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Thread: Calcified Disc Questions...,

  1. #1
    Brenda Guest

    Calcified Disc Questions...,

    Hello,

    Rufus, my beloved 4 year old black and tan mini doxie has been diagnosed with a calcified disc. He had been running odd and kind of tipping over when he ran and most recently he started not going up or down stairs (something we try not to have him do anyway) but he used to be able to do it..., anway the vet did x-rays and found a disc that he said is calcified. He put him on steroids and wants to see him back in 10 days. Basically he said the steroids were to treat inflamation surrounding the disc but the problem will either 1. go away on it's own, 2. rupture up into the spine resulting in paralisis, 3. Rupture down and absorb into his body, or 4. remain there.

    I am confused about all this - how serious is this problem?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Brenda

  2. #2
    lotsadox Guest
    I've been through back problems twice, but I'm not an expert. I'd see if I could get a referral to a surgery clinic in your area. I took Amanda to a surgeon that my vet recommended and I later learned that one of my friend's Corgi was operated on by the same man several years before with great results. There are surgeons that specialize in back surgery. If you have a veterinary school in the area with it's own hospital, that would be another good option. Several members here have used teaching hospitals with great results.

    Amanda was paralyzed when I took her to the clinic so she was in more serious trouble. I don't know what to tell you other than to try to find a specialist. Vets that just do back surgery have so much more knowledge and experience that general vets. This may be something that needs surgery or it may not and they can tell you. There may be other options to prevent problems. Good luck and keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Sassafras2000 Guest
    Sending lots of rayz for Rufus!

    Sassy is 4 also and within the past week we have experienced back problems also. She had also started not wanting to use the stairs or jump either, and that was our first indication that something was wrong. They never did x-rays on Sassy, but they are sure it is a disc problem. She can still walk though and OSU sent her home Friday and she is taking Rimadyl for pain and inflammation and is on cage rest for 6 weeks. Our vet here in town thought she may need surgery but the wonderful vets at OSU said she should do well with cage rest. I doubt this helps you, but don't give up hope!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,571
    First off, this is a serious problem and an issue that (if I remember the stat correctly) 1 in 4 dachsies will face. Please scan the other posts in Back Problems/Paralysis to gain more insight, as well as check Dodger's list.

    Dodgers list

    Did the vet recommend strict crate rest with the steriods? One of the most critical issues is to severely restrict movement to ensure that the steriods can do their job and that further damage doesn't occur.

    Please find a vet who specializes in dachsie back problems and the potential treatments of them. There are other members of the board who can give your further information, but the resources here and on dodgers list are a good first start.

    Best of luck and please keep us updated.

    Regards,
    Juliette-

    Mommy to Moe (our little Dreamer) and Dexter (everybody needs a serial killer)
    Forever Mommy to Otto and Hijinx
    RIP Junior 29/02/96 - 11/09/07

    Moe's Dogster Page

  5. #5
    Brenda Guest
    Thank you Juliette for the Dodgerlist website. It is quite informative. The vet put Rufus on steroids for 10 days and then wants to see him back in the office. He said to keep him quiet but did not recommend crate rest. He also did not mention anything about surgery other than to say that if Rufus went down to call his office or the emergency vet immediately. I guess what I'm trying to find out is that do all calcified disc's require surgery? What are the chances that he will blow the disc? I guess I need to sit down and write down these questions for the vet and give him a call.

    I love this little guy with all my heart and it breaks my heart to think of him in any pain.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Brenda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,571
    The chances are impossible to predict. A do know a lot has to do with how much he has a chance to continue to injur it at this crucial stage of his rehab. We were definately told (and reinforced on here) to severely restrict Jinxie's movement to NOTHING and complete crate rest for 2-3 weeks. As you know, keeping a dachsie "quiet" can be next to impossible - and the strict crate rest ensures that they do nothing other than relax and let the disc heal.

    I also recommend adding glucosimine and Ester C to his diet if not already there as they can greatly aid in joint issues.

    Please try your vet tomorrow and discuss the crate rest for Rufus.



    many of us have gone through this and there have been many success stories both with and without surgery!
    Juliette-

    Mommy to Moe (our little Dreamer) and Dexter (everybody needs a serial killer)
    Forever Mommy to Otto and Hijinx
    RIP Junior 29/02/96 - 11/09/07

    Moe's Dogster Page

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO USA
    Posts
    9,436
    Yes even once a calcified disk has been diagnosed there are many different outcomes it's not really possible to make too many general statements. Since you are aware there is at least one calcified disk you should take precautions to reduce activities that would put you little one at an increased risk of rupture. Jumping stairs all should be minimized if not totally eliminated. Consider building ramps for any stairs in or out of the house. Make sure your vet shows you how to do the toe test. That is a very good way to do a quick home text if you expect you are having a repeat episode after this one clears up. Some dogs respond great to the conservative treatment and never have another problem. Like I said every case is different. Keep us updated on how things are going.
    Tom and Tanner, Gretel and angels (Aggie, Frank and Dexter)

    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion"
    - Unknown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,332
    I am sorry your little one is experiencing this problem

    My Mini was exactly the same, she was hesitant to climb stairs etc, and an Xray confirmed calcified discs
    She was confined, and put on steroids, but still the disc rupture 2 days later, causing paralysis in the rear legs
    She was treated with steroids and 4 weeks total crate rest (which she objected to loudly ) and now, almost 2 years later, she walks totally normally!
    I have restricted the use of stairs, and I have her on 100mg of Ester C, and that seems to help.

    Good luck with you little one, and don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have!

    Pauline,
    Cooper (22 March 1991 to 8 June 2006 ) In my heart forever
    Mini (7 September 1997 to 2 November 2012) In my heart forever
    Rover (17 August 2002)
    "Pet Ownership is a Priveledge, not a Right"

  9. #9
    quavec Guest
    I am unfamiliar w/this, but am sending rayz

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Flint, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    8,728

    We've been thru it twice

    And you've rec'd. very sound advice here.

    We're sending lotsa DBB Healing RAYZ for Rufus.
    Mark and Jean

    Caleigh (7/27/2012) and Dusty (7/25/2012)




    Forever in our hearts
         Beloved Wimpy (1/21/1990 - 11/27/2002)
         Sweet Susie (12/4/1991 - 10/31/2008)
         Bold Brutus (1/9/1995 - 4/23/2010)
         Beautiful Debbie (11/9/98 - 9/21/2012)
         Soulful Star (5/8/99 - 10/30/2012)
         Precious Tiny (4/15/94 -11/27/2012)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,038
    My Mood
    Lurking

    Oh so sorry to hear this news

    We have gone through some back problems with different doxies over the years. Lucky to say that the crate rest and meds are all that we needed to help them through it. But this last time with Ivy we also added chiropratic adjustments. I can't believe how well she did after them. So at the present we are just very grateful that it wasn't any worse.
    Here are a few rayz coming from Wisconsin.
    DoxunzX3~~~!

    Mz KizZzy blk/tan silver dapple LH tweenie
    Rac-Zor red smooth tweenine
    Chico A WannaBdoxie Ewe Chihuahua

    missing my Ivy Ann & Chewie z-it Con-Man and all the special dawgz before them!

  12. #12
    rustydaisymom Guest
    Sorry to hear about Rufus' disk. It is possible for him to recover with just medical treatment but you have to be very diligent. Even if he recovers you will need to limit jumping and stair climbing for the rest of his life.
    Daisy, my 51/2 year old is currently recovering from her second episode, the first one being 3 years ago. The 1st episode resolved with steroids and 6 weeks of crate rest. The second one has responded well to NSIADS, crate rest but did not completely resolve until I added acupuncture. We also have added ester c, glucosamine, and derm caps (fatty acids and vit E). She has not climbed one step since the 1st episode and I try to prevent her from jumping both up and down as best I can.
    Probably the most important thing to do is strict crate rest, at least 4-6 weeks, the disk cannot heal if it continues to be stressed with movement.
    I agree with everyone else it is hard to predict how he will respond to conservative medical treatment every case is different. Dodgerslist is an excellent resource.
    Good luck and keep us posted.

  13. #13
    Brenda Guest
    Thank you all for your advice and wishes for a speedy recovery for Rufus. Last night I had a scare - it was 2:00 a.m. and he had to go potty - I was half asleep and let him out without my glasses or contacts in and without them I am half blind. He peed, then proceeded to look for the perfect spot to poop - while watching him he wandered farther away from me and I could have sworn I was seeing him dragging his legs - luckilly it was just my bad eyes.

    If anyone could tell me more about these other things - glucosimine, ester c and also acupuncture - where do you get the vitamin things? Are they just for dogs? also what about the doggie accupunture? Do people do this just for dogs? I mentioned the glucosimine and ester c to our vet and he said he would look into it for me.

    I'm looking into getting a couple of ramps for the spots in the house that Rufus likes to jump onto -

    I will keep you posted and again thanks for all the information.

    Brenda

  14. #14
    lotsadox Guest
    I'm not sure about the glucosamine and ester C. You can buy them for humans and I think these are the same ones that some of the members use for their dogs. Paula and Juliette both use them so maybe they'll log on and answer your questions.

    About acupuncture, yes there are vets that do acupuncture just on animals and it's very effective. If there's a holistic vet or clinic in your area, they'll probably have someone that does acupuncture on animals there.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,571
    I use 450 mg of glucosime per dog per day - I buy it in a regular pharmacy in capsule form and simply sprinkle on their food. The Ester C dosage I can't remember right now (we're in NYC for the week), but there are several online sites which discuss dosages for this.

    I haven't used accupuncture, but have used chiropractic successfully for back treatment - BUT NOT for calcified discs. In our case, we believe Jinxie had a spinal injury from tripping and landing on her head and chiropractic adjustment found the discs in her neck which were out of alignment and corrected it. I don't recommend chiropractic for calcified discs.
    Juliette-

    Mommy to Moe (our little Dreamer) and Dexter (everybody needs a serial killer)
    Forever Mommy to Otto and Hijinx
    RIP Junior 29/02/96 - 11/09/07

    Moe's Dogster Page

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