Jingles is a Beagle and he is so silly and full of life that you’d never guess he is 19 years old!
Every day I shake my head in disbelief at his antics and energy and I wouldn’t change him for the world! I love him for his foolishness and he always makes me laugh.
However, this month he had a few episodes of bad pain.
When it happens he can barely lift his head, his right side gets very weak and he has a really hard time walking.
He doesn’t wag his tail and he doesn’t eat because he’s in so much pain.
His first episode was earlier this month and I took him to my regular vet but she didn’t really know what the problem was, gave the typical suspects for neck pain and sent us on our way with a very low dosage of Tramadol.
That episode lasted 4-5 days and then he seemed ok. Not perfect because if I touched near his head when he wasn’t expecting it he’d yelp but other than that he was back to his ole Beagley self!
That lasted for about 10 days and then he had another bad episode.
During this recent bad episode I took him back to my regular vet and she said to put him back on the Tramadol that he was prescribed during his first episode but other than that she didn’t have anything else to offer. His pain kept up, the Tramadol was not helping & he was not eating & could barely move. My poor ole boy, I was so upset, I really thought we were nearing the end (for those who don’t know, Jingles is 19 yrs old but he’s a very active senior!).
I took him to an emergency vet that weekend and again she had very little to offer.
My heart was breaking thinking that I may have to euthanize my boy because he had absolutely no quality of life, he was in so much pain, and the two vets I saw did not have anything to offer me to help Jingles.
This is a video of Jingles taken during his first bad episode and he was worse off during his second one:
Determined to do something to try to help Jingles, I took him to another vet who specializes in rehabilitation and physical therapy for animals, the same vet I wrote about previously in regards to Tiki’s rehab, Dr Gumley at Cedarview Animal Hospital.
OMG, I wish I had of taken Jingles there from day one!
He did not twist Jingles head all around trying to make him scream as the other vets did (and likely causing more damage), he could tell where Jingles was hurting simply by gently feeling his neck and spine, checking his reflexes, etc. The vet could feel the heat radiating from Jingles’ neck and he could feel the muscles twitching (which you could also visibly see) and he was able to pinpoint the specific vertebrae that were causing Jingles so much pain.
Now, only a week after seeing Dr Gumley, I have my Beagle back!
He’s able to hold his head up properly, he’s rolling in the grass again, he’s trying to steal the cats’ food, he’s able to get up on my bed and the couch, he’s eating well, he’s energetic and wants to go for walks and he’s wagging his tail! Jingles is my silly Beagle once again!
Without an MRI we will not know for sure what’s really going on with Jingles but based on his findings, Dr Gumley is fairly certain it’s a bulging disc in Jingles’ neck which is extremely painful and debilitating.
He increased Jingles’ Tramadol dosage four fold, and also added in another pain reliever that works with the Tramadol to increase it’s effectiveness.
Jingles has chronic renal failure (which is under control) and a grade 5 heart murmur so we’re limited with what we can give him but the pain meds he’s on are kidney and heart safe.
I’ve been icing Jingles neck and we’ve also been doing the cold laser therapy every other day for the past week.
I think that’s really helping to reduce the inflammation but we won’t know for sure what’s actually helping until we start to decrease the pain meds.
Here’s a video of Jingles taken today, June 20th, 2011. Such an improvement!!
Jingles goes back to see Dr Gumley on Wednesday and if he determines that we now have the pain sufficiently under control than we can start some gentle physical therapy exercises for his neck. I know we aren’t out of the woods yet and it could easily recur, but I’m so thankful for Dr Gumley!
He’s given me hope, he’s given me my silly Beagle back and most importantly he’s given Jingles his quality of life back!
Always, ALWAYS, get a 2nd opinion and if you still are not satisfied, get a 3rd opinion and a 4th!
We have to be the voice of the animals we care for and we know them best. Don’t be afarid to speak up for them! I often hear people say “but my vet is so nice” as a reason not to go elsewhere. Your vet may be the nicest person in the world but that doesn’t mean they have the experience to deal with the problem at hand. I really like my regular vet and she’s very nice as well but from now on if any of my animals has any mobility issues I am going directly to Dr Gumley.
Luanne lives in Ontario, Canada, where she shares her home with her cats and dogs. In April of 2009, she lost one of her beloved dogs, Rusty. He went to the vet to have a simple surgery and he never came home.
Luanne started her online business after Rusty's death in order to be able to spend more time at home with her cats and dogs. She named her business after Rusty.
Rusty-Dawg Pet Products is an online business featuring eco friendly and handmade products for dogs and cats!
You can also connect with Luanne on Twitter or Facebook.
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