Hope you don't mind my multiple response reply here. My "no quality of life" dog made an unscheduled u-turn a few weeks ago when something in the air caught his attention. He bent my wrist back and my hand has been suffering ever since. I'm going back to my carpul tunnel surgeon Monday. So typing too much hurts!!
To LAURA LABBY - thank you for your quick response and I LOVE your Avatar!!!!!
To RAIAN - he's had more acupuncture treatments than I have hair on my head. It doesn't seem to do
To MATTGUSMOM - PLEASE can you tell me what you do for your dog that lost use of his back legs?
I know it can come to such a thing and I don't know of anyone who had to deal
with a situation like that. That's what I most curious about, Lord forbid, it ever
gets to that point.
To NELLIES MOM - I've had epidural blocks. Supposed to last from 3 mos. to indefinitely. I got 10-14
days out of each. That was my first question to the orthopedic surgeon. He said
he's tried them on a few dogs but didn't have much success.
To SLOIGO - I'd have to quit my job if I had to deal with a person like that on a daily basis. It really makes me sad to think there are people who missed out on a relationship with a pet. I never had one as a kid and that was the one thing I wanted more than anything in the entire world. I wanted Old Yella. When I quite accidentally and unintentionally got acquainted with Buddy it was an instant bond. He was one of 5 when I first saw him and I went straight to him.
Thanks to all of you who replied to my post. I've recently upgraded him from being my "Mercedes" to the "Ferrari" class now. LOL. I really think he'll be ok because I believe God only gives you what you can handle. I think God knows, the 'well is dry' and I'm pretty much eating the green beans and carrots with him too. LOL.
It's almost 4 months since he has his TTA. Then the meniscus was removed in the same leg on 7-13 so that was 2 months ago. He went for 40 hours of physical therapy at a rehabilitation center. It consisted of exercise, massage, acupuncture and under water treadmill. He is still limping, having trouble standing in one place w/o moving, sitting and getting up.
Met with the surgeon and regular vet yesterday. After a thorough exam it was determined that both rear legs are fine. No problems moving them all around, bending them, etc. I thought he was throwing out his hip cause he has a bone sticking up on top of his back that is much more prominent on one side than it is on the other. When I had my last knee surgery, I was favoring my bad leg and caused myself a bad hip problem. Well, it's not his hip. The xrays show severe herniation of the disc closest to his tail. It is almost totally compressed. It was very clear to me cause I have the same problems with my discs and I understand the pain that radiates because of them. He has Cauda Equina Syndrome. I never heard of it but when I looked it up on the internet, it describes a lot of the problems I'm having. He has sciatica!! The gingerly way he sits and limps most when he first stands and gradually straightens up as starts walking is exactly what I do!!
He has to go on a very strict diet. Since I am the bad mom who let him gain a bit too much weight, I'm probably going to be eating in my garage so he won't see me. They think with weight loss and pain meds when he has a particularly bad day, he'll be able to manage. Luckily he and I have our own language and he comes to me and lets me know when he wants a pill.
If and when he can't deal with it, there is a surgery, but just like with humans, it's going right into the spine so it's not only risky, but there are no guarantees. The recovery is horrendous. I thought the legs were bad...... I don't know how I'd manage if he had to get it done based on what they told me. So it seems I did the right thing ending the therapy sessions. I have to limit his walks to very short ones maybe twice a day. I am not to let him jump on or off anything. He doesn't normally do that anyway so that part isn't a problem. I bought him the hot tub steps and if he does want to come up on my bed, he knows he must use them. I lug them in and out when he needs to use them to get in the car. (I just found an even nicer set in Foster & Smith and not much more money. They have carpet on the steps that is removable for cleaning). I'm trying to save up and maybe get them for Christmas so I can just leave one set in the car and not have to drag the one set in and out.
So, while I'm thrilled his legs are doing so well, I'm crying over his back. I know only too well the pain he feels. We are some sight when we do go out walking.
I guess this all stems back to his dog-to-car accident way back when. That probably laid the groundwork. I used to take him to a field every day (I live in South Florida so it truly was every day. No weather restrictions) so he could run after his ball. I never realized how dangerous it was for him to leap up to catch it until the day he twisted himself in an odd way and ultimately fell hard onto the grass and dirt. I feel so guilty even tho I thought he was doing what dogs do.
Someone said something to me yesterday that is really haunting me. When I explained his restrictions now she told me he basically has a no quality life. I couldn't even respond cause I think I was in shock that she said that to me. I moved into a one story house because of his first leg surgery. When I bought my current car, I took my DogRamp around with me and made sure it fit the framework of the car. I have a Dog igloo (painted to match my decor) that is permanently placed in my living room! He has a different dog bed in every room and a futon mattress on the floor next to my bed! He made all the rules here and we all abide by them. We get up when he wants to eat and feed him and when he comes to get us to take him out, we go. He gets more gifts at Christmas than I do and I can name at least 5 grown people that come here to see him more than to see anyone else that lives here!! I'm in debit up to my ears from these last 2 surgeries. The loan book is thicker than my car payment book. Because he can't run and retrieve anymore means he has a no quality life?
I feel better having spit that all out. I do thank anyone who is still reading. I didn't intend to do that. I mainly came in to see if anyone had any experience with this Cauda Equina Syndrome. Thank you.
At least you now know what you're dealing with. As to the person who said he has no quality of life, I beg to differ. Yeah maybe he can't run around and play like other dogs, but you love him, he loves you. He's not suffering and still enjoys things. So he has a disability. Big deal. He still has quality.
Sometimes just getting it out makes you feel better.
♣ Laura ♣
Boy has this boy given you a ride. Poor baby (you and Buddy!!)
Hang in there and take things one day at a time.
My vet's dalmation had some kind of degenerative disc disease, and the dog responded really well to acupuncture. It's an option you might look into.
So sorry you have to deal with all of this.
I'm glad that you know what you are dealing with now, that can make all the difference. I second the idea to try acupuncture I have two dogs that have either had or are having it now. I don't think just because his life will have changed that Buddy has lost his quality of life. When my Blue lost the use of his back legs, 6 months ago, I know a lot of people would have opted for euthanasia but he wasn't ready then and he's not ready now either.........his life changed but he still has lots of spirit left and I'm sure Buddy is the same.Originally Posted by raian
Won't someone please feed me!
People can say the damndest unthinking things. Of course Buddy has a good quality of life--- he has you and you have him. As to the pain and surgery I feel for you both since I have the same thing. I wouldn't even consider that type of surgery for a dog because the pain afterward is supposed to be just horrible (as it is in humans) and there are no guarantees. Do they do lumbar blocks in dogs? It has helped me immensly and I'm considering having it done again. Then there are always the drugs. It is the only way I can stand on my feet for 5 hours at a time at work and I can't quit because I need the health insurance.
Yea I work with a lady like that......she doesnt get it > " What is it about you all & your animals? You act like they are people, can't you just tie them out & be done with them?" She isn't even worth wasting my energy on!
As for you & Buddy, he is like my Daisy he may not have all the abilities of other dogs BUT he has the best care & is loved & as long as he is still enjoying his life, THAT IS ALL THAT matters! Big hugs to you & Buddy!
Karen, Mom to the Lab Monkeys:
Daisy DoBug YL 7 yr old
Kiana YL 5/2006
Piglet 4/2006 Lab @ Heart
**Bella Mia 5 yo (RIP~2/07)**
*Molly Blu 2.5 yr old (RIP~7/06)*
LOLIN.ORG Saving one lab at a time.
I think Laura summed it all up.
Get well soon Buddy
Buddy has an excellent quality of life - he's got you ;D .That lady is clearly nuts. He'd have no life I bet if it were her dog. Thank god he's not, and he's with you guys.
I agree with the above - can you try acupunture or lumbar blocks?
Me, Abzilla and the Helomonster.
*hugs* to you, pam. you and buddy have been through so much, and you both still have more living and loving to do. people can speculate about quality of life, but you know buddy better than anyone else. i have no doubt in my mind that you'd be the best judge of this.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
It sounds like Buddy has the best person possible to advocate for him throughout this recovery period and whatever comes. Blessings to you, your family and Buddy.
So, do you come here often?