Jacob, thanks for providing the extra background info for us. Now here is some extra information for you which underlines why we depend on the vet's diagnosis. This info can also help you to decide if/when to consider a 2nd opinion. None of us here are veterinarians. Once we know the vet's diagnosis, we have lots of supportive information to help owners for at home care.
Every vet does
make a diagnosis which leads to his treatment (meds, etc.) After the hands on exam, they conclude it might be 2 or 3 diseases. Then they rank them for the most likely. The top disease IS the diagnosis upon which they select the meds, and any extra care. For example if the diagnosis would be a disc episode the extra care would be strict rest to aid disc healing. You having the diagnosis (which is the name of the disease), dictates the treatment. A different disease may mean the treatment could be entirely opposite or different!
I would say until you know for sure Kita is not experiencing a disc episode but some other disease, it would be prudent to protect the spinal cord from further damage by doing the STRICT rest to heal the suspicion of a deteriorated disc.
In other words until you have a different diagnosis act as if this is a disc episode.
Most disc episodes are diagnosed:
--- by the breeds which can be prone to it. (most usually small dogs with dwarf legs, but can be other breeds)
--- the history of the dog of having had previous disc issue
--- The hands on exam and how the dog acts.
--- X-rays can NOT prove a disc episode.
--- X-rays might be called for if the vet has a very high suspicion the disease might be another of diseases which can also damage the spinal cord (bone tumor, fractured vertebrae bone, infection in the spine's bones, discospondylitis, and discospondylosis, etc). The X-ray then can help to rule out those other diseases or confirm one. X-rays only show hard tissue such as bone, but not the soft tissue of the spinal cord or the disc.
--- Jacob, possibly more than you wanted to know about diagnosing: Differential Diagnosis of Conditions Mimicking Intervertebral Disc Disease in the Canine
by Phil Olson, Iowa State University. 1982core.ac.uk/download/pdf/38906781.pdfDo you mean your vet referred you to a specialist to confirm his diagnosis "outsource Kita to another vet with more enhanced care"? A consult with a specialist (Neuro-ACVIM or Ortho ACVS)
would not just be for the purpose of a surgery. It can also be because the local DVM vet is not comfortable in use of medications that specialists use everyday to control pain. It can be for the purpose to confirm the local vet's diagnosis when the treatment Rx'd does not appear to be working.How does one know if the diagnosis
was correct, if the treatment is correct?
Often with a disc episode, when the meds are correct and fully control pain, the dog's disc is protected from a disc relapse with STRICT rest, then the anti-inflammatory can do its job in a range of 7-30 days. The anti-inflammatory carprofen, to be precise, will resolve all the painful swelling around the spinal cord.
QUESTIONS. With the fliping over, etc,
has this been too much movement for the early healing disc. Has the scar tissue trying to form been disrupted causing a set back in pain, more pain, (worsening limb weakness?) more refills on carprofen and pain meds? What are your thoughts?
The STOP of carprofen is "the" test to find out if all pain is full gone. Pain meds still on board blindfold one to observing for pain
IF pain still exists, then, of course, it would not be the time to STOP carprofen. Each week (dates please) you got a refill of carprofen, was pain still existing even with 1 pain med on board? Any new or increase neuro damage?
Neuro (knuckling, rear limb weakness)
1/24 : __ pain/_ neuro (new or worsening?)
1/31: ___ pain/_ neuro (new or worsening?)
2/7: ___ pain/_ neuro (new or worsening?)
2/14: √2/13 restless, can't find comfy position
pain/_ neuro (new or worsening?) DOXY, the antibiotic s
hould also keep urinary tract infection (UTI) away. That is, it would be, if it is a match for the particular strain of bacteria in the bladder.
Not all UTIs have the observable signs listed. This is why a urinalysis is used as "the" test to know for sure if there are bad bacteria in the bladder.
1. change in urine color or smell
2. dog does not want to urinate because it is a painful burning sensation. They hold their urine until they can no longer do so
3. the dog leaks urineIs Kita currently holding her bladder for days at a time before releasing?
Using dates helps clears up confusion as to what is current what is history.
A dog who has bladder control will not like you expressing the bladder. Try placing a pee pad adjacent to the recovery suite. This way she only takes a few footsteps (supported with a harness/leash for control) to sniff and release urine. "Salt" the pee pad with another dog's urine or some of her old urine saved in a zip lock back on a piece of paper towel.) Command "go potty" When you see her maybe attempting to lower sniff, slightly relax the sling. See if she will release urine. Praise when you see urine. Soon she may be able to pee on command.
Give her a potty break every 3-4 hours as long as she is staying dry in her suite. Move to every 2-3 hrs if you she can't hold it and is not staying dry. A urinalysis can help to rule out a UTI that could cause leaking.
IF you would, discuss with the vet what is his top thought for the disease.
The disease diagnosis is one heck of an important piece of information you and this Forum need to know.
It would also be a good idea to have a sense of the two treatments
that exist for a disc episode.
Do know if for any reason when or if a surgery could be an option, however is not an option due to health, finances, then conservative treatment is the best option. dodgerslist.com/2020/02/10/surgery-vs-conservative/
Hopefully you will be able to include in today's report:
--- vet's name of the disease diagnosis
--- Pepcid AC ?mg ?x/day
--- pain status today (round the clock pain relief or describe pain observed surfacing)
--- new meds, refills today: name, ?mg ?x/day for how many days?
--- neuro status today (new or worsening neuro functions)