My little 9 year old dachshund began having neck spasms last week that would make her neck pulsate. During the large spasms, her head would pulsate as well, especially after she walked. She didn't want to sleep and was just not her usual self. She could walk, eat, drink, and go to the bathroom fine though. We took her to the neurologist on Monday, and he said it looks as if she has slipped a disk in her neck. He wanted to go ahead and give her surgery, but the thought of surgery makes me so upset for Maggie. We opted to first try the prednisone and valium; he said to give her 8 weeks to get better.
Has anyone else had problems with their dachsie's neck? And if so, did the steriod medication work, or did they have to get surgery? Also, if she heals with the steriods, is there a huge chance that she will have problems again in the near future? How well do they heal with the steriods? I am so worried that we won't be able to go on vacation anymore as she goes crazy when we get to toll booths, see people at rest plazas, etc. Is that the type of thing that could reinjure her little neck? She barks so wildly.
And for the biggie question...how in the world do you keep their necks still when trying to heal them? The vet told us not to let her shake. How can you stop them from shaking? She does that about 3 times per day. She also is not supposed to look up or to the right or left. How can I make her sit still? She is constantly looking up, down, all around. I am so worried that she won't heal by doing these things that she is not supposed to do. I am so upset about her neck...we have been so careful so that she wouldn't hurt herself (she does not jump, stand on her hind legs, I always take her in the fenced-in back yard with a leash, etc.), I just don't know how this happened. The thought of them cutting her little neck for surgery just sickens me. That's all I think about now.
The neck spasms are much better and actually went away until yesterday. Maggie's spasms started back yesterday, as the UPS delivery man knocked on the front door (despite the "Do Not Knock" signs that I put on the door), so she went crazy barking. The spasms came back after that and have been going off and on, espeically when she walks to use the bathroom. They are not nearly as bad as they were at the beginning of the week though.
The vet told us to give her more valium to keep her more sedated. He also told us to keep her still on a flat surface; so she has just been sitting on the couch or bed with someone at all times. Is it necessary to have it totally a flat surface? I will be crating her next week when she is home alone, and I usually put pillows along the bottom to make it softer for her. Do you think that's ok? It's soft pillowy flat, but not hard plastic flat.
Thank you all for any information that you can provide. I really appreciate it. I am so glad that I found this message board full of dachshund lovers.
Hi Maggie May and welcome to DBB! :waving:
To answer one question . . . yes, Wimpy's spinal problem was in his neck. His surgery fixed it and he was fine in no time. However, it was nothing like you are describing . . . like all other cervical problems we've heard of the difficulty manifested itself in weakness in his limbs and inability to walk . . . paralysis. So, we're not talking apples to apples in regards to the symptoms. It could be the beginning signs leading to weakness and paralysis though.
For some the steroid therapy works and for others it does not. I'm not sure what the Neurologist was thinking by not ordering her crated until further notice, but that is S.O.P. in these cases . . . it would limit the movement more than if left out. In fact, Tiny is currently crated (with a plush blanky folded and flat) because she is exhibiting signs of pain. She is only taken out to be held (for attention) or to be *carried* out to go potty. The more restricted Maggie's movements are the better the chance for the meds to work. I'm also not sure about the vet when he says, "don't let her shake or move her head around". There's no way to stop that, even crated. If you doubt the vet, then maybe you need to ask another neurologist to read the xrays, mylogram and other tests . . . and to examine Maggie for his opinion. IMHO If surgery is inevitable and recommended by 2 neurologists . . . please don't let your feelings about the surgery deny Maggie the chance to be healed and survive.
Many of us here have been thru the surgery . . . some prior to paralysis and others after they have gone down. On the whole, I think that almost all for the members here came out with a near full recovery.
In any case we are sending Mega Dachsie Healing RAYZ
Mark and Jean
Caleigh (7/27/2012) and Dusty (7/25/2012)
Forever in our hearts
Beloved Wimpy (1/21/1990 - 11/27/2002)
Sweet Susie (12/4/1991 - 10/31/2008)
Bold Brutus (1/9/1995 - 4/23/2010)
Beautiful Debbie (11/9/98 - 9/21/2012)
Soulful Star (5/8/99 - 10/30/2012)
Precious Tiny (4/15/94 -11/27/2012)
I really appreciate the information. I should have clarified better. Maggie's vet feels that we should stick to the crate rest for about 8 weeks, just in case it is in fact a slipped disc in her neck. He said it could also be a really bad pulled muscle, but we're not going to take any chances. The neurologist wanted to do the surgery because he, for some reason, thought that Maggie had already been on steroids for a month to no avail. So he was fine about us first trying the steriod treatment before surgery. Hopefully she will do ok with only the steroids and valium. She is now weening off the steroids and takes one every other day. The spasms have gone down now, and we are just hoping for the best. Thank you again for your help and concern. I really appreciate it!
Another suggestion if you are not already..
doing so is adding supplements. Ester C, and glucosamine/chondrotin have been known to help for this condition and many dachsie owners even give it to their puppers for preventative measures along with Salmon oil which has properties to help arthritis.