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Thread: Paralyzed Dog - Vet Says Euthanize Him - ANY Other Options?! PLEASE.

  1. #1

    Unhappy Paralyzed Dog - Vet Says Euthanize Him - ANY Other Options?! PLEASE.

    Please help! I just found out that my little Jaspybaby is permanently paralyzed in his hindlegs. He's a 2.5 yr old Peekapoo --- and he means the absolute world to me. My parents were pet sitting him for a few days -- he jumped off their bed (nothing out of the ordinary), let out a loud yelp, and couldn't get up. That was it. All it took. Paralyzed. I still can't believe it.


    A few months ago, Jaspy had a similar episode where he slipped a disc in his spinal cord and fully recovered in about a week or so. He was just doing his usual "yay! mommy's home from work" routine and it happened while he was jumping. He lost feeling in his legs and couldn't walk or really move but he DID have pain sensation when the vet pinched his back legs. I was hoping and praying that it was the same thing this time.


    We took him to the vet my mom takes her dogs to and they pretty much said that he has a zero percent chance of recovery, it's too late for the surgery and that I should just euthanize him. I was SPEECHLESS when the vet told me this. Not only was she so obnoxiously blunt and inconsiderate but she's basically telling me to just give up on the thing I love most.


    I'm taking Jasper to the animal hospital in our area but I don't know what to expect. Or can even handle. Just the thought of putting him down breaks my heart in a million pieces. My parents think I'm being selfish by putting him through all this and that it's not fair for him to live the rest of his life without being able to walk. I'm so torn. I don't know what to do.


    Is what the Vet said really the only option? I mean - there has to be others. ....right?
    Does anyone have any insight or advice for me?
    AM I being selfish?
    Has anyone else gone through something like this or heard of any dogs fully recovering from hindlimb paralysis??


    Please....

  2. #2

    Exclamation Spinal Cord Injury/ Paralysis - What Are My Options? I Can't Lose my Dog:(

    Please help! I just found out that my little Jaspybaby is permanently paralyzed in his hindlegs. He's a 2.5 yr old Peekapoo --- and he means the absolute world to me. My parents were pet sitting him for a few days -- he jumped off their bed (nothing out of the ordinary), let out a loud yelp, and couldn't get up. That was it. All it took. Paralyzed. I still can't believe it.


    A few months ago, Jaspy had a similar episode where he slipped a disc in his spinal cord and fully recovered in about a week or so. He was just doing his usual "yay! mommy's home from work" routine and it happened while he was jumping. He lost feeling in his legs and couldn't walk or really move but he DID have pain sensation when the vet pinched his back legs. I was hoping and praying that it was the same thing this time.


    We took him to the vet my mom takes her dogs to and they pretty much said that he has a zero percent chance of recovery, it's too late for the surgery and that I should just euthanize him. I was SPEECHLESS when the vet told me this. Not only was she so obnoxiously blunt and inconsiderate but she's basically telling me to just give up on the thing I love most.


    I'm taking Jasper to the animal hospital in our area but I don't know what to expect. Or can even handle. Just the thought of putting him down breaks my heart in a million pieces. My parents think I'm being selfish by putting him through all this and that it's not fair for him to live the rest of his life without being able to walk. I'm so torn. I don't know what to do.


    Is what the Vet said really the only option? I mean - there has to be others. ....right?
    Does anyone have any insight or advice for me?
    AM I being selfish?
    Has anyone else gone through something like this or heard of any dogs fully recovering from hindlimb paralysis??


    Please....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Sydney
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    I am so sorry to hear this.

    I probably cant give you any good advice but I can tell you about my experience. Before I do...If you live in Sydney or within travelling distance you should definitely take him to the University of Sydney Vet. They are the absolute top in their field and even are able to offer services such as MRI. I absolutely credit them with my cats recovery and they have the most amazing and most highly qualified specialists in the field. And from my experience they will not put the animal through anything they do not need and are not after the money. I know this sounds like a plug but I honestly think they were amazing and fixed my cat.

    2 years ago Monty my cat came home limping, it was on easter Friday and the vets were closed so i took the wait and see approach, as i really had no other choice. By Sunday he couldn't walk or use his legs (he wasn't paralysed but could not use them to stand or walk). I rang around and found a vet that would be open on Easter Monday and immediately took him in. They told me he needed an xray. After taking the xray they told me he had shadowing around his spine which could be from a break or a tumour. They told me that he would not improve and that putting him down was the best option. I didn't accept this as they had not even given a solid diagnosis. They told me that if I could take him to a specialist for a myelogram but i was wasting my money. Basically they said it was my fault that this happened because i had waited so long to bring him in...hello they were closed!!! My cat was only 8 and I thought that at the very least he deserved the best shot at treatment.

    I called around to several vets to ask their opinions and then found the Sydney uni vet in a google search. When I rang them it was about 8pm. I told them all about monty and they said that I could bring him in immediately as they have 24 hour emergency care or wait until morning when the cat specialist was in. They suggested the next morning as not to stress him anymore than necessary and told me to keep him on bed rest and not to lift or move him. When I took him in we say 3 specialists and they ran a series of tests. After about 8 hours of being with him they told me to go home as he would be hospitalised and they would update me each step of the way. I'm not exaggerating when I say they literally called me once every 2 hours to give me updates...they were incredible. At one point (around 9pm) the vet on duty told me that they had finished with the xrays and other scans and would get the results soon and asked if I wanted to be called with the results as soon as he had them or not until the morning...I said call me anytime of night. At 2 am I got a phone call saying that it looked more like an injury than a tumour and that they didn't think an MRI or myelogram was necessary because of the cost and it probably wouldn't show much more.

    They had visiting hours and I went and sat with him everyday. They told me that there was a compression on the spine (by the time I had taken him in he could not move his legs at all) and this was what was causing all the problems. They told me that while surgery was an option it was not a good idea because he was 8 and the chances of success were probably no better than other options. He stayed for about a week in hospital on special anti-inflamitories and the strongest painkillers. When he was released he was kept in a cage (I kept him in a portacrib with a kitty litter box, a pillow and food and water.). He was on pain killers and had lots of medicine and check ups over the next 6 months.

    I researched diet and found that BARF which is raw meat with ground bone was the best. I honestly believe this helped as well.

    6 months down the track Monty had made a meaningful recovery. He could walk, run and climb. He cannot jump but who cares.

    The first few vets told me to put him down and now look at him. There is always hope. Also go and look on youtube, there are lots of videos of people who are living with disabled and paralysed dogs. I dont know how bad his is, is it just his back legs? Its up to you to decide his quality of life, but animals are amazing and do adapt.

    I hope it all works out for you...please give us updates.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    31

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    I posted this in your other thread but im not sure which one your reading so i will repost...
    I am so sorry to hear this.

    I probably cant give you any good advice but I can tell you about my experience. Before I do...If you live in Sydney or within travelling distance you should definitely take him to the University of Sydney Vet. They are the absolute top in their field and even are able to offer services such as MRI. I absolutely credit them with my cats recovery and they have the most amazing and most highly qualified specialists in the field. And from my experience they will not put the animal through anything they do not need and are not after the money. I know this sounds like a plug but I honestly think they were amazing and fixed my cat.

    2 years ago Monty my cat came home limping, it was on easter Friday and the vets were closed so i took the wait and see approach, as i really had no other choice. By Sunday he couldn't walk or use his legs (he wasn't paralysed but could not use them to stand or walk). I rang around and found a vet that would be open on Easter Monday and immediately took him in. They told me he needed an xray. After taking the xray they told me he had shadowing around his spine which could be from a break or a tumour. They told me that he would not improve and that putting him down was the best option. I didn't accept this as they had not even given a solid diagnosis. They told me that if I could take him to a specialist for a myelogram but i was wasting my money. Basically they said it was my fault that this happened because i had waited so long to bring him in...hello they were closed!!! My cat was only 8 and I thought that at the very least he deserved the best shot at treatment.

    I called around to several vets to ask their opinions and then found the Sydney uni vet in a google search. When I rang them it was about 8pm. I told them all about monty and they said that I could bring him in immediately as they have 24 hour emergency care or wait until morning when the cat specialist was in. They suggested the next morning as not to stress him anymore than necessary and told me to keep him on bed rest and not to lift or move him. When I took him in we say 3 specialists and they ran a series of tests. After about 8 hours of being with him they told me to go home as he would be hospitalised and they would update me each step of the way. I'm not exaggerating when I say they literally called me once every 2 hours to give me updates...they were incredible. At one point (around 9pm) the vet on duty told me that they had finished with the xrays and other scans and would get the results soon and asked if I wanted to be called with the results as soon as he had them or not until the morning...I said call me anytime of night. At 2 am I got a phone call saying that it looked more like an injury than a tumour and that they didn't think an MRI or myelogram was necessary because of the cost and it probably wouldn't show much more.

    They had visiting hours and I went and sat with him everyday. They told me that there was a compression on the spine (by the time I had taken him in he could not move his legs at all) and this was what was causing all the problems. They told me that while surgery was an option it was not a good idea because he was 8 and the chances of success were probably no better than other options. He stayed for about a week in hospital on special anti-inflamitories and the strongest painkillers. When he was released he was kept in a cage (I kept him in a portacrib with a kitty litter box, a pillow and food and water.). He was on pain killers and had lots of medicine and check ups over the next 6 months.

    I researched diet and found that BARF which is raw meat with ground bone was the best. I honestly believe this helped as well.

    6 months down the track Monty had made a meaningful recovery. He could walk, run and climb. He cannot jump but who cares.

    The first few vets told me to put him down and now look at him. There is always hope. Also go and look on youtube, there are lots of videos of people who are living with disabled and paralysed dogs. I dont know how bad his is, is it just his back legs? Its up to you to decide his quality of life, but animals are amazing and do adapt.

    I hope it all works out for you...please give us updates.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
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    3,082

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    Hi Jaspybaby
    This sounds simply awful. I cant begin to imagine what you are going through right now.

    "Not only was she so obnoxiously blunt and inconsiderate but she's basically telling me to just give up on the thing I love most."
    She was blunt. And maybe she could of said it in a more gentle way. But seriously, would this news be hurting you less now if she'd said it nicely, i think you would still be in pain and turmoil.
    Is she asking you to just give up on your dog? No honey, she is not.
    She is asking you to do the very last thing we have to do for some dogs, let her go.

    Dog ownership has a beginning, a middle, and sadly, a end. And sometimes we must assist, even in the end, making the right choices for our beloved friends, and being there, right till the end.

    You can do this, you signed up for this when you brought that pooch home.
    It does hurt, you cant have love without pain. They are opposite sides of the same coin.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Geelong, Vic
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    You have to put it in context.

    There are doggy wheelchairs available BUT that dog is now a 24 hours, 7 day a week commitment. He needs to be clipped and groomed, washed and wiped every day to make sure he doesnt toilet on himself, and he has to be toileted several times a day. He will pretty much need someone near him all the time to make sure he can drink and eat properly, that he doesn't fall and not get up or that he is in some medical distress.

    If you are definitely willing and able to do that - and that means not other people pet sitting him for you unless they are qualified to fulfill his needs properly - then go for it. Personally if one of my dogs was paralysed like that I would be euthanising them for their own good. Call me harsh, but I nursed my rottweiler for 4 years until his legs finally gave in and watched him miss out on so much in that time because of the pain and physical limitations. My new pup I had to euthanise at 7 months old because corrective surgery (which would have meant cracking his chest open) would have given him a sedentary, limited life. Not fair on a working dog. Trust me, I've done the whole take dogs to work with me, miss out on my own meals to hand feed, stay up for days, carry them around thing and it's not fun on you or the dog. It's not love, it's a chore and you both become exhausted with the process because it's prolonging the inevitable. Again, call me harsh, I pour my heart and soul out for my animals be they canine or otherwise (yes I have stayed up with a very sick ferret and nursed him back to health, drip feeding all night with a syringe) but you have to draw a line.

    When is it more for your benefit then the animals'? You can never replace him, but you don't want your last memory of him to be tarnished either.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bunbury
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    Hmm, I have prolonged life because I loved my semi paralysed dog and in the end their personality was so destroyed in the process ( and quality of life) we ended up at the vet and she was pts. I wish in that case I had done it at the start and spared her.I was strung along by the vet who ended up considerably richer at my expense.
    On the other hand you probably need to be sure with at least another opinion especially if you didn't like the vets attitude. They may have been blunt thinking they were being kind.Very hard call.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    SE QLD
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    Honestly you have to think about what is best for the dog and put your feelings aside. As Nekbet said, it is a LOT of work and if you are prepared to put the time in caring for your pup 24/7 then do it. But is it the best life for him?

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  9. #9

    Default

    Is your dog able to urinate or is his bladder function affected? As far as i know that's the only real question that will affect whether or not the dog can live, other than that it comes down to management.
    Last edited by mymatejack; 03-19-2013 at 10:50 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    I would get one second opinion myself, but be weary of vets trying to give you hope simply because they are unable to be blunt. If the prognosis is the same with a second opinion, I personally would not be able to bear seeing my dog without the use of their hind legs. Yes it is hard to let go, but I agree with others who suggest it is better to do it sooner rather than later if it needs to be done.

    That first vet should have explained to you why they think PTS is the only option though. Blunt is ok, but not giving people the information needed to make an informed decision is inexcusable in my opinion. So ask the other vet lots and lots of questions. Ask them how your dog's basic functions may be affected, how much assistance they might require if you do decide to get him a wheelchair, how not being able to run will affect his general health, etc. It's good that you reach out and post here, but you need to get this information from the only person who can really know the answers to the medical questions, which is the vet that examines your dog.

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