Good evening guys,
We have a 3 year old Lhasa Apso. On Thursday 08/23 he went to his groomer. He came back and we noticed he wasnt 'all there'. Usually he runs around the house, chases his toys or play fights with our other pup but he just sat in one place. We noticed he wouldnt go potty either. We thought it was a stomach issue.
By Saturday 05/25 he was still able to walk but would not go. We took him to a vet because at this point, panic had set in. The doctor gave him a shot and some stool softener. When he got home, he went from walking fine to walking wobbly to dragging feet within hours. We rushed him to an ER and they immediately diagnosed him with back issues but since they didnt have a neurologist (it was evening time), they said he would have to be seen in the morning however they put him on pain meds.
On Monday morning [Aug 28] the neurologist checked him and said he still felt deep pain sensations in his legs. They did a CT scan on him and found a fragmented disc, damage along T12-T13. They took him to surgery and he was out by Monday afternoon. The doctor told us that he still feels pain in his legs after the surgery. They kept him at the hospital till Friday 08/31 and when they released him they said he had peed on his own in the crate and they saw motor functions in his tail and right leg.
The first day he came home, we thought we had to express him and god knows we tried but it didnt work. He ended up peeing in his crate twice and on my wife once, in large quantities. 4 hrs later we took him outside to the yard and he did it in the yard on the grass and since then, every time we take him to the yard he pees on the grass and its a decent quantity. No accidents in the crate. He hasnt had a bowel movement since he got back home.
Now in the three days that he has been home, other then the bladder, today in the afternoon we noticed a little moment in his left leg. He gets annoyed when anyone touches the his under pads on his paws and I was tickling his left hing leg paw and he clinched and tried to pull it away. It was a fraction of a second movement. Then multiple times we felt he moved his tail until we caught it on video. Very slight. Very minute. I dont know if its reflex or brain signaled.
I was searching for methods to stimulate recovery post IVDD surgery and found this forum. I would love to get some input and direction as well as anyone with similar experience. We are hoping this puppy will walk again. We emptied whatever reserves we had to get the surgery and push for therapy.
It sounds like you guys are in GREAT shape. If your dog has bladder control right after surgery, that's wonderful! I totally understand the wish to get on the ball and start doing any therapy that might help, however there is a waiting period after surgery where they advise you to not do active therapy, you just let him heal.
When you read various websites about IVDD, as you may already be doing, it is important to distinguish between conservative treatment and surgical treatment. The guidelines are a little different. Anything you read, ask yourself, is this information for a dog having conservative treatment or for a dog who had surgery.
Another thing to sort out, which seems off the subject but isn't, is to be sure the information you find is really about IVDD. There is another common cause of paralysis (called FCE, fibrocartilaginous embolism, or "spinal stroke") and the recommendation for that is intensive physical therapy begun soon after the injury. The recommendations for paralyzed dogs with FCE could be harmful for dogs with IVDD, so again when you read anything, ask yourself, is this information for a dog with IVDD or a dog with some other cause of paralysis.
Your surgeon or vet should give you advice on what therapy, if any, is appropriate. My understanding is that only passive therapy is allowed during the crate rest period. Your dog may be allowed to do hydrotherapy (for example swimming) in a few weeks, but only with the doctor's permission. There are websites about hydrotherapy, just ask for the links when you are ready.
http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/m ... rcises.htm
There are some physical therapy modalities that are safe for a dog recovering from surgery, such as cold laser or acupuncture, if it is available and if you can afford it. (I am not a vet or a therapist, check everything with a professional.)
http://www.dodgerslist.com/literature/h ... urgery.htm
I do want to say, I don't think you have to worry about your dog walking if his signs are this good already. Congratulations! If it was my dog, I would be very careful and strict about his crate rest period so he does not have a setback, and do passive therapy to keep him flexible but not put any strain on his back while he's healing from his surgery. And also consult with the vet about what kind of therapy he can do and when.
You may want to read more information on Dodgers List, where the above links are taken from.