Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Slipped disc - but not me this time! Canine IVDD.

I think we've been blessed weatherwise for the past week or so, if it's rained it's been at night time and the sun has been out during the day. In fact it's been so mild that I'm already drying washing on the line and that is practically unheard of me because the sea air makes it too damp to dry usually.

I've had big plans to get started on the garden and while we've managed to clear it of rubbish and all manner of bricks, wood and broken projects I haven't actually managed to put a fork in the soil yet. This is down to a little Shih Tzu called Kasa

This naughty little ray of sunshine has managed to slip a disc in her back - something Shih Tzus and other long bodied stumpy legged dogs are prone to apparantly (why is it we never find this information out until it actually happens).
Initially the vet diagnosed arthiritis but after a couple of days we weren't happy with that diagnosis and took her back to the vet - IVDD is the medical term or Intervertrebal Disc Disease.
To start with a wobbly gait was all we noticed, Kasa was otherwise her normal happy stupid self but it progressed very quickly and by the time we took her back to the vet she had lost knuckle reflex in one of her back paws suggesting that the protruding disc was putting pressure on her spinal cord and causing sensation issues.
Strict crate rest is the solution for this if you opt out of surgery. Surgery isn't guaranteed to help and the nearest animal hospital to do this is about 300 miles away with costs going into the thousands.
Thankfully conservative treatment is the most popular way of dealing with this now especially at the stage Kasa has it so 24/7 crate rest it is! As I'm the only one at home all day this has fallen to me to do and it's taken a while to get my head round it - it's extremely difficult to crate a dog 24/7 and not feel guilty, even if you know it's for their own good.
Kasa hasn't made the journey any easier because she hates a crate and attacks it - literally! I cannot even begin to tell you all the different methods we tried in the first 2 weeks to get her to settle in confinement. Unfortunately her battle against the crate has made her condition worse and she has now lost the ability to gauge placement of both back legs. This is not like losing all feeling though, she still has deep pain sensation, it's just that the disc is pushing her spinal cord more and causing a loss in sensation. The 24/7 crate rest was and is supposed to prevent this!
As of now we have a crate sorted that she cannot scratch, jump out of, chew or attack and fingers crossed she will begin to heal, from all the research I have done (ALOT) this condition is completely recoverable so the crate is now her new best friend for at least the next 6 weeks, she's only allowed out to go to the toilet (whereby I have to carry her, then support her back end in a sling while she does her business and then carry her back).
You would think that crate resting a dog would be easy wouldn't you? Honestly, it is so time consuming you wouldn't believe it, especially with a dog that fights it like Kasa does.
So anyway Kasa is the reason I have not really been absorbed in the garden however that should change once we have Kasas pain meds sorted and controlled.

During one of my little stints to the polytunnel I did have a lovely surprise. Late 2014 I dug up a clump of amazing white Iris's and temporarily planted them in my polytunnel while the garden was renovated (pmsl, it still isn't done), anyway last year I watched as those Iris plants appeared to grow healthy and then suddenly shrivel up and die. I almost dug them up and chucked them but I didn't get round to it. I was so pleased when I checked the polytunnel bed yesterday and a couple of my pots and saw this sign of life

At first I thought it was Daffodils coming up because the stems of this Iris do look like Daffodil stems not regular Iris. Unfortunately I don't know the name of it but it has to be the most amazing Iris I have ever seen, it's been a bit reluctant to flower the last few years which is another reason I thought it was ready for lifting and dividing.


  1. Oh poor Kasa, I hope she gets used to her crate and recovers very soon.

  2. Poor little Kasa - I hope the treatment is a success, Fortunately our vet is also the local animal hospital as last month our little dog had to have her tail amputated urgently. If we had needed to travel 300 miles she probably would have lost too much blood.

    The iris is lovely and early too.

  3. I hope she gets used to her crate and recovers very soon.



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