We have a 4/5 year old dog we adopted about 6 months ago from a shelter. Archie is a beagle/GS/retriever/hound mix and about 35 pounds. He was a neglect case and part of a situation in which many animals were seized from a household. He walked with a limp/had some muscle wasting in his back leg and was set to be put down because he was not considered adoptable due to this. We were told he had a broken leg that healed poorly without treatment. We adopted him and took him to our vet and asked for xrays to better understand what we were dealing with. Turns out, he had suffered multiple pelvic fractures that never got any medical attention. Both hips are dislocated and the limp and muscle wasting was a result of that.
Out vet started him on gabapentin and rimadyl and referred us to a surgeon. The surgeon did not recommend surgery as the injury was too severe but did try some therapy with acupuncture. He improved and all was well. We made sure his walks were short and not too strenuous and kept up with his meds religiously. We have stairs in our house and would occasionally need to carry him but he generally did really well. He has a tremendous amount of heart and really wants to please.
Last week he woke us up whimpering and showing signs of lameness in his right back leg. We took him to the emergency vet. New x rays were taken. There have been negative changes since the last set. We were given codeine as an additional temporary pain management assist and sent home. I brought out a heating pad for his back legs and hips. Things got worse with his pain and he could not get comfortable, was crying terribly and obviously in distress. He was hospitalized for 24 hours with a morphine drip. The surgeon said he needed to see a neurologic surgeon as he has advanced degenerative joint issues and possible nerve entrapment. We asked about quality of life and got kind of a snippy answer.
We have been at home all weekend, sleeping downstairs with the dog and it just doesn't seem like he is doing any better. He can go on short walks-- a block at most- and loves it, but every evening he seems to have real trouble getting comfortable. Though its not as bad as it had been, he still pants and will whimper now and then/shift a lot. He hates his codeine as the pills seem bitter. We have tried putting it in no less than 10 different kinds of food- he will eat it once and then not again and we have to start over. We are taking him to a neurologist but not hopeful based on everything I have been reading. I don't know that we would put him through the trauma of surgery for very little possibility of improving his pain. I have been working from home for a week just to monitor him. I can't do it forever and I am very worried about him.
Has anyone had a dog with these sorts of issues? He is young and healthy and just as sweet as can be. Was there anything that helped? Products you can recommend? Ideas to try? I have been researching carts but the surgeon thought getting him in and out would be painful for him. Mobility harnesses are out for the same reason. Is this hopeless?