IVDD Post Medical CS
IVDD Post Treatment Issues Following Medical Treatment
The treatment path following surgery is critical for the maximum return of functionality for dogs with IVDD. A well thought out schedule and attention to the needs of the recovering doxie are the minimal requirements for support. It is important to remember that although full recovery may not come for weeks or even months, the steps taken during those first days of the recovery process may make all the difference to you and your doxie.
Please read the case study below. The choice of treatment was medical or conservative. Our goal for the outcome was the maximum recovery of function.
Case Study: Byron
The phone rang late one afternoon, and unlike many of our calls, this one came from Poodle Rescue. DRBC routinely works with other rescue groups, but this one was different. A neighbor had suffered the tragic loss of a family member at a young age. Two dachshunds were in the home, and one appeared to have difficulty walking. Could we help?
A few questions later, it was clear that the family had not crated and was too overwhelmed to take on the care of this little guy. The question moved from 'could we help' to how fast Poodle Rescue could get involved and get the dog to us. The arrangements were set, and Byron arrived at 1 AM. God bless Poodle Rescue; their timely response was the difference between the surgery and medical treatment.
Byron could still walk, but he did have pain. The decision was made to treat using a conservative approach. Byron received steroids to reduce the inflammation of the disc disease, received a GI protectant and a pain medication. And then his recovery began:
A treatment crate had been set up for Byron. The bottom layer was a double folded layer of eggshell foam. On top of that was a hospital wheelchair pad in case of accidents. A soft blanket covered that with an airline blanket to tuck him in for warmth, which completed the crate. The top of the crate is removed easily to change his bedding and to take him out of the crate. No one was allowed to go in his crate with him.
|Post Injury Week 1
|Being timely and paying close attention to Byron's signs and symptoms allowed for the conservative treatment of his injury. A schedule was developed aimed at maximum recovery. His medication was given timely, his bedding cleaned regularly, and his movement was highly restricted. His only time out of the crate was for bedding changes and sling supported walking. Limited physical therapy was started by bicycling his back legs gently to maintain muscle tone. This process was repeated 4 times daily.
During this time, Byron fought the crate. None-the-less, he remained crated in-between potty and physical therapy sessions and was checked often to be sure he was dry and clean.
|Post Injury Week 2
|Byron's hatred of the crate did not change, but he came to accept it.
His time out of the crate stayed limited to bedding changes and sling supported walking. Physical therapy expanded with the addition of limited and supported walking and bicycling his back legs gently to maintain muscle tone. This process was repeated 4 times daily.
Byron appeared to be healed, but we knew he was not. He remained crated in-between potty and physical therapy sessions and was checked regularly to be sure he was dry and clean.
|Post Injury Week 3
|Byron was weaned off his medications. His time out of the crate was expanded, and the sling walking was discontinued. Physical therapy continued.
During this time, Byron appeared to have a normal gait or walk. His time out of the crate, although highly supervised, increased.
|Post Injury Weeks 4-10
|Byron was lucky. His weight was perfect. He was healthy, and his treatment was timely. Byron recovered fully in the weeks that followed, but his injury will leave him at high risk for the rest of his life. Best of all, Byron has found a new home. He is not allowed to jump and will forever be under a watchful eye for a return of his symptoms. Byron was very lucky.
NOTE: This section of the DRBC website is offered as a medical reference only. DRBC is not operated by veterinarians. Seek the attention of your veterinarian to obtain a complete understanding of any of the topics listed.