A few months back I though Tessie had the beginnings of arthritis. She was slowing down quite a bit. She soon became wobbly in the back end and her back legs collapse under her at times when she walks. She also has been pooping on my bed, in the chair and at random times. I don't think she can bow over to poop, and Dr. Karen said that the extra strain on the stomach muscles, to steady herself, forces poop out. I took her to 3 treatments of accupuncture, which helped some, but Dr. Karen thought she had something wrong with her back.
My vet took an x-ray and said Tessie has a ruptured or herniated disc between L10 and L13, by her ribs. He gave her a cortisone shot and she is now on medication durramax. We tried previcox, with little help, and she is now on Durramax, which helps more than previcox. He said that there are a couple of more meds to try before he refers me to a specilists. We have not tried steroidal medications yet. He said we will try those as a last resort because of the side effects.
Tessie will be 11 in the fall. I trust my vet, but I am worried that waiting is going to make it worse. I don't like the thought of surgery, but watching her get weaker is breaking my heart.
If anyone has any experience with this please let me know. I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for Tessie, as far as treatment. We have gotten her weight down to 16.2 at the last visit. This is down 3 pounds from a year ago. I know the extra weight was not good for her. Anything else I can do for her I will do.
Last edited by TessiesMom; 06-12-2008 at 10:38 PM.
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Onion had the same thing.
Have you been advised to rest her completely? Before we had surgery for Onion, we had to try the previcox and COMPLETE rest. A couple of mins in the garden for being clean and nothing else. There was hope that the disc would repair with this amount of rest.
The surgery make a huge difference. Onion was much more comfortable straight away after her surgery. It was 100% the right choice her her.
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There is a risk of overhealing with this surgery. It is only a very small percentage of cases which this affects. Onion was one of them, which is why we had complications again later. But the surgery itself make a very positive difference to her comfort and mobility.
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We, unfortunately, have too much experience in this department. My Pugsy is about 13 now and has the same sort of problems. She started showing symptoms a couple of years ago. Xrays were done but nothing abnormal showed up and at her age, we are not going to put her through an MRI and/or surgery. She has been on dexamethasone (steroids) every third day for a few months now & it has helped some. I tend to carry her alot & just bought a baby sling for her so that I can carry her & keep my hands free. I try to keep her weight down and give her glucosamine/chondroitin supplements & added vitamin c as far as supplements go. We tried acupuncture but she would get herself so stressed out over the visits and it didn't seem to help much, so we stopped going.
We also have our foster pug Yoda who is only about 7-8 and going through this too. Unfortunately, xrays for her did not show anything either and the rescue does not have $2000-$2500 for just the MRI, let alone whatever surgery would cost. One of our board members pugs has similar problems too. We have seen it multiple times over the last year or two (at least three other pugs that I can think of). It is sadly becoming more & more common. I contacted the health commitee chairperson of the PDCA but no studies or anything are planned at this point.
Sorry, I wish that I had more advice for you & Tessie! Really, the longer that you wait, the less likely it is that surgery will help if you do decide to go that route. That is one of the other things holding us back with Yoda. She had already been like this for almost a year before we got her & any nerve damage that has been done probably can't be undone now. I can email you some links about back/disc problems if you'd like. Trust me, I have done tons of research on it.
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I can put my hand up for the this too.
LouLou had surgery when she was about 11 for this. She had about FIVE of them so we knew the results weren't going to be spectacular. We were hoping for a slow-down in the progression on her losing her ability to walk and that's what happened. For the last 20 months of her life she couldn't walk and was an intensive care pug, which I was happy to manage. Surgery and recovery went well.
Puck also had the same thing, but with one disc. The whole surgery and recovery was HUGELY complicated by a very bad cystitis that took weeks to identify and treat. The vets think that this was just coincidence and had nothing to do with the other issue. Results for Puck were EXCELLENT with great improvement. Puck was 10 when she went through it. Unfortunately as you know I lost Puck a few months later to a suspected brain tumour, which was probably growing as we were working intensely to treat her for something else.....
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One of my rescued pugs was diagnosed, one week after her adoption, as having a herniated disc. She was 8 yrs old at the time. I always regretted the fact that I did not rush into surgery with her. My team of vets always told me that I made the correct decision for her. There is no guarantee.
I did try 6 weeks of complete crate rest. I will suggest the wheel chair, even though Katie Jo never adjusted to that, many pugs function very well. I can also suggest wonderful canine clothing to help with unexpected accidents.
We did try massage, we did not try accupuncture, I wish I would have known about water therapy. I also tried a number of holistic supplements on her.
I'm so sorry you're going through this!
We had one that got hit by a fed ex truck. The reg. vet wanted to do surgery. The head of our rescue, at the time, took this girl to the chiro/acupuncturist. She never did need surgery. Was adopted out.....and her new mom took her for a few more treatments...and then......no more were needed. She brings her back once or twice a year for a tune up!