Is it common dogs have pain months after IVDD surgery?
4 months ago our dog Max (5 years old mix race dachshund/maltese) suddenly started shaking and was reluctant to move. I took him to the vet and he suggested to limit activity for a while.
Unfortunately the symptoms got worse and started to drag his left rear leg. We got referred to a neurosurgeon and it was confirmed he lost the ability to move his leg but deep pain was still there. Imaging of his spine was done and it showed IVDD. Max got surgery where they removed a piece of the bone to allow room for the spinal cord but the herniated disc was (for some reason?) left untouched.
After surgery he recovered rapidly and could stand and walk a bit on all four legs after 4 days so we were allowed to bring him home. We have put him in a large crate to rest for 8 weeks with daily walks starting at 2 weeks after surgery 5 minutes each gradually taking longer walks of 15-20 minutes at week 8.
His gait looks quite normal, runs around the house when someone comes home and has an healthy appetite but there are a few things that concern me that have been going on since surgery for 4 months:
– When he stretches his body, stands up, lies down or turns position when lying down he faintly moans (sign of pain?)
– especially after walks he prefers to lie on his stomach stretching his back rather than curling up ( back pain?)
– Sometimes when he pees it has a weak stream
– He rubs his back against the wall
– He doesn’t really like to be touched on the back
– Sometimes when lying down he suddenly turns around to lick his back/legs
– Seems to have less interest in playing in the house
The general vet gave us carprofen and gabapentin to help against pain (if any)
Is this all normal and it can the perceived pain be part of the healing process and is 4 months too soon to judge or should he be seen by the neurosurgeon again for the possibility of compression of the spinal cord/nerves?
In case it is (slight) compression does it hurt to wait and see for improvement with pain meds and exercise or may the compression cause permanent damage to the nerves?
Thank you so much