Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Time Bomb Ought To Go Off At Some Point, I Guess: Jasmine's Neck

Ever since we had the full set of x-rays a few years back, we knew there was a ticking bomb in Jasmine's neck. Malformations were found in her neck, as well as some spondylosis deformants. This remained dormant the entire time. Until today ...

Jasmine. Archive Photo.

Jasmine went from a vibrant, vital puppy, full of life, to a train wreck with a blink of an eye.

She was perfectly fine last night, as well as in the morning. Then I noticed her walking around funny, with her back legs stiff. This I've seen before, though couldn't figure out the reason why those legs would be suddenly in pain. Then she stood there, slowly moving backward, one step at a time and everything about her just felt wrong. When she lied down, it was in a strange way also.

I wasn't sure what I was seeing, if anything, you know how paranoid I am.

However, I did call the vet to make sure he's going to be there later in a day, in case we did need to come in.

When hubby came home, Jasmine did get up to greet him, but looked stiff in the rear end and now favoring her front right leg also.

It all looked very wrong, so I called the vet again to let him know that "there was something wrong with Jasmine all over the place," and that we were on our way.

It was a gamble, risking the long trip, but something needed to be done.

So ... it looks like a disk injury. No idea when and how this could have happened. It just did. Jasmine got a shot of morphine, a shot of steroids and more pain pills and steroids to take home.

We realized her neck was a time bomb, we were just hoping it wasn't going to go off.

Related articles:
A Time Bomb Ought To Go Off At Some Point, I Guess: Jasmine's Neck 
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Two 
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Three 
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Mom, Why Can't I Go For A Walk?
Jasmine's Disc Injury: The Parole Hearing  
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Spanking New Ramp 
Back To Where We Were Last May?
Elbow Problem Or Root Signature? 
Jasmine's Neck Setback  
Jasmine's Neck Setback Update


  1. Heavy sigh of sympathy. Sending hugs your way.

    1. Thank you, Sue, she was miserable the whole night, even with the morphine and pain pills and all that.

      Today, she's feeling a whole lot better. So MAYBE it isn't as bad as it seemed ...? Fingers crossed.

  2. Oh no, what a scare. Keeping you in our thoughts and hoping Jasmine will soon feel better again.

    1. Thank you, Leo, it was a horrible sight! And sounds, as she was crying too...

      Today's picture is much more hopeful, at least she seems to be feeling a whole lot better, seems to be moving her neck effortlessly again, so HOPING it might have been just a pinched nerve or something less horrible than a slipped disc.

  3. Continuing the conversation from Twitter (as there is more room to write more here). I know exactly how you are feeling and I know how worrisome it is. I went through the exact same thing with my 9 year old Lab, Sanchez. His pain was acute and not caused by any strenuous activity. He was up all night crying and he was in too much pain to even lie down. Nerve pain was going down his leg and he just kept lifting it. I cried with him while trying to comfort him.

    While I was hoping it was a pinched nerve, I really thought it might be the end for him. I don't yet have pet insurance (soon to change), and opted for an x-ray read by a radiologist instead of a $2,000 MRI. The diagnosis by the radiologist was a slipped disc very high in his neck.

    At the beginning of this (about 3 months ago), he was on methacarbanol, tramadol, gabapentin, metacam, and a Chinese herb called Resinalle E. I am happy to report that he is now off of all medication, completely. He is currently rolling on his back in absolutely ecstasy. I sense that he is appreciating his good health as much as I am.

    As you know from my blog, acupuncture treatment was the saving grace. He also had some chiropractic adjustments, but when he was really bad, he was too tight and in too much pain for even that.

    I still have to be very careful and protective of his neck, but if you saw him now, you would have no idea that he went through such severe pain so recently. I say all this to give you hope. I know that you are getting fabulous care for Jasmine and she is very fortunate for that. Looking forward to updates, and I imagine her healed, healthy, and thriving again!

    1. Hi Lisa, thank you so much for you interest in Jasmine's story!

      Yes, we can't figure out what could possibly had happened to cause this for Jasmine. She was fine in the morning, just resting in the house and suddenly in so much pain :-(

      I am so encouraged by your story, hearing that Sanchez is his happy self again.

      I am so glad acupuncture worked so well for him, and hope it will do the same for Jasmine. She had a session yesterday and next one is scheduled for New Year's Eve. Hoping to get in to see chiro (particularly for cold laser treatment) but not sure whether that's going to work out, and also worried about the risks with transportation. We have a team of awesome vets, but unfortunately all are quite a drive away. The acupuncture vet does house calls, so that makes it the safest option too.

      One thing I'm really worried about in any case is when we get some snow. Jasmine loves it but unfortunately, she loves to dive into it head first. The question is whether trying to prevent her from doing that poses more risk than her actually doing that. So I hope for no snow at least during the recovery period.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. I love how you envision her all well. I gotta do that too.

    2. PS: how often did he get the acupuncture treatments, and do you know the points chosen?

  4. Jana- How great that you have an acupuncturist come to the house. That's fabulous.

    Sanchez's treatment was about every 10 days at first, probably for three treatments. Then every two weeks, and last one was after a month. I don't know the points, just know there were a lot of needles. And, we listened to Through a Dog's Ear music together during his treatment. If he went in to the appointment in a lot of pain, the acupuncture wasn't always easy for him during it, but always helpful afterwards. He'd previously had acupuncture and adjustments for injuries and discomfort and usually went in like a senior dog and came out like a puppy. These treatments weren't like that, but I still knew they were helping.

    One thing I'd suggest if it snows.... Sanchez has a Comfort Flex harness. It's fabulous because it has a little bit of stretch. Both of my dogs now wear one. I'd recommend having Jasmine on a harness when it's snowing, to prevent her from diving into the snow. Sanchez is 70 pounds, so I'm guessing they are around the same size.

    Prevention of re-injury once they are starting to feel better is of big importance, and I know the worry that comes with that. Sanchez had one bad flare-up in the middle of all of this and I was so worried that we were back to square one and going down hill again. But, he recovered very quickly - two days - so I knew he was so much stronger.

    So glad you are finding comfort in my story. Looking forward to hearing about Jasmine's progress!

    1. So that's about what Jasmine will be getting; last acupuncture on the 19th and next on the 31st. Yes, having the vet come into the house is a huge advantage in a situation like this.

      She was getting some before also, for her hip muscles. She also went for chiropractic and underwater treadmill regularly.

      She does wear a shoulder harness but from the past we found that makes it easier for her to dive into the snow than it would have been with a collar. I will check out the brand you're using.

      Thank you so much for your interest in Jasmine!

    2. PS: We're playing Through a Dog's Ear all day for her too, though we really don't like classical music. I hope she does :-) Stanley Coren just wrote an article on the subject too.