I am writing to hopefully find some information as to what is happening with my 11 year old Boxer, Finny. In August 2016 he became weak in his hind end and over a period of two weeks he became completely paralysed. We took him for testing at the University and they couldn’t give us a diagnosis and sent us home with Meloxicam and a sheet of physio exercises. All they could say was either a brain tumour or an abnormally presenting FCE. We managed to get him on his feet again over a six week period. He had Dexapent injection for 5 days and then we did physio at home and he had acupuncture, laser therapy and Traumeel. He has done pretty well since then with only slight defcit in his right side and he weakens over time, but when he has his acupuncture etc, he picks up again. Moving forward this last week. He has had 3 very strange episodes, all around 2pm. He starts panting and then when he tries to get up he can’t use his back legs.We have taken him to the vet each time and they did do xrays and blood tests but have no clue as to the cause. This issue has resolved each time without treatment within 2-4 hours and he can walk again. He is on Meloxicam,Tramadol and Valium. If anyone has any clues to help or has experienced this with their dog we would really appreciate the advice.
My dauchshund was examined yesterday he had rear leg paralysis but now he won’t eat and I can’t get him to take pills I’m all worried that because he isn’t eating the pills will make him sick please help
My beloved 12 year old Staffordshire bull terrier, Chloe, has a slipped disc and has partial paralysis in her back legs. She has several other areas of old damage and am told she has IVDD. We have had her on crate rest for the past 12 days but it is breaking my heart as I do not think she is improving much at all. She is on steriods and painkillers and we have carried her to and from toilet breaks but she is still “knuckling” her back legs and not correcting it and is very unsteady and lost her confidence. She is still going to toilet regularly and wagging her tails when she has cuddles but I am so scared and sad and unsure if she will get better and when we will know. Any advice or shared experiences would be so appreciated. I am a doggy mummy going crazy with worry for my baby girl.
Dear Dr. Magnifico,
I’m writing to you about my 19-year-old cat, Molly who was recently diagnosed with FCE or IVDD. I have a few questions which I hope you can answer for me.
Two weeks ago tonight, I left home for a few hours. Molly was fine when I left. When I got home, I found Molly under the bed with her back legs paralyzed. Although Molly was paralyzed, she did not appear to be in pain. Molly has always had a strong appetite. I fed her canned cat food through the night by slipping it under the bed. She ate normally.
I took Molly to her vet on Thursday morning. The vet did an xray and said that she thought Molly had either FCE or IVDD. Molly had no movement in her back legs, but she did have deep pain sensation in both back paws. The vet told me that if Molly had FCE, then she had a 25% chance of recovering significant leg movement within 2-3 days. If after 2-3 days she still hadn’t recovered any use of her legs, the chances that she would ever recover decreased to 10%. The vet said that if Molly had IVDD (which is the diagnosis she was leaning toward) then she had no chance of recovery of function in her legs. The vet recommended waiting until the following Monday to give Molly a chance to recover some leg function. If she didn’t show signs of recovery by Monday, she recommended euthanizing her. The vet gave me a prescription for prednisolone and gabapentin and I brought Molly in to the office 3 days in a row (Thurs. Fri. and Sat.) for a laser treatment.
Between Thursday and Monday, I did some reading and watched some YouTube videos about FCE and IVDD. What I learned appeared to be at odds with what the vet told me. There is a YouTube video showing physical therapy exercises one man did with his dog who has FCE. This man’s dog was paralyzed for 2 months. In the third month, the dog began to walk again. I watched every video you made about Hank and his recovery from IVDD. Hank appeared to be in worse shape than Molly was in the beginning. Molly lost back leg function, but her front legs were fine.
On Monday, I told Molly’s vet that based on what I’d learned about FCE and IVDD, I was planning to give Molly more time to recover. The vet said that she was very skeptical about Molly’s chances of recovery but it was my choice. She recommended that I continue to bring Molly in for laser treatments. Other than that, she gave me no advice or guidance on how to help Molly.
Molly has other health issues. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at age 14. It’s been under control with methimazole since her diagnosis. She was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 17. Her kidney values have remained stable since her diagnosis. Also at age 17, she was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Her blood pressure has remained normal since she began taking a small dose of amlodipine daily. So, Molly has some health problems, but everything was under control with medication.
Since the time that Molly was diagnosed with kidney disease 2 years ago, she has used the litter box frequently – about every 2 hours. She eats a lot of canned food and drinks a lot of water. The vet has said that she’s not dehydrated. I give Molly a potassium supplement and B12.
Molly seems to feel good. Her appetite has remained normal. She is alert and affectionate – she has continued to be this way since developing paralysis two weeks ago.
Right after Molly’s paralysis, I thought I saw some small movement in her back legs. Two weeks later, I see some unmistakable movement now in both hind legs. But the movement I’m seeing is far from normal movement. On Christmas Day, I made a video which I uploaded to YouTube of some of the movement I’m seeing in Molly’s legs. I’d like to know if this movement is a step toward Molly recovering her leg function or not.
Molly Saying Hello – 19 seconds – Dec. 24, 2018
Molly Leg Movement – 3:30 seconds – Christmas Day – In addition to the movement seen in the video, I’ve seen Molly stretch her leg backward and curl the toes of both feet on multiple occasions.
In the very beginning, when the vet said Molly’s condition might be FCE, I found a YouTube video on physical therapy for FCE (https://youtu.be/T_l_OWRT0ck). It was basically moving the affected leg in a bicycle motion 25 times 4 times a day. I did that with Molly for a few days. I did it very slowly and gently. It didn’t cause Molly any pain (she often fell asleep as I did it). After I started thinking it was more likely that Molly has IVDD, I became concerned the PT exercises were the wrong thing to do and almost discontinued doing them. Now, I wonder if that was a mistake because Molly’s legs have become much stiffer than they were in the beginning. I can no longer do these exercises with Molly because of the stiffness in her legs.
I just need some guidance about how well or badly Molly is doing and what to do to help her recover going forward. I plan to continue working with Molly’s current vet but would like input from someone knowledgeable about IVDD.
Thank you so much for sharing your opinion and thank you for the wonderful, helpful videos on IVDD. I wish I lived near your clinic because Molly would be your patient tomorrow if I lived near you.
Cervical IVDD-long term recovery without surgery.
Our 6yr old doxie is dealing with IVDD but hers is cervical. We have been dealing with her treatment conservatively and medicated with meloxicam, tramadol and gabapentin. She is now having issues with her left front paw and the “drunk” walk. We saw neurologist this week and right now we cannot afford the $5500 surgery. The neurologist is changing her meds from meloxicam to prednisone but have to have her off meloxicam for 2 weeks before we can start the prednisone. I understand the meloxicam needs to clear out but it is really 2 weeks? I have read so much on IVDD and am aware of the benefits of surgery but at this time the funds are just not available but May have the funds in a month or so. With cervical IVDD I wondered what long term looks like without surgery. Dogs that have it in lower spine lose mobility in their back legs but what happens with cervical? She’s having issues with her left front paw and it looks like her back leg a bit as well. I’m trying to stay positive and most cases I’ve read about with paralysis are when the issue is in lower spine not cervical. I’d like to get her on prednisone as soon as possible which is why I ask about the 2 weeks the neurologist said to wait. And trying to understand what her future may look like without surgery.
My 11 year old lab was diagnosed with IVDD. He is experiencing paralyses in his right leg, which he has had arthritis in for a few years now. My parents are seriously considering putting him down, and I have been scouring the internet trying to find hope. Is there any advice as to what steps I can take, what products I can buy, or what exercises/massages I can do with him to try and prolong his life with a good quality of life. Any help is extremely appreciated.
My dachshund is 4 years old and about 8 months ago was diagnosed with disc disease. Yesterday she got paralysis and stopped using her hind legs completely. The vet gave her anti-inflammatories, pain meds, and a laser treatment. It cost me $250 for all that and the visit yesterday. They told me to call the neurologist because surgery is my best bet if I want her to walk again. I’m sure the MRI alone is going to cost lot and the surgery of Fortune. But I watched one of your videos and you rehabilitating a beagle who had paralysis. What can I do? Is there hope for my Zoey?
My lab is 12yrs old. He has laryngeal paralysis . Is it worth putting him thru Surgery.
IVDD; my 7lbs 4 1/2 yr Maltese was recently diagnosed with IVDD. After 9days of conservative tx, we are already seeing improvement and she is able to stand and walk again. She had 3 lame legs-paresis/weakness and deep pain sensation but could not walk and was in excruciating pain-still in moderate pain. Just wondering how many acute episodes of disc ruptured has your dog had after the 1st episode after your dog was 1st diagnosed? I read a sad statistics in a vet medicine journal that even after 1st surgery and recovery; 50% of dogs diagnosed with IVDD are euthanized secondary to subsequent acute painful episodes and paralysis. That’s a high rate! Just trying to prepare ourselves as to what to expect in the future. Any studies done on IVDD and how many episodes they have in their average life span. They do have over 20+ vertebrae that could each degenerate and pinch the spinal cord again right?
PLEASE HELP! My dog lost the ability to use his back legs on Sunday. I took him to a vet immediately to get help and he thought that it was a compressed disc and put him on steroids and pain med hoping that it would get better. On Wednesday it had not gotten any better and the vet suggested surgery. I took him to a hospital for surgery but when they did an MRI, the did not see a compressed disc. They did say that there were some spots on the spinal cord that were bright on the MRI and they should be dark. They have tested him for many different things and given him a sonogram but everything has come back negative so far. He lost his bladder function so they think he may have a UTI but nothing else so far. Right now they are testing him for Cryptococcosis and other fungal issues. Kingston (miniature poodle mix) has still not moved his back legs and tail. I had to leave him at the ER today to go back home (3 hours away) but will be going back soon. Any ideas about this? Please help, I’m desperate! I want my baby to walk again. He is only 4 and still has so much life to live.