Julia, welcome to the Forum. We are so glad you found us (how did you?) Well, first things first. Aurora is CURRENTLY in pain
. No amount of pain is acceptable. PHone the vet to avoid any risky to the healing disc car transports. Vets who know IVDD adjust meds over the phone and take updates on her.
She very likely has "root signature pain" of holding her right back leg up like a flamingo bird, not wanting to bear weight on it.
Typical pain meds are three. All sources of pain need coverage!___ 1 traMADol
as the over all general analgesic 3x/day
√ 2 methocarbamol for muscle contraction pain 250mgs 3x/day
√ 3 gabapentin for nerve pain 100mgs 3x/day___ 4 Amantidine
is special. Neuro's are finding it helpful with pain control. Please read why it likely could be added back for 4 meds on board in so you can discuss with vet: www.marvistavet.com/amantadine.pml
You've seemingly run into vets at the spine place (ER) and Your local vet who are not comfortable in their knowledge of IVDD and the meds. Reading is your best bet to get up to speed on Aurora's disease and be able to speak up for her.
Our goal is to help asap with information to get things right for Aurora.
Your goal will be over the next days to read the links we provide and check out other IVDD information on www.DODGERSlist.com
You can master the basics. The things that make conservative treatment work for many disc episodes.
➤ 🏠At home nursing care tips:
-- Tried and true tested ideas to make the 8 weeks of strict rest go smoothly inside
of a recovery suite: dodgerslist.com/2020/05/14/strict-rest-recovery-process/
➤ 💊Medications used during a disc episode: dodgerslist.com/meds-used-during-disc-episode/
➤ 💡What to expect for each phase of healing: dodgerslist.com/in-the-right-place
➤ Tape to your fridge the Conservative Roadmap. This will keep you from making dangerous detours.
VIEW, DOWNLOAD and print: dodgerslist.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Roadmap-for-Fridge.pdf
➤ Know Aurora's disease: Shortcut Thru IVDD dodgerslist.com/2020/06/26/time-and-ivdd/
Is trazodone helping Aurora to relax in her suite? If not, give every 8 hrs as Rx'd. Discuss if dose in mgs should be adjusted. Or if another med would work better for her. Takes observing, giving feedback to the vet to get meds properly adjusted for Aurora's needs.
The priority over muscle atrophy is to prevent worse damage to the spinal cord with STRICT rest the recovery suite provides. Muscles will come back when safe to exercise again. If the nerves should become too damaged, it could be permanent.
Consider some of these ideas to comfort Aurora:
-- Put a garment you have been wearing and have not washed in the crate.
-- Teaching self-calming exercises can also help your dog to relax more. You can make something as simple as eye contact a very rewarding behavior that also acts as a way for your dog to “ask permission” when she wants something. When dogs have a focus and an understanding about how to behave to get what they want, they are much calmer overall.
To do this, each time your dog looks at you, say, something like, “Yes!” or use a clicker to mark the second he looks at you, and then give your dog a high-value food reward. [NOTE: for crate resting dogs, shift your body a bit] .... wait for your dog to look up at you again, say, “Yes,” and reward again. Do this exercise 10 or so times and then say, “All done,” and put the treats away. Come back later and do it again until you can see that your dog is really starting to make automatic eye contact in hopes you will say, “Yes,” again and give him his reward.
[NOTE: treats should be subtracted from the normal daily kibble ration so as not to gain weight during crate rest. To dogs the size of the treat matters not. ]wholedogtraining.com/images/stories/Are_all_dogs_trainable.pdf
-- Provide a lick mat in the recovery suite. Freeze with a small amp of soaked and mushed up kibble, as a very tiny treat but one that will take a lot of time to consume. Use as long as your dog is not exceeding the requirement of little neck/back movement during the recovery rest period www.amazon.com/s?k=lick+mat+for+dogs&hvadid=78202818358910&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_3b30nygjvi_e
Subtract the kibble used from her normal daily ration to avoid giving extra calories. Prednisone makes them hungry and thirsty
-- Freeze some no salt, no onion, no fat meat broth. Licking on a meat broth cube takes time and is lo cal. Simmer up a hamburger or a piece of chicken. When cool discard skin, bones and the fat disc at top.
NOW is not the time to be on a diet! The body has lots of repair jobs to do and needs good nutrition.
-- At night, try placing the crate on a sturdy bedside table to sleep next to you.
-- During the day try a sturdy coffee table or the dinning room table so there will be a view out a window and a better perspective on what is going on in the house from a high. You can also pull the coffee table up to the couch to be near you, touch her through the recovery suite wires.
-- Make the crate or ex-pen more cozy by draping a blanket over part of the top. dodgerslist.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/blanketTOP150.jpg
Will be watching for your success in getting those meds adjusted (mgs? frequency?, pepcid AC ?mg ?x/day). When the meds are correct expect pain to be fully in control round the clock, dose to dose. You are the eyes and ear for your vet to alert them of pain signs so they know if meds still need adjusting.