Slipped disc in a 7 year old dog. Is there hope without surgery?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Off Topic Forum Slipped disc in a 7 year old dog. Is there hope without surgery?

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  • #91506 Report Abuse
    Ryan K


    My 7 year old dachshund/terrier mix apparently just slipped a disc in his 10/11th lumbar region. This happened one week ago today. He jumped on my bed, yelped and was unable to use his back legs. X-rays are showing that it is most likely the 10th and 11th vertebrae since those look the “tightest” to the vet. However, they want to send my dog to a specialist and while I want to do this so badly…I am financially unable to at this time. The MRI alone would cost between 2-3k. Surgery is around 5K. I am not in an even remotely stable place for this kind of situation right now. I just spent 5k on a surgery for myself out of pocket and have no extra funds or even credit that I can use. My vet has said that at home rest and limited mobility could help. Has anyone experienced this and had success with simply keeping their dog rested and not jumping for a couple months? He is on Prevacox, Tramadol and Gabapentin and he just had a laser treatment with some accupuncture. I am not sure if that works well or if it’s just a gimmick? Any thoughts? Please help!

    #91508 Report Abuse

    It depends on how long ago the injury occurred and are you seeing any improvement?
    My small dog tweaked her back a few months ago, she was in a lot of pain (for about 3 days). The vet said she needed rest and pain meds for a few days. He didn’t do an x-ray, just a physical exam.
    I saw improvement after a 3 days, maybe we got lucky. I no longer allow her to jump into or out of the car, I have steps for any furniture she uses (the big heavy carpeted one is best for the bed).
    Every now and then she looks a little stiff but so far she has not needed any further treatment.
    I would be honest with your vet regarding your financial concerns and see what he advises.
    You may find some interesting information about acupuncture over here: Science-based Veterinary Medicine
    Best of luck

    #91628 Report Abuse

    Anon: the injury happened a week prior to the person posting.

    #91639 Report Abuse
    #91747 Report Abuse

    Hi Ryan, I watched a really good TV series last week called “Bionic Vet UK” it was about a poor large breed dog over age 7 yrs old, over a 2 week period she started limping in her back legs until she couldn’t walk anymore, she hurt her spine/disc, so her owner took her to see a special bionic vet called Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, he’s Irish & works in Surry the UK Small Animals Orthopaedics ..
    Google Dr Noel Fitzpatrick, see if you can email him & ask him what you have posted here, not a real long email, short & to the point, he may email you back, he has a big heart for animals, he may give you some advice….
    The dog on the Bionic vet show probably would have been put to sleep but now she walks, runs & plays like a puppy, Dr Noel has helped so many dogs that vets say, oh he’ll need to be put to sleep… there’s has to be an American Orthopaedic Animal Dr in America that will help your poor dog or can give some advice what to do that doesn’t need money..

    #91757 Report Abuse

    I hope you will find a way to continue to work with your vet and a specialist (veterinarians that have examined and diagnosed your dog) so that your dog can get the care, including surgery he needs. Especially if the dog is experiencing pain and discomfort.
    Good care does cost money, no way around it, but look over that link I sent you and talk to your veterinarian and local animal organizations….
    Give us an update when you can.

    #91897 Report Abuse
    Joyce B

    Hello – my dog ruptured a disc and loss use of his back legs for 3 weeks. Not sure what the difference is between rupturing a disc and slipping a disc but I hope this helps anyway. He was not a good candidate for surgery and cannot have steroids due to diabetes so we never went to the specialist. From what I understand the surgery is not guaranteed to be a success and the recovery time is long and painful anyway. Our vet put him on some meds and it was a wait and see. During that time I hand-fed him and carried him outside and held him up to do his business. He gradually improved and can walk and run now, just a bit stiffly. Best of luck!

    #91936 Report Abuse
    Ryan K

    Thank you for the tips and responses! I appreciate them! I am currently keeping my little guy pretty confined and rested. His legs are working again but he does slip on the floor when I put him down. He still knuckles. I have another Laser treatment appointment for him tomorrow which will be his third. I am definitely hoping rest and immobility help him. My vet said it could take a few months to heal on it’s own if it is going to heal. If it hasn’t shown signs of improvement by the end of January I might need to get him to that specialist. I definitely do not want my dog losing the ability to use his back legs. My vet made the point that dogs that are paralyzed can get carts and still have long lives but that is just a really rough perspective for me to even think of. I can’t imagine that and it makes me sick to my stomach even thinking of that. I am going to keep him on his various meds and I just bought some supplements that are supposedly good for spinal health in dogs. We’ll see what happens! I have my fingers crossed. At this point, it’s all about trying to keep him from using his back too much and DEFINITELY not jumping..which he wants to do. I am having a hard time with this since he also suffers from seperation anxiety and we just lost our Old English Sheepdog and she was the only thing that kept him calm when we would leave our house. Now he is a mess when we leave. It’s so sad. I was just considering getting another dog to keep him company but now it’s just a bad time.

    #91938 Report Abuse

    Make sure your vet knows about and approves of any supplements, not only are a lot of them scams, but some can not only cause harm but they can interfere with prescribed medications.
    Some can cause GI upset as they have to go through the liver to be detoxed.
    Save your money for the specialist (if needed). Best of luck.

    #91940 Report Abuse

    Make sure you check with your vet about those supplements, some of them can interfere with prescribed medication, some can cause gastrointestinal distress. All these things have to go through the liver to be detoxified.
    I would save my money for continued vet care and the specialist (if needed)
    A lot of supplements are scams, imo.
    Check SkeptVet’s blog on herbs and supplements.

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