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congential spinal stenosis post op advice

1781 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  LittleLucy

I'm looking for advice because my puppy's regular vet has no clue what to tell me and redirects me to the specialist and the specialist does not return my calls or emails so I feel pretty lost.

My 15 mo old hound/pit mix had a laminectomy 7 weeks ago to correct spinal cord compression from overgrown vertebrae at T13-L1. She's doing a ton better but still has symptoms. I understand that neurological damage can sometimes take FOREVER to recover and may never recover completely. She's young and extremely HIGH energy and has responded pretty badly to all this bed rest. I have made every effort to spend every moment not at work with her to the detriment of my friendships and provide her with mental stim. We are now walking a lot but she's become stubborn when we turn around to head home even after walking for hours and this never ending heatwave and intense humidity (I live in NYC) make no difference. The vet said jogging is ok but she never liked it before surgery and likes it even less now. I feel she is depressed at home either stalking me or laying in bed and sighing. If I try to just hang out with her and stroke her body she gets up within 30 seconds and walks away from me and will literally lay down 4 feet away from me (she was never a lap dog so this isn't new behavior). I want to know what activities are safe. Is jog-walking safe? Are long walks safe? are there any activities that will strengthen her core and support her spine better? what type of harness is best? she has a freedom harness but I was wondering if a fusionpets whiz harness would be better or worse. She is a masterful puller and we are working on impulse control around distractions. A lot of obedience training has suffered from bed rest and confinement. Before she became symptomatic I was considering agility training since she is food motivated and active or tracking (i have no idea where) because of her hound nature.

So along with her seeming depression in the apartment, she pulls away from home. We have a battle of wills on my block while she pulls in every direction away from home. she will drag on leash when we walk TOWARDS my home even if we are 30 blocks away. If we walk past my building she suddenly sprints forward with joy and practically flips out with joy. Yet, once I get her inside she is calm and walks/runs up the stair happily on her own with no encouragement.

She has also started growling and alert barking while staring into space and even laying down. That freaks me out actually. I wonder if she's just suffering from cabin fever or if there is a bigger issue I need to address that I can't see. I'd have her trainer over asap except $ is an issue after the cost of this surgery.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I know that a tired dog is a well behaved and happy dog. what activities can help us accomplish a tired happy dog?

Thank you in advance.
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Hi, thank you for responding.

We use a freedom harness and a Halti for leash walking. She doesn't need the Halti anymore because she doesn't pull ahead or lunge as we have been working on leash training for a long time. The pulling is to delay going home, or go anywhere other than home. I've been using her toys this week to excite her about the idea of home and playing in the entry way for a few minutes after our walks and that is working fine for now. Hopefully it sticks.

She hates jogging and definitely has a limp so I won't force her to do so. We do go to the dog park daily when I expect it to be empty and throw a ball around while reinforcing recall and target training. She has known targeting and tactile stimulation since the day I adopted her over a year ago.

Additionally she has an array of nylabone durachews, chew ropes, old T-shirts, several kongs, a kong wobbler, neba ball treat dispenser and other toys that I rotate on a daily basis to keep them "fresh" but they have lost their appeal and few toys can withstand the power of her jaws...

We spend a lot of time together learning new tricks with clicker training but her enthusiasm is dead, it seems. the power of the food is fading. Her vet and I are working to determine if she has GI discomfort on top of everything, but that's currently out of my control until we see if this new diet/med plan works. I'm putting off prescription science diet until all else fails because I really don't trust in hydrolyzed protein and that is the food she was supposedly on at the shelter and her condition was atrocious when I adopted her. Also, I am allergic to some of the ingredients myself.

I feel as though this surgery, while saving her life and limbs, has dented our trust and bond severely. I purchased some paw pods from fit paws to train her to stand on them for physical therapy since she does favor her right hind leg. Water therapy is extremely costly on my grad school income, espec after forking over so much for diagnostics and surgery (8K$). I was thinking of the beach but they also cost money to rent a car to get to. Likewise with Central Park being 2 miles from my apt, she can't make the walk there let alone there and back and that's the closest low impact ground I can find. Cabs cost $ and the bus won't take her because she's 50lbs. Starting to regret NYC very much...

I just considered hiking trails today, i think metro north takes dogs on weekends.
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