Hi All! I'm posting this to give people hope. It's been almost a year since Basil lost the function of his hind legs due to a ruptured disc. He's currently 5 1/2 years old. He's very active, was almost like a cat...leaping from one piece of furniture to another. He has always been slim. Now the story: Last year, the day before Thanksgiving, we were heading out of town. I opened the car door to let him jump in (he typically jumped into the passenger seat) and he didn't jump in. I didn't think much of it, picked him up and put him in the car. We drove 8 hours that day, stopping once for a potty break. Nothing unusual about the potty break, except he wouldn't jump back in the car. This time I noticed, but thought maybe he was tired. We got to the hotel, everything seemed fine. By the next morning he was unable to take more than a couple of steps and then he would sit down. He would not let me pick him up. I ran to Walmart (thankfully open on Thanksgiving), and bought a soft sided pet carrier (again, thankfully they had one large enough). I was able to get in him the carrier, carried him down to the car and drove home. We stopped once for a potty break. He was able to take a couple of steps outside of the carrier, do his business, and went back in the carrier. We got home and I crated him. The next morning we went to our vet. She told me he had ruptured a disc, would require surgery and the cost would be $5600.00. Very matter-of-factly. They would refer me to a vet in Seattle. I told her that wasn't an option for me. She then told me I could take him home and crate him for 4-6 weeks and maybe he would recover some function. As you can imagine, I was devastated. On my drive home from the vet visit I was thinking about quality of life (yes, I went there) and how would Basil feel...pain, frustration? I put him in his crate and prayed and cried a lot. For potty time I would put the soft sided carrier next to the crate door, he would drag himself in and I would carry him outside. He would then drag himself out of the carrier, do his business and get back in for the trip indoors. He slept quite a bit, but when awake he was an angel. No complaining about being crated...it was like he understood. A couple weeks later I was telling a friend about Basil, and she said her brother's German Shepard had a similar problem and acupuncture seemed to help. I had never even thought about acupuncture for pets! I immediately went to my computer and searched acupuncture for dogs. And son-of-a-gun, our small rural town had a vet that did acupuncture! She got me right in, spend 45 minutes educating me on alternative treatments, holistic supplements, etc. My own vet spent a scant 5 minutes with me, and this angel spent 45 minutes. She then did an acupuncture treatment and a laser treatment. We then had treatments twice a week for a few weeks, and then she said once a week was fine. The treatments were very, very reasonable. We kept up the treatments for approx. three months. She had also suggested water therapy so I did an internet search on water therapy for dogs and lo, my small town had a nationally renown water therapist. We started with her once a week for the first two months. During the first two months of his treatments, Basil stayed crated. My back started to bother me carrying him out to do his business, so I bought a small wagon so I could wheel him out. Much better! Carried him in to the vet, in to his water therapy. Slowly during that two months I could see improvement. He was able to more easily take a couple steps outside of his crate to do his business. Then he would take a few steps, and then a few more when doing his business. By appox three months I could tell he was as good as he was going to get, which was between 80%-85% of where he was before the ruptured disc. At that time we stopped the acupuncture and laser therapy . Today you couldn't tell he had issues, except he will occasionally fall over when lifting a leg, or his rear legs will get a little out from under him when he's running his fastest. His water therapist says he doesn't have any tender spots anymore.
I can surmise he ruptured his disc launching off a piece of furniture. We now have ramps all over the house, including the bed. It only took one lesson for him to use the ramps instead of jumping.(thankfully Corgis are smart). We are still doing the water therapy every other week, more for maintenance...and Basil loves swimming! He is still taking his supplements (CoQ10, Boswellia, Hyaluronic Acid, DHA, and others). It took a village to get him back on his feet. Both the vet and the water therapist cried when he walked in for treatment instead of me carrying him in. We have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving!
That sweet face! So happy you all had such a good ending! I can only imagine how scared and sad you must have felt. I am so glad this Thanksgiving will be so much better for you and Basil.
I am so happy for both of you that this story had a happy ending:)
I have been telling anyone who will listen that acupuncture is wonderful! Max has a calcification in his neck that caused him so much pain and he was unable (or unwilling) to turn his neck. Surgery would have been in the area of $10K and that was much more than I could afford. My vet suggested acupuncture and there is a vet in another town who does it. It was a last ditch effort...I could not leave him in that kind of pain and if that didn't work I was going to have to make a decision.
It took 8 treatments and he was back to being his crazy funny self with no indication of any problems. We built a ramp off our deck so he could go outside...the less stairs he did the better. We also raised his food and water bowls off the floor a couple of inches. This was 3 years ago. He has gone back for "tune ups" when I see that he is uncomfortable and not recovering his normal attitude within a couple of days. You may want to do a schedule of tune ups with the acupuncture same as the water therapy.
I was so impressed with what it did for him that I started acupuncture for my back. I have a fusion in my lower spine along with other problems. Pain shots stopped working for me so I figured why not try it myself. Instead of living with pain that rates from 7-10 it's now 2-3 which is something I can live with. And when I over-do like today raking leaves, my recovery time is short...I will feel ok tomorrow.
I am so glad that he is doing so well. As long as he is pain free and enjoying his life that's all we can wish for.
I'm so glad you have a vet that is open to alternative treatments! That it helped both you and Max is wonderful! Count on me to get the word out too. And thank you for your suggestion for the tune-up. It makes sense and I never would have thought of it myself...I really appreciate the advice. Take care!
So happy for you that everything worked out so well.
Thank you for sharing your story! Great to hear that it turned out well!! :)
Our Cardi had her back injured by a groomer who didn't support her hind quarters properly when picking her up. Luckily, she recovered after about two weeks of Rimadyl and tramadol. A Basset Hound we had did not. The vet that was doing the surgery told us Beau had a 5% chance of walking after surgery and would probably experience pain for the rest of his life. All this after 5000.00 worth of orthopedic surgery. We loved on him for 24 hours and had him gently put down. I held him in my arms as he passed. I would have gladly spent the money if the prognosis had been even 50-50.
Corgis share some problems with Bassets. The long back makes it vital that they be discouraged from sitting up and doing crazy things that can injure their spine. Easier said than done sometimes but they are extremely vulnerable to spine injury. And, by all means, keep the animal's weight within the breed standards.Too much weight stresses the spine and hip/shoulder joints as well. NEVER pick the dog up without firmly supporting the chest and hindquarters. Don't scrunch them up like an inchworm either. Use common sense.
Thank the Lord your baby is recovering. Our prayers for him.
Thank you for your reply. There are so many decisions that need to be made on the spot when injury occurs. If people are informed prior to that, it might make a difficult time easier. And preventing injury by knowing the basics is best. Thank you for sharing.