Our Beagle World Forums banner
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I just posted an intro, and now I'd like to tell you about what is happening with Angel. She's 8 and we adopted her in Sept because nobody wanted a dog with cushings; that in itself can be a rough road and now we have the disc situation. (Her entire story can be read at caninecushings.net under the threads "Angel update the cushings foster dog" "Angel update trilostane treatment" and "Angel ER visit possible disc surgery") Gee, its my fist discussion post and I hope I didn't break any rules just now! I did read the terms before registering too! (I am a nerd!! :rolleyes: )
I've been sitting in my tiny home office; Angel just had her 7.5 mg of prednisone and after 1 hr she finally lay down and is gently snoring /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif . Duh-now she's up. I am going to copy/paste from the cush site...
This was March 30:
Just when I thought things were under control...I thought Angel may have slipped on the icy snow in the backyard and had a sore muscle. Took her to the vet office, saw my vet's colleague. Got some Metacam for pain (non-steroid anti-inflam). No better after a week. She gets so stressed going to the office so I tried to avoid a return visit. Wed night (2 nts ago), she was crying at 4am, my mind started racing-nerve damage? disc? pit tumor growing? She calmed down after she got up and ate etc. When her pain seemed worse this morning at 4am I drove the hour to RI (great time to go-no waiting!). After she yelped in pain when getting up at 4a, she couldn't even lie down again and was walking with her head hung low...typical disc symtoms that I've experieced first-hand (except I'm not 4-legged with the extra burden of the cush-pups weight causing more pressure/weight on the front.)
The ER vet has a 3-legged beagle and understands alot about them. They injected pain meds and the xrays "did not show any bony tumors or evidence of diskospondilitis. I am suspicious there is a bulging disk in her neck." I got her home and started her on methocarbamol 500mg 1/2 tablet 2-3 times a day, tramadol 50 mg 1 pill 2-3 times a day, and tomorrow she starts on pred! For the pred, she has 5 mg pills-1.5 pills 2x day for 5 days. She is on "floor-rest" - I have gated her in her favorite small room. Carry her outside and down the stairs then back up. When I got home at 430p today, she hadn't peed since last night (Harry was home all day with the dogs). Left a message at regular vet's office to let them know she is going on pred in addition to her 60mg trilostane 1x day. If she is not better in 48 hrs she goes back to RI for an MRI and immediate surgery so they only put her under 1 time.
Silly me, I thought my heart couldn't break any more. Its been 2 years since I've felt this helpless! I had to share - Harry's been great but all of you truly understand. It seems like so may meds for a little 30/32 lb beagle, and she still seems to be in pain! Argh - I can't take it!!!
This was April 1:
Angel continued to do well all day until now, 1030pm. I heard her give that high-pitched beagle cry. It was time for her evening meds of muscle relaxer and pain reliever. I know they take time to kick in but she can't get comfortable. I tried laying her on me on the couch and she just cried in pain. I'm sitting here thinking its my fault that she's had this setback. This afternoon when I carried her to the yard I was also watching Alex and his friend in our half-built treehouse and Angel ran up the stairs to the deck! I think she is paying the price for that now. I am staying positive and saying "three steps forward, one step back."
Today (now):
Ok, I can tell she is in pain when it is close to meds time. She'll stand and her front end will gently shake for an hour, so I stay in the room with her. The ER doc told me today that the neurologist said she can actually see the herniated disc at C2/3 in her neck on an xray! I am told that she will not need an MRI now. Angel has not yelped out in pain once today, and I heard her bark today (its been days since she's barked!) She got away from me at lunchtime and ran up those darn stairs again, so I am harnessing her with her leash when I carry her out. Each day she does something she shouldn't and it truly is my fault. Tomorrow at lunch I am getting a kennel/cage for her. I work 1.5 miles away so she is never alone for more than 3.5 hours.
I am exhausted now /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/tired.gif so I will rest until she is due for her tramadol and methocarbanol at 11pm.
IF YOU'VE READ ALL THIS - THANK YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH! :happyhappy: Joyce and the gang
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Welcome to you and Angel. Our 10 year old beagle Booker had a burst disc in her neck 5 years ago - her symptoms sounded much like you are describing with Angel (will she go down stairs - you mention her going up and Booker would do that, but absolutely not go down them). Booker first started showing signs of a problem on a Saturday afternoon - then it got worse Sunday morning to the point where she just lay crying on the ground and wouldn't even get up, so we took her to the vet where they diagnosed a badly bulging disc, gave her Metacam and sent her home to wait for surgery on Wednesday. She seemed to rally somewhat... then on Monday night/Tuesday morning in the middle of the night she tried to "toss" her blanket to get under it and I think the disc actually burst then... she howled and then started to hyperventilate - clearly in a massive amount of pain. We took her to the vet in the middle of the night and she rested there until surgery.

You mention at one point that Angel may be scheduled for surgery - hopefully that is the case because our experience with the surgery was really positive. In particular, her recovery seemed to be much more straightforward than for some others on the board here whose dogs have had disc problems lower down the back - as once the pain was relieved by the disc being repaired it really did seem like Booker started improving in leaps and bounds right away without any noticeable mobility problems or serious pain issues. I would say that she was back pretty much to normal in about 4 to 5 weeks.

Keeping our fingers and paws crossed that they can get Angel through this as well as Booker came through - hopefully the Cushings won't make it more difficult, either (I don't really know anything about Cushings except the recent discussions here... sorry).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,098 Posts
First of all, Bless you for adopting a dog with special needs, especially a senior!! :angel:

Second, you didn't break any rules with your post, and I'm glad you came on to vent. It sounds like you've been through the ringer for quite a few days.....

I'm adding you and Angel to my prayer list. Please keep updating her progress.....

you're among friends here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Geez - I guess I was tired last night-I really did ramble on! Thank you for your replies and support. The info on Booker's surgery is just what I was hoping to hear - that surgery can be the way to go to get relief for a neck injury. I read all of Bernie's info re: surgery (poor Bernie!) but was wondering who may have had neck surgery and could offer advice and support. Booker sure did have a rough time of it! How long was she kept at the vet's post surgery? Also, do you know which disc ruptured? THANK YOU!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32,140 Posts
we3dogs,
Thats a well detailed report. Angel is having a tough time of it.

Has a decision been made whether to have surgery or go the crate rest treatment. Remember, if crate rest is chosen, it only helps allieviate the symptoms. It does not correct the problem. So STRICT crate rest is preferred.

Stay calm, its not your fault so don't beat yourself up about it. Set backs happen. We deal with them and move on. So will you and Angel.

Keep us informed on how things are going. You have my number if you need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Quote:Originally posted by we3dogs:
Booker sure did have a rough time of it! How long was she kept at the vet's post surgery? Also, do you know which disc ruptured?
Okay, I have to admit I am NOT a good beagle mom because I don't remember exactly which disc it was - I think it was the third one from the top because the surgeon also repaired one on either side of the one that had burst - I remember his words to me were that he didn't want to EVER have to go back in there again and therefore he checked them all out when he was there and fixed anything else he thought needed it... then the surgeon passed away from a sudden heart attack about three days later (it still gives me chills when I think of all of this). In any event, I vaguely remember from the x-ray he showed me that there was one (?) more disc at that top end beyond the ones that had been repaired - so I think that would make the ruptured one the third one.

Booker was at the vet for two weeks after her surgery but only about 7-10 days of that was really necessary. There was a bit of a further delay with her coming home because the rupture/surgery happened just as we were renovating our condo and were actually staying at a hotel... the hotel had a LOOOONGGG walk to get outside and therefore we kept her in a couple of days longer than we would have otherwise, in what turned out to be a futile hope that we would be able to move back before she came home and save her having to do such a long walk. When we ended up with further delays with our renovations and therefore were at the hotel for a couple more weeks we eventually just brought her back there (she REALLY wanted to get out of the vet's office by then!).

As for the post-op, we were amazed at how quickly she recovered. The biggest thing they were worried about at first (when she was still at the vet) was her tripping and falling forward - which would put a lot of strain on her neck. But she was up and walking really well within a day of the surgery, and she didn't really even look like she had had such major surgery because they went in through her chest and therefore the shaving and scar were all underneath (except for a little patch on top of her head where they did a spinal tap or something horrific). We did our best to stop her jumping up on things (and, more importantly, down off things) for a number of weeks afterwards, but she still managed to do it when we were not watching a couple of times - with no apparent ill effects (although we felt horrible).

Five years later and we (knock on wood) have had no further problems with her neck. She does wear a harness to avoid a collar putting pressure on her neck (except right now as she has hot spots in her underarms from the harness so we are being very careful - I think she knows and is taking full advantage of the fact that we can't pull her away from things, etc...) but otherwise I am amazed how she bounced back to normal after the surgery - although I must confess that for Booker, "normal" isn't being the most active beagle in the world, but she wasn't before the surgery either!

Now who is rambling... sorry!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ahhh, sounds like Booker had a ruptured C2/3 too. From what I've learned, for people as well as dogs, the vertabra are numbered so the 2nd disc down would be the C 2/3 because it is in between vertabra 2 and 3. The C2 is the largest one in the neck, so that disc below must cause alot of pain when it goes!
I got a crate at lunchtime. I think it is too small. The crate is 26x18x18 and Angel :angel: can get in and turn but as she stands there (looking oh so very pathetic! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif ) there is really no room to spare front to back. Does anyone have any crate advice? Should I get a larger one? I suppose I could exchange it tonight and try the larger one...I mean no room to spare! She'd have to lie in a semi-curl. I think I just answered my own question...
Her prednisone dose at 430p just kicked in and she is lying at my feet (not in the crate). I can't thank you all enough! Joyce :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just searched with "crate size" and read the 7 posts that popped up. Got good tips for my needs from "speaking of crates" and "kennel v crate". I've never crated a dog before! My goal is to get her used to it prior to recovering from surgery, but am not sure of the size. Thanks all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
991 Posts
Megan is 12 weeks post op from a leg surgery where she had a plate put in. She had to be constrained for the 1st 8 weeks unless I was right with her and she was on a leash. Our Vet recommended an exercise pen which allowed us to put a pet in there, water bowel, and a little room to get up and turn around. It worked out great. We set it up in the living room right next to the sofa. She was still part of the family, but could not interact with her hellbent for leather roommmates! The pen is about 4ft high and folds up when done with. Another thought to think about! :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
oh man, bernie and i are dealing with this right now. hes 1 week post surgery. hes turned out pretty good so far. hes a trooper. 1st, i would like to thank you for your adoption. that means the world to me and all of us here at BW.
the crate rest is very important. restricted movement too. man thats the tough part too. you feel soooooo bad for it. but as murphy's dad told ya, its a MUST. he should know.(go read murphy's story. link via post) bernie will have crate rest for 2 months at least. if hes out of his crate for any reason, his leash is on him. NO BUTS.
he only gets 2ft of play in his leash too.
this is a very serious issue and your actions are critical. please keep us posted on things.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32,140 Posts
Rule of thumb on crates:
It should be big enough for them to enter, turn around, and lay down comfortably in. No bigger. Bigger can cause other bad habits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
:computer: Joyce,

Don't have any experience with what Angel is going through, but just had to let you know that she and you are in our prayers. Sending lots of good thoughts your way from:

Lora&Tippi

"My little dog. A heartbeat at my feet."

Edith Wharton
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi - I got a larger crate (plastic type) last night and its so much better. Its 32in long not 26in, and 20in wide. I was concerned that it would bring back bad memories etc but when I left her alone in her room at about 7pm with the crate (door open) she went in a took a 3 hr nap! So hopefully when I have to put her in for 4 hs at a time to go to work post-surgery (no date yet). On her first dental visit in Jan she had metal embedded into a back molar and had to have a large filling and bond, plus 2 front exractions. Doggie dentist said she definately exhibits cage stress and probably gnawed at the wire in her past. So, hence my crate/kennel concerns!
She actually seems to finally be doing better - one solid week on the meds. But I know from my own disc issues that surgery is going to be the way to go.
My decision now is to bring her in for a neuro consult on Sat then book surgery for Mon (if appt dates are still avail for both /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif )
OR I could bring her in thru the ER as emergency ("she's in so much pain - help!") on Sunday night and hope for surgery Mon without any consult. Any ideas??
Everyone, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I am humbled by your kindness.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,098 Posts
Thank you for the update on Angel! I'm so glad she seems happy with her new crate....that will certainly make your life easier post-surg.

So, did I understand correctly, the metal embedded in her back tooth was probably from chewing on a crate? And your doggy dentist was able to fix the tooth with bonding?

My Calvin now has a doggy dentist (3 hours away :freak: ); NEVER in my life did I think I would have a specialist for my dog's teeth (my dad thinks I'm nuts)......but without healthy chewing teeth, dogs and people begin a domino effect of health problems. Calvin is young, so he deserves the chance (my occupation is in dental hygiene, so maybe I'm more aware of how important healthy mouths are)

Angel is definitely in a great home! Please keep us updated on her surgery......
Prayers to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I'm totally shocked in a good way. Angel is doing SSSOOOO much better! I am actually starting to believe that another 3 wks of this limited activity may actually work. And I was so sure I'd be bringing her in tomorrow night for surgery. Today I only gave her the morning prednisone (she is on 7.5 mg 1x day thurs-mon then every other day to wean her off) and of course her trilostane for the Cushings (thats a forever drug for her). She does not stand and shake and look pathetic for hours at a time. Maybe the heavy doses of meds were making her feel worse, I just don't know.
Her crate is in her gated-off room and that is now her favorite spot - I don't close the crate door yet. I'm just amazed that she now prefers it!

Her last muscle relaxer was at midnight (its now 7pm here) and her last pain pill was at midnight but this morning I found the pain med on the floor! Because she seemed fine this morning I didn't give her either today and its HER BEST DAY YET!!

The only time she is shaky and has muscle spasms in her neck is after she eats. I think the neck muscles get strained when she inhales her food. So after she eats, I carry her outside to do her duty then I give her a 20 min or so head and neck massage. Her spasms decrease dramatically and she takes a nap. (I am certified in canine massage so I am careful not to harm her w/massage).

I just had to update you all and let you know that today it is tears of joy!!! I read the post below about Booker everyday and follow Bernie's story for inspiration. :angel:
Re: Angel's teeth, I can't remember what he said the metal was but he is certain she gnawed at crates for quite a long time. I think because the top and bottom teeth on her right side were worn down and cracked - those were the 2 extracted and the upper one has a huge root. They take pictures so he showed me the before/after of her mouth while she was in la-la land. The tooth with the metal had a large cavity as well so he cleaned it, filled it and I think put a bond on it because the filling was so large. No Easter candy for her (ok, no candy ever!)
Again, I go on and on... :freak:
Happy Easter if you celebrate it!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32,140 Posts
:bounce2: :woohoo: Three big cheers for April!! We will keep sending positive vibes in your direction! One thought re spasms when she eats: do you have raised food and water bowls for her? If not, that would eliminate her having to stretch the discs in her neck to eat and drink. I do massage with Maggie so am fascinated that you are certified -- I have read some books and try to apply what I've read. Maggie loves both gentle and firm massage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for mentioning that - I now elevate her food and water. Will be doing the same for Pebbles soon (she's the 40# beagle or hound-type mix)to hopefully prevent neck strain. Thanks again - Take care!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
991 Posts
I have used the raised feeding platform type of food bowls for years. Since most of out beagles have mealtimes that are measured in seconds not minutes, I was always afraid that some mouthful of food would go down the wrong pipe! :lol2:
We did have one beag that had a sensitive neck and I am sure that it made life easier for her. I think the major plus for the raised bowls is for the larger dogs and their tendency to develop bloat. Anyway, that is my 2 cents on raised bowls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
Sending prayers your way!
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top