Any Other Options?! PLEASE. My Dog was Recently Paralyzed

JaspyBabyMarch 19, 2013

I just found out that my little Jaspybaby is permanently paralyzed in his hindlegs due to a spinal cord injury. He's a 2.5 yr old Peekapoo --- and he means the absolute world to me. My parents were pet sitting him for a few days -- he jumped off their bed (nothing out of the ordinary), let out a loud yelp, and couldn't get up. That was it. All it took. Paralyzed. I still can't believe it.

A few months ago, Jaspy had a similar episode where he slipped a disc in his spinal cord and fully recovered in about a week or so. He was just doing his usual "yay! mommy's home from work" routine and it happened while he was jumping. He lost feeling in his legs and couldn't walk or really move but he DID have pain sensation when the vet pinched his back legs. I was hoping and praying that it was the same thing this time.

We took him to the vet my mom takes her dogs to and they pretty much said that he has a zero percent chance of recovery, it's too late for the surgery and that I should just euthanize him. I was SPEECHLESS when the vet told me this. Not only was she so obnoxiously blunt and inconsiderate but she's basically telling me to just give up on the thing I love most.

I'm taking Jasper to the animal hospital in our area tomorrow morning but I just don't know what to expect. And to make matters worse, my financial situation really sucks right now - so it's not like I can afford just anything. But just the thought of putting him down breaks my heart in a million pieces. My parents think I'm being selfish by putting him through all this and that it's not fair for him to live the rest of his life without being able to walk. I'm so torn. I don't know what to do.

Is what the Vet said really the only option? I mean - there HAS to be others. ....right?
Does anyone have any insight or advice for me?
AM I being selfish?
Has anyone else gone through something like this or heard of any dogs fully recovering from hindlimb paralysis??

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I'm very sorry to hear of your dog's injury. Your best bet, especially since you're not made out of money (who is?), would be to take him to your nearest university veterinary clinic. That's where you'll find a veterinary neurologist and the diagnostic equipment necessary to properly diagnose and treat your dog. By taking him directly to a university vet clinic, you'll also save the expense of an extra vet visit to your own local clinic.

Even if the first vet's diagnosis and prognosis are correct, there are many, many dogs who live happy, playful lives using a doggie "wheelchair" to support their back legs. They learn to run around using their front legs to pull the wheelchair supporting the back legs. I'm sure you can find hundreds of videos on U-Tube showing dogs using wheelchairs.

There's certainly nothing selfish about wanting to help your dog live his best life. As long as he's not in pain, do whatever your heart and finances tell you to do.

I wish you and your dog the best possible outcome.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:20AM
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To me, the big question would be about incontinence. Is your dog going to have control of bowel and bladder? If yes, then you WILL be able to cope with paralysis by using a wheelchair. If he is going to be incontinent, then it will be a bigger challenge. If no one is home with him during the day, you may have to pay a pet sitter to come during the day and clean him up.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:42AM
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I second laurie's suggestion of the university vet clinic, this type of injury is really beyond a regular vet to treat. Your pup needs to see a vet that has much more experience in these type of injuries. I wouldn't make a snap decision either way just yet, find out if there are any other options from a specialized vet and take it from there, and take some time to weigh up the pros and cons. Many vets I guess work on the basis that many people simply can't afford expensive treatments or surgery, and realistically that's often the case but these specialized vets are doing more and more surgeries these days that weren't considered possible before so it's always worth investigating all options and getting further opinions.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 4:15AM
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i second the idea of a university clinic. there, you will have access to very specialized vets and state of the art diagnostics.

my little corgi boy suffered from degenerative myelopathy. i tried a little wheeled cart for him but he would not have anything to do with it. his paralysis was a slow progress and when he got to the point where he was having trouble getting around, i had no other choice than to send him over the bridge.

simon was my heart dog and always will be so it was a heart breaking decision to have to make. i completely understand what you are going through and i'm so sorry. hopefully, a team of vets can give you more hope.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:43AM
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Thank you all for your replies! I truly appreciate it and it means more to me than you'll ever know that all of you took the time to respond. I'm sorry it took so long to respond but I've just been busy with the lil guy.

I took JaspyBaby for his appointment at the animal hospital for the second opinion. The vet there was much more caring and encouraging and supportive than that first vet. She let me know that he is unfortunately paralyzed in his hindlimbs. But she DID confirm for me that he's not in any type of pain and in no time should be back to his normal self, mentally. She explained to me that it's going to be ALOT of work and time to care for him with conservative management but if I'm willing to do it then there is absolutely no reason why not to.

At this point she put him on a steroid, pain/discomfort medication, and muscle relaxer with strict crate rest for 6-8 weeks to allow the spine to heal before any therapy or carts or what not.

So, I'm going to just take it one day at a time and hope and pray for the best! We can use all the support and encouragement we can get :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:53PM
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Hi jaspybaby, I'm glad you got a second opinion, it's going to be quite a bit of work I'm sure but as long as your pup is happy and has a good quality of life then that's the important thing. Let us know how thing progress, I'm sure it won't be easy but I would do the same for my dogs, we push ourselves to do more than we think we are capable of when it comes to the ones we love.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:30AM
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I'm having the same problem my dog is on pain medication and on crate rest, did your dog recover how old was your dog mine is 1 it's so hard taking care of him but I will continue because I love him but he can't walk and that hurts me but he try's to get up he does have sensation in both arms and legs he just can't walk

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 1:29AM
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Thinking of you and your little boy dog, Bri28, sending thoughts of healing your way.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 10:58PM
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