgery, but we were able to hold it off for a year with my holistic vet's help. I think I'd try acupuncture, if you can find a good vet who does that. Many, many get-well :bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz::bigrayz:!!

02-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Yikes! Poor Angel. Glad she's not totally down. I think that means her IVDD is Type 2, not Type 1. Partial herniation, not total rupture. I suppose that means confinement without surgery is OK, could work its magic, and the body can heal on its own?

In humans (eg, myself), the Type 2 herniations sometimes get slurped back into place between the discs, thus removing the nerve impingement. Not so for Type 1.


Good luck, whatever you decide to do. IVDD surgery costs over $5K, but was worth it for Buddy. He had 2 bad adjacent discs. He lost deep pain sensation & everything. Hope Angel doesn't go there.

02-14-2012, 01:56 PM
You all are correct - the "window" is when deep pain sensation is lost... however, since that's a little hard to tell unless you are pinching the dog's toe constantly (which would obviously agitate the dog), the point he would recommend I get a surgery evaluation (or at least bring her back to their clinic) would be if she started to develop paralysis in her back leg(s).

She is doing very well today; no more vomiting and DH says she was walking much better when he took her to the bathroom. I gave the Carafate about 5AM, so he gave the prednisone around 9AM with food (Carafate inhibits absorption of the meds, so they need to be separated). So hopefully she will tolerate it well.

I am planning on acupuncture - Dr. Gibson says a guy he went to vet school with has a practice and is excellent. He did suggest we give the meds a chance to work first. I think she might benefit from acupuncture even if she had not developed a disc problem. Her muscles always seem somewhat tensed to me, not like Cassie who is a bouncy, floppy little ball of fluff.

02-14-2012, 02:10 PM
I am glad her tummy is better. Don't get discouraged if she doesn't seem to be as strong when you get home from work (she MAY BE, but she may not be). Some dogs have good days and bad days. Pixel seemed to have good hours and bad hours. He would start out strong and the longer he was awake the worse he got. Then after a good nap he would be strong again. :bigrayz: :bigrayz: :bigrayz:

02-14-2012, 02:14 PM
As I remember Bogart seemed to deteriorate for the first 3 days before coming back. Of course, he was 15 years old so I'm sure that was a factor. He also had good and not so good days after that. It can be a long, slow road, but it can work without the stress (and expense) of surgery. Hang in there. Dog-in-a-Box will hopefully be out soon