Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!

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Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« on: January 19, 2012, 14:45 »
My dog Jem has always had a problem with other dogs when she was on a lead, but recently she started reacting when off the lead too. I had her booked onto a course to deal with behaviour problems/agression in dogs, but as the instructor knows Jem well from agility training, suggested that I get her checked over by a vet just in case she had a slight niggle and was trying to tell the other dogs to back off and leave her alone.

It turns out that Jem does have a problem with pain in her spine. She has been referred and we have seen a specialist who confirms that she does have a problem, but we now have to wait for an MRI scan to find out what that problem is. It could range from a slipped disc to a degenerative spinal condition that is apparently common in collies (Jem is a Collie x springer) In the meantime, she has to stop doing agility or having any exercise and is supposed to be kept quiet. Her scan is on 3rd Feb. We have been told by that she may never do agility again. :(

Jem, however, is acting totally normally and still trying to do everything she used to do and isn't showing any obvious signs of being in pain. We are only on day two of the 'rest' and I have already turned to a trick book to try and teach her some things to keep her brain occupied so she gets tired out mentally instead of physically. Despite this though she is already displaying classic frustration in not being allowed out - stealing things, becoming destructive, barking at me and running to the door, laying her head/paw/entire body on me...

So anyone got any suggestions on how to keep her quiet or indeed of spinal problems in border collies? If it turns out to be a slipped disc she has to have two week of total cage rest and only allowed out even to pee in the garden whilst on a lead to stop her exerting herself - God knows how she (or indeed I) will cope with that. :wacko:

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joyfull

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 14:58 »
Collies along with GSD's can get hip dyspalcia and it might be worth you looking into hydrotherapy which I have heard helps with muscle tone without exerting any pressure on the joints (this was discussed yesterday by coincidence on a Facebook dog rescue site I am on). This would allow your dog to burn off some of her excess energy  :)
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compostqueen

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 11:20 »
It's a problem all right. How to stop the poor dog from climbing the walls.  My brother's young springer ripped open his flank on barbed wire when flying over a fence and he had to be kept quiet for months and kept on the lead all the time.  It paid off and the dog healed just fine

If the dog is in pain with this spinal problem he'd be quieter anyway. You wouldn't expect him to be darting about like a mad thing. So, if he is then maybe that's a good sign

I just had a quick look on Google and there are all sorts of suggestions about this issue

Good luck with it  :)

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 12:49 »
Thanks for your suggestions - she really is showing absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, she isn't quieter or off her food or unable to move or anything... none of the symptoms I read online. She is acting totally normally. Basically if I hadn't taken her in on the advice of my instructor, I would never have known there was a problem at all. I thought she was just being moody! :( But there is a problem because I saw her reaction when both vets did their examinations.

That's what made it quite hard to take in to begin with - particularly when my vet scared me to death with telling me she would probably become paralysed or would need surgery and must be 'restrained immediately' (he is spanish). Thankfully the specialist we were referred to said paralysis was unlikely to happen anytime soon, but that we still need to know what the problem is so we know the long term outlook. Having said all that it does explain a couple of things - she started going under jumps at agility, particularly on curves or corners where she would have to twist her body, but this is a common problem when dogs are learning (eagerness to get to the more exciting/rewarding bits of equipment quicker) and so we didn't think much of it. Again, weaving has never been her strong point, but I had put that down to moving clubs where we had to learn a different method which I thought had confused her but it could also be that it hurts. :(

The (specialist) vet said that often a change in behaviour often indicates pain but people think its psychological (as I did) and its only when more serious symptoms occur that they realise there is a problem and even then they don't realise the two things were connected.

Hydrotherapy was certainly something my instructor recommended once we have a diagnosis (they also take referals from vets and so would be covered by my insurance) and she has given me the name of someone who deals with dogs sports injuries. I also know of a McTimoney practicioner but again don't want to do anything until I actually know what's wrong with her and I can give them as much detail about whatever her condition is. Don't want to jump the gun and make anything worse.

Compostqueen do you mind if I ask what it was you googled as I have spent ages online looking for stuff and though I can find lots of medical explanations of what could be wrong with her, I haven't found much else and not many references to spine conditions with borders in particular (mainly dachshunds which I have had experience of too in the past). Thanks.

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ANHBUC

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 14:43 »
Don't have any advice but would like to wish Jem a speedy recovery.  Hope that everything goes well.   :)
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Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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compostqueen

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 16:34 »
I googled and it came up with "how to keep a dog quiet after surgery"

I know your dog has not had surgery but the advice about keeping the dog quiet and calm might be relevant

My brother had to keep his dog on the lead all the time after his accident so he couldn't run about. It was hard to do but he did it to allow the dog to heal after a bad injury.  Even in the garden etc he kept the dog on the lead

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 18:31 »
Thank you. :) I'll try that now and see what it has to say!

And thank you ANHBUC for your kind wishes.

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Thrift

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 19:38 »
I can't help being very sceptical about this problem. It certainly doesn't sound as though it is a severe spinal problem which we all know would be excruciatingly painful.

For very many years we trained racing greyhounds who, if injured would display quite definite signals. At one time we took them to a physiotherapist who gently manipulated with amazing results and no pain. It sounds as though the right sort of 'tweak' could be all that your dog needs.

Sadly many vets seem to immediately look at the worst possible scenario and recommend a lot of expensive tests and procedures. I will enquire if there is an expert currently treating greyhounds and PM you if successful. In the meantime you can surely walk your dog before she goes completely bonkers.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 19:45 by Thrift »

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 00:45 »
Yes, I can understand why you would be sceptical - having seen a dacshund with a severe spinal problem who literally couldn't move for the pain, except to shake, Jem certainly isn't in this league of pain at the moment. The second vet said that on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the lowest, 10 being the most severe) she would be a 1 at the moment (the dacshund the vet told me would score a 9 or even a 10), but it was the 'at the moment' that we should be concerned about. 

I'm not suggesting she is in severe pain at all and I'm sorry if I have implied this was the case. But having seen her reaction to the examinations for myself twice, there is definitely something wrong - I know my dog and she was in pain! :( Personally I want to know what it is that's causing it (and so am therefore glad of the scan the vet has recommended, even if it shows up something very minor) so I don't risk doing any further damage/make whatever the problem is worse, but also so I am prepared if it should turn out to be something long term which is a possibility. Also there is differing treatment depending on what the problem actually is. I also want to know whether she can carry on with agility or not, as I would much rather have a pain free dog, than carry on doing something which though she loves it, could cause her problems further down the road.

I am hesitant to go against both vets' advice which was, for the time being, strictly no exercise. Personally I don't feel qualified to make that call - I feel guilty enough at the prospect that I may have been causing her pain already, if I was to make the situation worse, even though I thought I was doing the best for her in the short term, I would never forgive myself.

I hope that makes sense. At the end of the day, she is my dog and I want to feel I have done my best for her which for me is to follow the advice of my vets.

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joyfull

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2012, 10:04 »
take your vets advice and then if there is anything that can alleviate the pain (maybe metacam could help as this is an anti inflammatory and a pain killer) then gentle agility work. Collies really do benefit from exercise and using their brains. However if it is a case of worn discs, worn bones or bones fusing then gentle exercise will be all you can do.
We had a GSD with spinal trouble but didn't know until he was 7 and it was too far gone to treat - your instructor was very astute to recognise the possible problem so early on giving you time to try and do something  :).

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arugula

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2012, 11:39 »
I can't offer any advice, only my best wishes to you and your dog for a speedy recovery. I can only begin to imagine what it would be like if my 5 year old Border Collie wasn't allowed to exercise... :(
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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 13:28 »
Thank you both. Yes she is already on metacam - the first vet gave her an injection and the second followed this up with an oral treatment which she has to take for the period of the two weeks. She is very good at taking it (syringed into her mouth after her food) but that might be because she's sussed she gets a nice piece of chicken as a reward afterwards! ::) Far easier than medicating pet rats that's for sure! :lol:

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compostqueen

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2012, 14:20 »
Yes, you'd need to be reassured that the vet's advice was good.  I hope you get to the bottom of whatever the problem is, if indeed there is one and that your dog will soon be quite well again.  Good luck  :)

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joyfull

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2012, 15:34 »
my dogs love metacam as do the chickens - my vet said it is honey flavoured but I didn't want to try it to find out :lol:

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like diggingk

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Re: Dog with a spinal problem/keeping a collie x quiet!
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 20:52 »
sorry to hear about Jem hope she will get well soon

my border collie molly would not go out for 4 days
took her to the vets they could not find anything wrong with her
2 weeks later and she fine most day but yeterday would not go out  :(
fine today just can't work it out  :blink:
think i will take her back to the vet again  :wacko:



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