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Was my dog misdiagnosed?

This is a discussion on Was my dog misdiagnosed? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I was about 11 years old, and she was ten years, had her all my life, that was 2 years ago and I still can't ...

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Old 02-22-2018, 10:55 PM
  #11
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I was about 11 years old, and she was ten years, had her all my life, that was 2 years ago and I still can't help wondering sometimes...
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:16 AM
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My frenchie had an FCE which is an embolism/clot in her spinal cord which caused paralysis in her hind legs. She had previously had surgery for a herniated disc and then had the FCE unrelated to the surgery. Her neurogolist said that 80% of dogs recover from an FCE but the only way to properly diagnose is with an MRI which is expensive. I would never put my dog down unless she was suffering and being paralyzed doesn’t phase her at all. She is still her spunky self.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:37 AM
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No offense but a small dog like a French bulldog can probably adjust much easier to being paralyzed in the hind legs than a large dog like the original poster. You can easily pick up a small dog and paper train them so they never have to go outside or walk much at all to use the bathroom and you can just take them outside for air when it's convenient for you.
For an active gsd husky mix who liked to jump a lot like the op had, suddenly being paralyzed might have been much more traumatizing. And a huge adjustment. My 75 pound Akita pitbull mix had a genetic degenerative spinal disease at age eleven and for five months got weaker and lost the ability to use his hind legs. Sometimes he could walk a little, sometimes he could actually run a few steps, sometimes he would drag his whole back end or just lie there and look at me. He wouldn't use the pee pads but shredded them. I kept hoping for a miracle cure and he was spunky and loving and eating and drinking. But he wouldn't go inside on pee pads, so I had to use slings and a medical harness to carry him up and down three flights of carpeted stairs several times a day and clean many accidents on the way down. Plus my carpeted apartment was destroyed with odor. He was active and high energy and until that disease at age eleven he needed to run, jump and play for at least one to three hours a day.
It's a huge adjustment for an active hyper dog. It's traumatizing for dog and owner. He had a constant sore on one paw because he always dragged that paw. He ripped off and destroyed every sock, bandage, cast and boot I put on it. I cared for him full time for every second of that five months because I couldn't bear to put him down and I didn't think he was ready to go until the last week. I definitely put my entire life on hold and jeopardized my job at the time. Every second of those months was heartbreaking and maybe I should have euthanized him but I would never judge anyone facing that decision for whatever decision they make. It's expensive, I spent thousands even with pet insurance, emotionally heart wrenching and a full time commitment. Everyone knows their own dog best and some dogs might not be able to handle being so dependent on their owner and not being able to run and jump anymore.
It's a huge decision, especially with a large active dog.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:06 AM
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No offense taken, my point was that depending on the actual diagnosis the dog could have recovered. I’m not saying it would have but it almost seemed as if the dog wasn’t even given a chance...I understand people have different life and financial circumstances.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:38 PM
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Even an MRI is traumatic for a dog to go through. I hate MRIs and I have open ones, it takes all I can bear to get through one and I don't have ant particular anxiety or claustrophobia disorders, except in an MRI machine. I'm comfortable in crowds and crowded tight spaces otherwise.

Dogs have to be under anesthesia for an MRI which has risks. When my dog was sent home from both his MRIs the same night he whined and whimpered and was agitated the whole night until well into the next day. Common anesthesia reaction but nothing I could do to calm him down, no more medicine safe to counteract it and I felt awful for causing his distress. It literally broke my heart hearing him crying like that since he was always so bold and stoic and never made a sound except in protection or happy anticipation, never in distress.
I've had cats have the same reaction but after a more invasive surgery, there's a reason they keep them in the hospital the first night to let them recover and don't let you visit til the next day. Too agitating for the pet and very distressing for the owner.
It's not just expensive, my dog's insurance covered 90 percent of it. If there's a likely diagnosis and prognosis, you have to think of what you're going to put your senior pet through. Even if they're in good health overall they don't recover as well or quickly when they're older.
MRIs and other advanced diagnostics and treatments can be invasive and traumatic. They can be lifesaving but they can also have a huge cost emotionally on owner and pet and physically on the pet.

And if the pet dies anyway, how do you feel? Do you feel better knowing that you did absolutely everything possible to try to save it at all costs? Or do you feel you should have peacefully euthanized it without all the interventions?

Everyone makes their own decisions based on the condition and their individual pet and life circumstances.

My answer might be very different for my 29 year old horse vs my three year old dog or seven year old cat.
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