On Nov 1, my 4-yr old pit mix came in from playing outside in the…

On Nov 1, my 4-yr old pit mix came in from playing outside in the yard. Within 10 minutes, her right rear foot was turning in as she walked. By bedtime, she could only squat to pee with her left hind leg. By the next morning, she had lost use of her hind legs. We took her to the vet that day, and she was diagnosed with IVDD through a physical exam only. We declined x-rays at the time because of cost and also because we would not be able to afford surgery anyway. We were given Prednisolone and Robaxin and advised to begin conservative management immediately, which we did. I could not carry her out to go potty, so we used a carry harness for her rear legs. She would not urinate the first 36 hours, so I began expressing her by laying her down on her side. She fought against this method, but she’s too big for me to hold up and express, so we had a couple of tussles where she bit at me and got away from me, pulling herself with her front legs. On the night of Nov 3, she lost use of her front legs; she spent the following day completely immobile and seemed to be in pain. Her anal sphincter was open. We took her to the vet for laser therapy Nov 6 and also decided to have x-rays, which showed no structural damage. We are almost two weeks into our management, and she moves her front legs some; she lifts her head a few inches now and then. Her hind legs are completely limp, as is her tail. Her anal sphincter has closed most of the way. She hasn’t lost her sassy attitude, though, and communicates when she wants something. Eating and drinking fine except she cannot chew dry kibble; defecating is good, still expressing her bladder, though her abdomen seems full all the time. She also cannot yawn. How long will it be before I know whether she will regain any use of her limbs? I turn her every 4-5 hours, have been doing massage and “bicycling” of her legs. Today I began putting her in an upright position for about 10-20 minutes. Is that something I should be doing? She doesn’t lift her head when she is upright. Thank you for considering my long post!

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Krista Magnifico
2 years ago

Hello, I’m sorry to hear about your pup. I have to say that based on the description this doesn’t sound like a typical IVDD case. I would recommend seeing a neurologist. I know they are costly but the $200 exam can probably help you better understand what is going on, get her a better directed treatment plan (or review) and hep to answer some of your questions. It is not possible for me to provide you the answers to your questions without an exam. I’m sorry. It would be equivalent to a guess and I won’t do that to you… Read more »