Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jasmine's Disc Injury: Mom, Why Can't I Go For A Walk?

It was just a week ago when Jasmine did something very very bad to her neck. Feels like an eternity, definitely to her, I'm sure. She really hates her house arrest.

Jasmine on the weekend before the injury

I talked to her vet, wondering whether, given the relatively fast recovery, it could be something less serious than a disc issue.

Considering what he saw, and given the level of involvement of the legs, he feels that this is indeed what we're looking at. I guess I knew that but was hoping that maybe, just maybe it could something else. It would appear, though, that the disc has only bulged, rather than herniated.

Bottom line is, that short of doing an MRI, we'll never know for sure what happened. And since Jasmine is improving, the risk reward just isn't there with the imaging.

It also remains a question what happened to cause this, or whether Jasmine actually DID anything. 

Nothing we're aware off, and somebody is with her pretty much at all times. Not that she wasn't being a wild child lately ... but how long between a stunt and onset of a problem would it take?

Jasmine on the weekend before the injury

It would be good to know how it happened so it could be prevented.

But we are clueless. The only event which I could imagine might have caused some damage happened in October ...? She was wrestling with JD and they smacked into each other at the shoulders. Jasmine cried out and immediately started favoring her front right leg. However, she walked out of it almost immediately, and there were no further signs of a problem.

Somehow, something happened. That's all we know for sure.

Jasmine on the weekend before the injury
The good news is that it seems to be healing.

Jasmine appears to be moving well, last couple days her eyes are brighter again, he posture is strong, and she doesn't seem to be having trouble turning her head in any direction she likes. She also started doing her favorite full body stretches today, which she abandoned for the past week. Still does them somewhat gingerly, but nonetheless.

Last two days of her high dose of steroids she was finally showing the expected increased drinking and urination.

Before that, I was worried about her not drinking enough.

Her appetite has also increased (and she was quite a starving puppy before that already). To help her out I reduced the intake of dry treats and added one meal instead. Because of the rather high water content, she gets to fill her belly without any additional calorie intake.

I also added some beets and some dandelion to her meals to help her body deal with all the drugs.

We made it through the five days of the high dose of prednisone and are now down to half a tablet a day. 

Jasmine is a bit less thirsty now. Just as hungry, though.

On Wednesday she also got an acupuncture treatment. This is one of the times when veterinary house calls can be invaluable. It is so much safer for the vet to come to see Jasmine, than the long ride to the vet's office.

After the treatment Jasmine looked really exhausted.

However, it was the next day when her eyes got brighter. Was it from the treatment or would it have happened anyway? Who knows. We're just happy that she seems to look just about like herself.

Of course, the better she feels, the more likely she is to do something dumb.

She doesn't realize that. All she knows is that she's feeling better and wants to do stuff. "Mom, why can't I go for a walk?" We are, however, painfully aware of the fact that feeling better doesn't always mean BEING better and that her body needs more time to heal properly. Trying to explain that to her, though has been unsuccessful.

***

I also contacted the last animal communicator we worked with, because I was quite impressed with her the first time.

I wanted to see if we could find out what and how happened, how was Jasmine REALLY feeling, and I also hoped that maybe the communicator might be able to explain to Jasmine why she needs to take it easy for a while.

Here is an excerpt from her report on Tuesday:

She starts off by showing me an image of you laying down with her and I feel a male is standing over both of you, there is no doubt that she knows how much you love her.

I am not seeing any discs slipped but I am seeing what looks like the nerves or the spinal cord is being pinched so if the discs were slipped I feel they are adjusting back into place.


To me it feels like the area about the bottom 1/3rd of the cervical area.  

  
She is also showing me the esophagus though so I’m not sure how this is connected.


I feel like her bones in the neck area a weak?


She is showing me trying to walk backwards and with this the sense of her just wanting to move her head and shake but she can’t so I feel this has taken her by surprise.


I feel her depression is more pain related than mental lack of stimulation or confinement. I say this because she shows me an image of her just standing still and not moving and I am hearing the pain was 8 to 9 on scale of 1 to 10.
[Jana] yes, it looked like she was in a truckload of pain

I feel that her lack of movement is distressing for her but not in the fact of being confined to an area, it feels more like not being able to shake and turn bother her. It’s like wearing an invisible cone on her head.

Her stomach feels a bit on the queasy side and just overall she feels like you would if you had a bad flu, achy and overall blah.


I don’t get the sense of it being anything she did to make this happen, to me it feels more like part of genetics. The sense she gives me is that her neck twisted, but she does not show me any specific incidents expect what she is showing me above. Maybe she just had her head the wrong way and twisted as she got up? Is there anything around her bed that she could have gotten her head under while sleeping and awoke quickly?

She just seems so fragile to me; not really mentally but physically. Maybe this is due to the meds. I have asked her to please understand that she needs to be quiet for a few weeks so she can heal but to me she seems stubborn and determined which is also a good thing in that she is ready to fight this.
[Jana] Yeah, that's Jasmine, stubborn and determined

She is showing me barking at you as if asking “why aren’t you playing with me” so I told her it was so she can get better.

She wants to know if she can go for a walk?
[Jana] See the pattern here?

I told her that walks would be for when she is better.

***

At this point, we're just thankful that Jasmine looks comfortable and seems to be healing well.

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

7 comments

  1. I'm sorry to hear Jasmine is going through this. Remember the disc injury that Jingles had over a year ago and he recouperated fully. We don't know what caused it, I don't remember him doing anything in particular to injur himself. It took time, but he's never had a relapse & the vet I was using specializes in physical rehabilitation & these kinds of injuries & he said he does not typically see a recurrance. For Jingles the cold laser therapy and the combo of the max does of Tramadol & Amantadine did the trick & saved his life. In Jingles' case we couldn't use steroids due to his CRF. Hugs to Jasmine & to you. I hope she's feeling better very soon!

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    1. Hi Luanne, I was thinking of you and Jingles.

      I AM SO GLAD to hear that Jingles didn't have a relapse and that your vet says that it typically doesn't happen! As that is one of my biggest worries.

      Would love to get laser therapy for Jasmine too but so far the acupuncture was safer as the vet does house calls. Hubby is building a ramp for the bus this weekend, so that should make travel at least somewhat safer.

      Curious about the Amantadine, know more details about it?

      Do you think your vet that specializes in these kinds of injuries would talk with me? I would be really grateful if he would email or skype with me.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, he said that between him and a colleague of his, they rarely see relapses and they've treated many, many dogs with this problem.

      If I remember correctly, the vet said the Amantadine on it's own doesn't do a whole lot but in combination with the Tramadol they worked synergestically and have great results. I think it works well with other meds too.

      Gabapentin is another great med for that type of pain.

      The vet who treated Jingles is Dr Gumley in Barrhaven at Cedarview Animal Hospital. He specializes in pain management & physical rehabilitation and he's super nice. He treated Tiki & Sandy as well when I lived in Ottawa but I haven't seen him since July because I live in Belleville now. I really miss him & his clinic though! Sandy was doing so well under his care, with the cold laser therapy, underwater treadmill, exercises etc but we don't have that now and I do see a difference in her mobility.

      I can give you his email address if you would like to contact him directly. I have it at work so I'll look it up on Monday.

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    3. Hi Luanne, thank you for the info. At this moment, pain isn't our main concern, proper healing and not having a repeat is.

      Sorry you cannot see the good doc, no other vets in the area? House call vets? Jasmine's acupuncture vet is actually quite far away but she's up here couple times a week.

      Yes, please, would love D. Gumley's email if possible.

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  2. While not a disc injury, my Mastiff girl just tore her CCL and hasn't been able to go for walks (or even play in the yard) for several weeks, so I feel your pain poor Jasmine! It's hard when they don't understand and think your just punishing them. We have another 3-4 months post-operation ahead of us with no physical activity. Hope Jasmine is 100% soon.

    Amanda

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    Replies
    1. Poor girl. We've been there too, twice, and also during holidays. In fact, Jasmine's first knee surgery was on the 23rd December.

      That was two years ago. Last year we got a "break" and this year back at it ... With Jasmine I really feel she's suffered enough and she does not deserve any more problems.

      Good luck with your post-op, and let me know how it goes. There are a number of articles on my blog on knee injuries, surgery types, handling the post-op etc. You did get a detailed post-op plan from you vet, right? If no, there is an example one here you could use to discuss with your vet.

      Yes, I hope Jasmine is 100% (or as close as she can get to it) soon, and more importantly, that this time it STAYS that way.

      Delete
    2. DOH, correction, the knee surgeries were four years ago. I can't even remember which was it after ... but we did have a break last year's christmas.

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