Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Jasmine's Disc Injury: The Parole Hearing

Monday morning was Jasmine's parole hearing with her primary vet.

Please, may I get out on parole.
Please, may my Monday hearing goes well.

She was looking quite good and we felt she might be able to resume some moderate, controlled walks in her favorite trails. We have also finished her new ramp, so getting in and out of the bus should be now safer.

There were couple things I observed which I was concerned about. 

One of them was the level of sadness and resignation, as you can see it in the video. Jasmine looks OK but this is not NORMAL Jasmine.

We also didn't want to risk messing up her healing process.

At this time she was on half a prednisone every other day and one Tramadol at night. She really seems happier on the prednisone-free days. Her drinking and urination are almost normal on the off days, increased on the days she gets the medication. Her hunger is crazy, though, she constantly acts as if nobody has fed her for a week.

She tells me that daddy didn't give her any breakfast, then she tells hubby that mommy didn't giver her any lunch ... She consistently denies having had any dinner. Her entire life she was very gentle taking food but now we have to watch our fingers. I feel bad for her and hope that this settles down once she's off the meds.

On Sunday evening we decided to take her to the trails for a little walk.

She hasn't been anywhere since the fateful Friday and it's been making her sad. We did take her at least around the block, but that was not what she wanted and craved.

The more rational reasons behind that were a) that we wanted to experiment BEFORE the vet visit, so any negative fall out could be caught, and b) we wanted to make sure she takes to the ramp well enough BEFORE we actually have to make the trip to the vet.

We didn't really anticipate major issues but didn't want to take any chances.

It didn't make sense to find out she doesn't want to use the ramp the morning of the appointment and having to come up with a different solution or take risks.

We made the ramp as wide as possible (around 20 inches) and as long as possible (around 8 feet). Still, the incline is steeper than she's ever used. Also, now she has to get into the bus through the back, which she isn't used to either.

Jasmine isn't completely comfortable with this yet, but uses it well enough.

She was much more keen on using it to get out of the bus, which is technically odd, as one would think it must feel safer going up than going down. The rewards, of going down, however, are greater!

The little walk went well. Jasmine didn't tire and nothing else went wrong either. I was so scared! First real outing since her disc injury, bunch of new things in the mix. I worried as if she was made of crystal and was going to break to pieces with just a wrong look. Fortunately, she did not.

The long morning trip to the vet went well also.

Jasmine was excited out of her mind. As we walked into the reception, very quickly she also discovered a mitten glove somebody lost and they had on the counter. Jasmine has an obsession with gloves. When she sees one, she has to snatch it and bury it. She tried snatching this one too.

It didn't matter that it got put away, she kept trying to get to it, jumping up on the tall reception desk. *sigh I'm convinced she feels she needs to take care of them, since they're abandoned and lonely.

The vet checked her out thoroughly, even though it was rather difficult with her level of excitement.

He did an overall exam, checked for signs of pain, muscle tone, myofascial trigger points, and proprioceptive reflexes (awareness of foot in space) and some other tests for nerve responses.

The good news is that pain appears managed. We can lower her prednisone to 1/4 every other day and stop the Tramadol and give it only on as needed basis.

The not so good news is that the reflexes in her left hind leg are not where they should be.

She gets around well, the function is quite good but not at full function. That was one of the things I noticed about a week ago, that on a sharper left turn her left hind leg appeared out of sync with the rest of the body, as if it got stuck behind the rest of the body. I've seen this happen only twice and not in the past week.

But I was watching him doing the exam and that leg is somewhat slower in response.

This particularly poses risk if Jasmine got too exuberant. If she stumbled or fell, and compensated for the fall with violent neck movement, things could get messed up pretty bad.

Jasmine will have to ease back to her activities gradually, starting at low level. We are hoping that the function might still get to normal with time.


Jasmine also had her acupuncture session later that day.

If she was excited during her morning vet visit, she was totally out of her mind for her acupuncture vet's visit. Even jumped on her couple times as she was greeting her.

The acupuncture vet was very pleased to see Jasmine like that.

However, it posed some challenges, particularly with keeping the needles in her. Jasmine was trying to play and roll around, needles came out and new ones had to be inserted. Jasmine shook and needles went flying and new ones had to be inserted.

Then we did try Dr. Marty Becker's trick of holding the nose to prevent a shake, it really does work (when you manage to grab the nose on time)

Finally Jasmine resigned to the fact that nobody's going to play with her while trying to keep the needles in place, and settled down.

The vet took advantage of the calm time and left the needles in. The whole session lasted almost an hour longer than normally.

Then, as the vet was getting ready to leave, Jasmine decided she really liked her pom-pom hat and wanted to mother and bury that. Even when the vet put the hat on, Jasmine kept negotiating, "Come on, you don't know how to take care of it, I'll take care of it for you. Just let me have it."

I don't blame Jasmine for being all crazy.

She's been feeling so badly, then cooped up for so long ... now she's feeling pretty good and wants to do things. She has all this energy she needs to put somewhere. Jasmine is used to daily walks and activity. Not getting that ought to show somewhere.

The upside is that the acupuncture vet feels very positive about the progress Jasmine made since her session two weeks ago, and feels positive about restoration of full function. She felt than next treatment could be after three weeks, unless something changes.

Now we have to ease Jasmine back into a moderated version of her normal life and do our best to prevent any mishaps. Meanwhile, Jasmine is seeing her chiro on the 8th as well.

Hopefully, soon we'll have some new happy outdoor photos again.

Right now we feel we should give full attention to Jasmine in order to keep her safe. Taking photos could be a distraction that we might not need at the time.


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? 


  1. Awww, Jasmine...
    Hope it will work out. It is a mystery again...
    For what it is worth, have a Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Happy New Year to you guys too. Here is hoping that she will be all well for the entire year, for change.

  2. Hi Jana!
    Happy New Year to you all :)

    "...she was totally out of her mind for her acupuncture vet's visit..."

    I can just approve this kind of excitement: if I visit my own acupuncture patients, they are usually excited to see me again and their owners tell me how much their pets are actually looking forward to their treatment session.
    This is such a different (much nicer) situation than having to see an animal in conventional practice consultation, being scared and knowing it may hurt...
    Thanks for sharing Jasmine's update!


    1. Yeah, the vet was happy to see her like that too, particularly since she looked so badly the visit prior that. The problem was that it was so difficult to keep the needles in; the vet had to keep putting new ones in, so less treatment value.

      But Jasmine was so happy that things were happening again ...

  3. Poor Jasmine, that is the saddest pupy face...I hate using prednisone myself...just don't like what it does to the dog physically or mentally so it's good that you're going lower dose...But you've gotten good news & it sounds like she'll be back on the trails soon bringing joy to both of you

    1. I avoided prednisone for her for 9.5 years. But this was a situation that whatever big guns were available needed to be used.

      It will be a while before I stop worrying sick about her every move (if ever) but she's very happy to be getting out again.