IVDD- Advice and Guidance? I have a 4 year old beagle and he had trouble getting…

IVDD- Advice and Guidance?

I have a 4 year old beagle and he had trouble getting up and down last Thursday so I took him to the vet. They did a routine check of his spine and legs and said nothing is broken and he wasn’t sensitive in any areas including his back. So they said it’s orobably arthritis and gave me pain meds to give him to take home. I opted not to do xrays since they said he wasn’t acting like anything was broken or hurt specifically. Which I now know was a mistake. He was perfectly fine the next week and then he got sore again last night. I woke up this morning and he couldn’t walk. I took him to the vet and they did xrays and blood work and found that he has IVDD. Now he is unable to walk or move his back legs. The vet said he doesn’t have any deep pain either, which from what I’ve read is a bad sign. He is clearly not happy and I know dogs don’t understand the meaning of “recovery”, they just know if they’re in pain or not or if they’re happy or not. He is clearly not happy or comfortable and it has absolutely broken my heart to see him like this even just for a day.

As much as I wish I could change it, I’m wondering if maybe it’s better overall for him if I have him put to sleep peacefully and humanely. The vet mentioned putting a harness on him and lifting him up when he goes to the bathroom or getting one of those wheelchairs that will act as his back legs for him. But both of those “solutions” bring me back to questioning the quality of life he will really have. I can’t stay home with him since I work during the day and he has a brother who is very active that he always runs and plays with so I hate to see him unable to walk at all.

This is my first encounter with anything like this. So I’m looking for advice and guidance. I know people have differing opinions on this topic, but personally I am a firm believer in not making an animal suffer just so the owner doesn’t have to say goodbye. I would much rather know that he had a very happy, full 4 years of life than have him live 10 more years unable to move, run or play. So for those who know more about this condition, what does the prognosis look like normally? From a financial perspective, I can deal with a couple thousand dollars on treatment and medications. But $5,000+ would really put me in a difficult spot since I’ve had a couple of moderate health issues myself this year that has set me back $5,000 at least already.

I want to do what is best for my fur baby and I can’t stand to see him suffer or have no quality of life.

Any advice from those who are familiar with this diagnosis? Or any advice on what to expect?

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Krista Magnifico
2 years ago

Hello, My best piece of advice is to see a veterinary neurologist ASAP. I (this is my personal opinion) do not give up on these dogs IF the parent is willing to give them some time and the needed TLC and care they need to try to recover. Some do. Some don’t recover much BUT it is imperative you provide them the love and support they need AND the patient care a paralyzed dog requires. I have lots and lots of info on my YouTube channel and blog. Lack of deep pain is a bad prognosis but I don’t see… Read more »