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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Cauda Equina

A new disease for us as we had never heard of it before. It is awful to say the least. Our 11 y/o boy Bozwell (photo above) had been normal all morning. He climbed the three steps to the downstairs bed two hours before and had been out in the yard acting normal. Ate his lunch and Carol was washing dishes in the kitchen and he laid down to watch her.

I was outside loading the tractor onto the trailer to take to the Kubota Dealer for a power steering hose replacement and Carol came out and said Bozwell wouldn't put any weight on his right back leg. I asked her to call the vet immediately and came right in the house. He did not seem to have any pressure points and when I moved his leg he didn't protest but she took him to the vet within the hour.

The vet took x-rays and checked him and said he had Cauda Equina which is a narrowing of the spinal canal where the bundle of nerves come out. By the time he got home he couldn't use either back leg and was falling every other step. The vet put him on prednisone and a pain Rx and said the swelling should go down in a couple days and we should see improvement. This is day one and we have only seen small improvement but we are hopeful for more tomorrow and the next day. About 50% of dogs recover and we hope he is in the 50% group.

I have never heard of this disease before. He has been resting for 1 1/2 days now and we fashioned a sling out of a large bath towel with a pee hole in it to support his back legs when he goes out for a potty break. (see below) No exercise for at least 6 weeks. This disease affects the nerves that control bowel movement and urination. So far so good!

The photo below shows the sling which is what Carol is holding up. We have used it twice today and so far with success.


Barbara said...

Gosh, wow, I hope Boswell is in the 50%!

Did the vet say how long it will take for him to get better?

I wonder what the transmission vector is.

Bruce said...

We are hoping and praying that Bozwell is in the recovery 50% too. He is making slow but steady improvement and hopefully he will make slow recovery until he is ambulatory again. No exercise for 6 weeks for him. Some German Shepherds are genetically predisposed to it and breeders are cautioned if the markers are present to not breed the dog. Of course puppy mills and back yard breeders are not so cautious and hence there are genetically prone GSD's abundantly available.