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Dog health questions

Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by greybeard, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Dec 3, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Didn't want to clutter up the LGD section with general canine talk so posted this here.
    Excuse the length of this, but I want to be as detailed as possible in order to get the most direct advice.
    Before I get started:
    Tho it may come to it, euthanasia may be in the future, but I'm not ready to go that route right now.

    Got a couple of problems with a 9 year old neutered male dog that was somehow injured 2nd week of November. Fiercely loyal, always on the porch at dusk and all thru the night, follows me around wherever I'm working. He's a 'people guard dog', alerts any time anything or anybody comes anywhere within earshot of the house, walking or driving but has in the past taken on feral hogs , bobcats and anything else that comes around. Just a good all around dog and companion.

    Came up missing one evening, and I and wife searched the whole place over and out into the national forest and didn't find him over the course of 2 1/2 days. I had given up on finding him when I went back by a small pond on an adjacent piece of property I had already looked at the day before and there he was..laid down with an obvious hip injury (couldn't stand or support himself). No skin broken, no wound. 3 weeks at the vet. Xray showed no broken bones but a pretty good left hip joint injury--bruising, ligament damage, soft tissue trauma etc. He can stand with help, and sometimes take a couple of steps before he collapses. Took him straight to the vet and wife and/or I visited him every day except when wife spent 3 days with me in Arkansas with me for my brother's funeral.
    Picked him up Tuesday from the vet..she had done all she could and gave us instructions for physical therapy. On pain med, anti-inflamatories, and another drug I forget what is for.

    He can't walk, but scoots around all over the yard, dragging his rear. My porch is 7 steps up and we take him up every evening and back down every morning after the dew has dried off the grass. (been mild temps here and very sunny but that is going to change in a couple of days)
    He weighs about 55-60 lbs and I either pick him up and carry him, or sling a padded horse girth under him and help him walk up/down the steps with his front legs. He's on thick padded bed while on the porch but he'll drag himself off of it sometimes. Wife has a bad allergy so we can't keep him inside the house. We have a spayed female that stays with him at night on the porch, but wife usually sits out there late into the night and reads anyway.

    The problems:
    1. While at the vets, he developed a pressure sore on one elbow due to the way he had to lay, even on bedding. It's not terrible, and we've tried to keep it bandaged and medicated, but not a lot of improvement. This is not him--just a pic off the web, but it looks very much like this:
    elbow.jpg

    He will chew/lick any bandage off and I hate to put a cone on him..he's already having trouble enough finding a position that is comfortable.
    I tried some New Skin spray bandage yesterday, but won't again. Evidently burns a lot when applied, which I didn't know when I used it. Is there anything better out there to keep dirt, grass etc from getting to the wound?
    I've seen some wrap around things for hygromas at PetSmart..
    Are these elbow protectors flexible enough to allow full use of his front leg joints, if placed over a bandage? Vet reccomeded we leave it unbandaged as much as possible, so that's pretty much what we're doing but I want it to heal as quickly as possible before the wet/cold/inclement weather hits and he has to stay on the porch even during the day.

    2. His poop is soft, but not actually runny. Making a mess on his blankets so we have started using 'doggie diapers' with a disposable liner under him, like the pads used for people with incontinence problems.
    It's a pretty good mess to clean up a couple times/night and again every morning. The mess and odor doesn't bother me much (I've stuck my hand up a cows rear end lots of times for palpating, and raised/ diapered 4 kids) but it does bother the wife. Is there a diet change I can do that might firm up his poop?

    2. I should have his doggie wheelchair finished today. I was going to buy one, but they are $400 for a dog his size, and I'm already pushing $1000 in vet cost and other amenities so I got plans off the internet to build one, bought all the stuff yesterday and did the measurements last night. I intend to build it so it will give him some support on the rear, but he will still have to use his rear legs to some extend to rebuild his muscles that have atrophied somewhat.
    IF, I can get his pressure wound healed, he will go in his pen at night with carpet over the full floor of the cement. He's going to hate it, because for 9 years, he's had full run of the place and always wants to be beside us as wife and I spend lots of hours on the porches at night and evenings talking.
    He's in good health otherwise, I have to watch him when out in the yard otherwise he will scoot under the yard fence and be way out in the pasture with the cows. Just looked..he's done scooted under the bottom wire and is out in an empty pasture right now with our other dog trying to catch a flock of black birds..
    You have to look close, but he's there, way out there..between the water troughs and the little gate and he hasn't been out in the yard more than 30 minutes.
    Picture1203171048_1[284].jpg

    Thoughts--suggestions--especially on a way to firm up his poop?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  2. Dec 3, 2017
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    It sounds a lot like a spinal injury- it may not have shown up on the X rays.

    Just a thought- do you know of any dog chiropractors?

    So sorry you are going through this.
     
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  3. Dec 3, 2017
    Goat Whisperer

    Goat Whisperer Herd Master

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    For the sore, have you tried wrapping it in gauze, vet wrap, followed by duct tape? Do you think he would be able to chew it off?
    Whenever I bandage legs (dog or goat) I have to change it twice daily. So far this has seemed to work pretty well for me.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2017
    animalmom

    animalmom Herd Master

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    @greybeard, I've used this on the goats with great results: IMA1.0.jpg

    Had a goat try to do her own manicure by slicing her foot on the metal roofing. I knew nothing was going to stay on the foot and didn't want to shove an antibiotic ointment down the hoof. I needed to spray the wound every day, but it didn't seem to sting or bother her other than the cold and noise of the aerosol.

    Another thought on the pressure wound, what about using some tea tree oil? It doesn't sting, at most it feels a little warm on the skin. May want to cut it with some olive oil... just a thought.

    Poor boy. Hope he feels better soon. Big hug to both of you.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Not spine. I've used this vet for years and know her and her staff. Good at what they do. The pain and weakness is in the hip joint itself, common to what I think happened to him. He likes to lay under a pickup in the shade and due to his size, can't get up and move if someone gets in it. There were some workers on that property (carpenters) and I suspect he had laid down under one of their trucks, they didn't see him and drove over his rear end when he was trying to get out. They claimed not so, but wife and I both sensed they definitely weren't telling us the whole story.
     
  6. Dec 3, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Yep, tried that too. The duct tape makes his front leg too stiff and I'm afraid I may cause more harm than good considering he's already crippled in a back hip.

    I'm going to switch over to a good low or no grain canned dog food and add some canned pumpkin to it. Supposed to firm his poop up without 'plugging' him up.
     
  7. Dec 3, 2017
    Southern by choice

    Southern by choice Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    My hunch is it is a spinal injury that has caused the hip issue. This is not uncommon. Did they do an MRI? Spinal injuries also affect bowel.
    As far as the looser stool chicken and rice can help. But it related to a spinal injury it may have no baring.

    Vets do things differently, and there is more than one way to fix the pressure sore.
    Personally I would use chlorhexidine (for dogs and horses antimicrobial) dilute according to directions, spray on area,dry then apply anti microbial ointment, wrap use gauze , then vet wrap.
    Pressure sores should not just "air out" it is a different kind of treatment. Keeping the pressure clean but moisturized is important. Of course I have more knowledge of human pressure sores that canine ones... but the wet/dry wrap is best.

    I personally do not like Tea Tree oil, it does sting, smells terrible and dogs hate it. :hide

    Please keep in mind quality of life.
    A few years back a similar thing happened to someone I know. They built the ramps, the wheelchair, dealt with the bowel issues, cleaning the dog daily. The dog scooted around when not in the chair, they weren't able to clean the dog every time it urinated or defecated on itself... like I said once a day twice a day tops. Then because maggots form in 24 hours the dog had maggots eating off of its rectum. They euthanized the dog.
    Not a lecture GB-just a reminder as you have always been a good voice of reason, do the right thing for the animal even if it breaks your heart to do it. I've seen it far too many times.:(

    I am very sorry you and your companion are going through this.
     
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  8. Dec 3, 2017
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Very sorry about your dog
     
  9. Dec 3, 2017
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    I've seen a lot of very sick/injured animals heal....I hope yours is one of them! :hugs

    If not...:(
     
  10. Dec 3, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    My brother had pressure sores before he died. They used a honey film on his sores, followed by a gauze wrap. Honey is very healing. If none of the other suggestions work, you might try it.

    I am so sorry this has happened to your dog. He sure sounds like a darn good dog.

    Our son in law tripped over their small dog on the stairs and fell on top of her. It paralyzed her rear legs. he rushed her to the vet, there was nothing they could do to make it better. DSIL and DD carried her outside to potty, when they let go, she belly flopped, peed and pooped on herself. They did this for a couple of weeks. The little dog slowly started to get better and made a full recovery.

    I hope your dog improves.
     
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