First, thank you so much for all the kind words and prayers on Facebook and Instagram during Chuy’s unexpected trip to the vet. I can’t even express how much I appreciate you! It’s great to be able to share these experiences with other pet parents that have been in the same situation and can relate and share advice. The power of the internet is amazing!
An Unexpected Trip to the Vet
Yesterday started out as any normal morning. I got up, let Chuy out in the backyard to do his business and started making our breakfast. Chuy ate, played around downstairs and then it was time to get to work upstairs in my office. He wouldn’t follow me. I figured he was just being a jerk and wasn’t ready to get to work yet. About 10 minutes later, he finally came into the office but immediately went and sat in the corner. He wouldn’t come when I called him, so I knew something wasn’t right. I noticed he was shaking and licking his mouth a lot.
I work from home and Chuy literally follows me every where I go, all day long! I walked over to the bedroom and Chuy wouldn’t come with me. He finally wandered over there and sat at the end of the bed. I could tell he wanted to come up but couldn’t. I also noticed his walk was a bit wobbly and stiff. I pretty much assumed it was his back flaring up again because we’ve been through this twice already.
We’ve Been Through This Before . . .
The summer of 2012 is when all of this first started and Chuy was diagnosed with a Bulging Disc. Then again, last June, Chuy was taken to the ER for similar issues. They diagnosed him with Compressed Disc Space and we had to follow up with a surgeon to discuss options. The surgeon determined that they didn’t want to operate at this point and we would just continue to monitor him.
Last Minute Vet Appointment
Chuy was in pretty bad shape and I knew he needed to see a vet ASAP! I called the vet and they said they could get us in at 2pm. When it came time to leave, Chuy wouldn’t even let me pick him up, He would just wince and yelp in pain. It was heart breaking! So I put the crate on the bed and had him crawl in. I knew he was in extreme pain, so I had to be extra careful to not hit any bumps or potholes while driving to the vet.
I shared all of Chuy’s health history with the vet including the copies of Chuy’s X-rays. I keep all of Chuy’s medical records in a binder so that I can quickly take it with me in case of an emergency. Trust me, your vet will be appreciative of this!
The vet and her team did a full exam on Chuy, including a neurological exam and it was determined that his back issues are flaring up again. The vet didn’t want to put Chuy through the hell of taking more xrays (this is extremely painful for a patient with back pain) but said if he doesn’t improve in 24 hours, that would be the next step.
Chuy’s Treatment Plan for Back Pain
They prescribed 3 different medications for pain relief, muscle relaxer, and an anti-inflammatory.
This is Chuy’s little “goodie bag” of RX from the vet!
They also gave him 3 injections at the office to immediately help with nausea and pain.
Chuy is on strict crate rest and can’t go up the stairs, jump on the bed/furniture, or chase any rabbits! You laugh but he has been searching for this one rabbit in our backyard for like 2 weeks straight. It’s hilarious! We will just have to play it by ear to see when he is up to going for a walk or integrating exercise into his routine.
By last night, Chuy was starting to feel better but still in noticeable pain. He was straight chillin’ out while we watched The Voice!
The Day After and Next Steps
Back pain can literally just come out of nowhere. Like the vet said, “once a back problem, always a back problem.” Plus back problems in Chihuahuas are pretty common from the research I’ve done. As of right now, Chuy’s camped out in his crate next to my desk. I should say knocked out because the medication has him feeling drowsy but rest is really good for him right now.
We said we would do this last year and never got around to it but I’m on the lookout for a ramp to use on the bed and couches. It’s so hard to prevent little dogs from jumping around and acting like dogs! I figure this will at least cut down on some of the impact on his back.
If you know of any good doggie ramps, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email. Also, any tips on dealing with back pain in dogs would be much appreciated!