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Old 11-29-2012, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Spinal damage- any advice appreciated.

Hi, I am hoping to get some advice or even words of encouragement. My little Oscar, who is six years old, was diagnosed with a possible herniated disc. This started to appear on Wednesday night and I took him to the Vet yesterday morning. He has all the telltale signs of a herniated disc- head down, rounded back, loss of sensation in his back legs. The Vet suggested, since he can still get around even wobbly, still wags his tail and has bowel control that we can try medication first (Tramadol, Methocarbamol, and Prednisone). The pain seems to get worse at night. I am keeping him well rested, sleeping and only wobbling to eat and to his wee wee pad (that's basically his life anyway!). He's not a jumper so I don't need to worry about that, never been able to jump due to his luxating patellas. I'm worried I am not seeing any signs of improvement since Wednesday though he is still alert and has a good appetite. I am also currently unemployed so the cost of surgery will be an overwhelming expense for me right now, though I would do it if completely necessary- but when do I know it's necessary? Has anyone had medication alone work for a herniated disc? And when did any sign of improvement start showing with medication? A couple of days, weeks?
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi there,

I am really really sorry what you and little Oscar are going through! I have not dealt with this issue. Have you talked to your vet about arranging a payment plan? The other members here are really really great and the advise here help alot! I am praying for you both!
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Poor Oscar I'm sorry, I don't have experience with this, but I just wanted to tell you I'm keeping Oscar in my prayers. I think if he does need surgery, as Janene suggested, asking for a payment plan could be a good option for you.

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Old 11-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I should also mention, two weeks ago, I got the brilliant idea of adopting a GoldenDoodle puppy. I thought it would be a good idea to have an active partner for both Oscar and me. Turned out to be not such a good idea for obvious reasons though she is a sweet, lovable and gentle dog. They weren't rough housing but Oscar loves to be chased so there was plenty of chasing around the coffee table. I am not sure this was a direct result of it since Oscar, while notorious for snapping at others, never once snapped at me and over the past month (before the new pup) started snapping at me as I would pet him. He would freeze and then lunge for my hand. I think this may have been a long time coming but the new puppy brought it to this point.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So sorry that Oscar is going through this. I don't have any experience with this but want to send you special prayers that you get some answers and he feels better soon. Also, if surgery has to be done there is something you can do through your vet as most places participate with something called CoreCredit. I think that is the name but they will know what your talking about. It pays for the surgery and you pay them back. Good luck and please keep us posted on Oscar.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I dont know if in the States have some kind of funding to help you, but you could always ask. In Canada we have the farley foundation

How does the Farley Foundation Work

Farley Foundation assists a select group of eligible pet owners by subsidizing the non-elective (necessary or emergency) veterinary care for the pets that mean the world to them.
Pet owners who are concerned about the health of their pets should seek the advice of their regular veterinarian as soon as possible.
It is up to the veterinarian to apply for funding on behalf of eligible pet owners. Pet owners cannot themselves apply for Farley Foundation funding.
Veterinarians are not obligated to apply for funding. The decision to apply for funding is completely within the discretion of the veterinarian overseeing the patient’s care.
Eligible veterinary clinics have access to a maximum of $1,000 per clinic per year in funding. Veterinary clinics may choose to apply for funding for one or many pet owners throughout the year. Funding is also limited to $1,000 per pet owner per year.

Ask your vet if there is some kind of help with funding for operations
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ask your vet for a referral to a specialist.

There is financial aid available for vet bills if you qualify. This is cross posted from Yorkie Talk.

Mercy Crusade
P.O. Box 3265, Van Nuys, CA 91407
(818) 597-2926 / (805) 520-0734 / FAX: (818) 597-3490
Financial help with spay/neuter, vet bills. E-mail: petinfo@aarf.org
I believe they used to serve all of Southern CA but don't know if they still do. If not, maybe they can give you other suggestions.

In Memory of Magic (IMOM) is dedicated to insuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.
http://www.imom.org
IMOM, Inc
PO Box 282
Cheltenham, MD 20623
Phone (866)-230-2164 Fax (301)-599-1852

United Animal Nations established the LifeLine fund in 1997 to aid companion animals in times of life-threatening emergencies when their caregivers, with low or no incomes, are unable to afford the entire cost of treatment.
http://uan.org/lifeline/index.html
United Animal Nations
P.O. Box 188890
Sacramento, California 95818
Telephone: (916) 429 2457 fax: (916) 429 2456
LifeLine Fund - http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=28

Help-A-Pet is a nonprofit organization, which provides financial assistance for the medical care of pets whose guardians are unable to afford the expense
http://www.help-a-pet.org/home..html
Help-A-Pet
P. O. Box 244
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
Telephone: (630) 986-9504 fax: (630) 986-9141

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Programs provides financial assistance for emergency medical care for cats.
http://www.fveap.org/sys-tmpl/door/
FVEAP
1641 Elizabeth Lane
Yuba City, CA 95993
Fax: 888-301-4264

American Animal Hospital Association
http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/home/
"The heartbreak happens all too often ? a pet owner is unable to afford treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the price. If the owner is elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the cost of care may be too much of a stretch for their pocketbook. Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship making it
too difficult to afford pet care. And some animals, brought to clinics by Good Samaritans, don't have an owner to pay for treatment. Whatever the situation, the fact remains the same: When sick or injured animals are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer. Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship."

Angels 4 Animals
www.Angels4Animals.org
"Angels4Animals, a non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. At Angels4Animals we believe that animal owners should not have to say goodbye to the animals that they love. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with veterinary clinics across the country, eager to assist as many animals, and their owners, as possible. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need."

Care Credit
www.carecredit.com
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
"CareCredit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget."


The Pet Fund

http://thepetfund.com/
"The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer
needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or emergency vet visits. Companion animal owners must often make the difficult decision to put an animal down or neglect urgent medical needs because of the costs involved. The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost."

UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills
http://www.petloversonline.co.uk/financial.htm
"Most of us can cope with the financial commitment involved in the day to day care of our pets. However, how many of us come out in a cold sweat when our pet is ill or injured and we know we have to take it to the vet? Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford it but, some of us who love our animals dearly cannot. Unfortunately we do not have a PDSA or a RSPCA Centre within our area, but there are a few charities who may be able to help."

AAHA Helping Pets Fund
Animal Care and Welfare, Inc. (Pittsburg, PA)
Canine Cancer Awareness

Dougal's Fund, Inc.
Organized exclusively for charitable purposes to provide funds for medical care of pets, mainly small, short legged terriers such as Scotties, Westies, Cairns, Norwich, Norfolk, etc., in alleviation of the pet’s pain and suffering when financial need has been demonstrated. Dougal's normally determines financial need as that instance where professional medical care will not be provided due to the inability of the pet's guardian/s to pay for the services





Wrapped In Kindness

The Mosby Foundation: The Mosby Foundation __________________
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My oldest Maltese Zoe has degenerative disc disease around 6/7, 7/8 in her lower spine. Kind of over her hip area in her spine. It was becoming a quality of life issue she was having such constant pain. Trembling, back humped, not wanting to move... So I did put her on Prednisone for a little while to get her out of pain. She got relief in probably less than 24 hours. I know a herniated disc is a bit different, but a think pain level is about the same.

I didn't want her on Pred long term due what it does to the kidneys, but would have if I could not have found something else that worked. So I sought alternative treatments. She has acupuncture treatments on an as needed basis. And for pain and inflammation she is on some holisitic tinctures that must be prescribed by a vet. She has been symptom free now for almost a full year!! The blasted FDA has forced Animal Essentials to stop processing the Bos-Curuma blend (an anti-inflammatory) because in a liquid form, it tends to start to crystallize and they are saying that the amounts they are stating on the bottle are no longer correct once it starts to do this. Big hairy deal! You shake the bottle up and it still works beautifully. But they let treats be imported here from China that are poisoned. Makes so much sense. Holistic vets are saying the same thing. So we will be trying another product that is also only obtained by a prescription. We are seeing a veterinarian (in conjunction with a traditional vet) that specializes in Traditional Chinese Herbs, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Laser Therapy and Nutrition. I'm having to drive 2 hours to see him but it's cheaper and less risky than surgery. Perhaps this is something you might consider?

Oh, meant to add that she is on Animal Essentials Poppy-Scutelaria for pain. It is also only available with a prescription from a vet.

Last edited by Crystal&Zoe; 11-29-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you, it seems acupuncture has been well reviewed from my readings. I am going to look into it. I would do anything to help heal him but even with surgery there is a chance of no recovery so I want to look at alternative methods before spending thousands on a surgery. I also just ordered a glucosamine supplement for him. I know if you do a ton of research around, there are alternatives to traditional Vets. For example, Giardia? Metronidazole helps but you need a prescription for dogs. Alternative? Metro (Fish Zole) for fish that is sold over the counter. SAME exact thing. One should research and research and research some more on making sure correct dosages are given. Any hoo, I have Oscar trapped on the sofa, he's not a jumper so he has no choice but to sit and relax until I take him down for food or potty time. But my poor new puppy is spending more time than necessary in a crate due to this. I am giving her three supervised hours a day outside but she would love to hang out in the living room squeaking toys, but the squeaking gets Oscar all excited.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's possible your dog became snappish due to pain. I would also recommend restricting his activity as much as humanly possible for a while!

Here's my experience, from earlier this year. My Chihuahua mix had a herniated disk. A mild problem was noticed on an x-ray for something else, and then a few months later it got aggravated. He was very vocal about his pain and also the former lover-boy didn't want to be handled, threatened to bite. The vets had to muzzle him to examine him, and when we went to a referral clinic because it was getting worse, they had to sedate him.

I'm worried that your dog may be getting too much activity. What was recommended for my dog was strict crate rest for several weeks. He got 2 kinds of pain medication plus a steroid, but the restriction of his activity was most important, to let the disk heal on its own. He was only supposed to be let out for potty purposes, a few minutes and on leash. It was difficult to manage at first, but he loves food ....

Now he tolerates his crate very well. He's also back to leaping up on furniture, which makes me cringe but I've covered every piece of furniture he could jump on, except for the sofa which is needed by humans! But I still crate him when I'm going to be out.

Last edited by mss; 11-29-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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