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My girl has a back problem

Gary M

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It’s odd what you take for granted.

Sunday night I was scolding Baby Girl at 8:00 to be quiet and that we were not going out to play Frisbee for what would be the 10th or 12th time of the day.

Less than 48 hours later, all I hope for is to be able to play Frisbee again with her at all.


It is a little past noon on Tuesday and we are in the waiting room of Michigan State University Veterinary Hospital while they are examining her.


Yesterday, Monday, when I got home from work I let her and the rest of the gang out as usual. Baby grabbed the Frisbee, shook it and kind of tossed it at me as usual. But when I threw it for her, she did not chase it as usual. Her back legs kind of bunny hopped as she went to get it and it was clear something was not right.


She followed me into the house with this strange gait and we sat down in the kitchen. I checked up and down her legs, hips and back for any signs of pain or tenderness but didn’t find any area that she objected to me touching.


She went outside a few times during the rest of the night and even bugged me to go out and play. We did notice during the rest of the night that instead of her usual pacing from here to there that as soon as she stopped moving she would sit or lay down.


This morning she had definitely deteriorated from the night before. She does not want to stand on her rear legs and frog hops from place to place. She is still as attentive and alert as ever. We decided to bypass going to our regular vet to have her looked at and instead headed straight for MSU.


Their initial examination also found no sign of injury or pain. They are doing complete blood work and X-ray’s and then will have their orthopedic people take a look. Depending on the results we will either have a CT scan done here or go to Novi and have an MRI taken. The clinic they mentioned in Novi are orthopedic and neurological specialists and can perform surgery on site if necessary or possible. From what the doctor at MSU said, I guess I will bypass the CT since she said that the CT would not preclude an MRI, but an MRI would make a CT unnecessary.


I hate the waiting part the most. Years ago we had a mutt terrier, Sadie, that we had to PTS after a back injury that was inoperable. And it was also an OK one day and not OK the next. No indications or warnings, just healthy to paralyzed to gone in less than 4 days.


We are trying to keep a positive outlook while we wait, but those of you that have been here no how hard that is to do.


She is our Baby Girl, our sweet little border brat.

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I'm sorry her back is hurting. I know how rough it is not really knowing what's wrong. the worst part is not being able to do anything for a while. I went through (and still am) going through back problems with Black Jack. He's great somedays and not so great others. If you need to talk just pm me. I'll be happy to listen or help anyway I can.

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I really hope she's okay- if it makes you feel any better my little Pasqual had a back problem a few months after we adopted him. He went from being a bit stiff to not being able to use his hind legs in a matter of days- with a bit of rest and rimadyl he recovered and is still here four years later. I hope she's okay. I'm really sorry- I know it's so stressful not knowing.

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Prayers said!


This is Frankie as a pup a week after being injured and throwing a blood clot to his spinal cord which resulted in paralysis. He could not even roll himself into an upright position. His progress was slow, but he got better. One day he stood for a second. Within a week of standing for the first time he could stand long enough to pee, 6 weeks later he could run around, though not very gracefully.



This was Frankie a few weeks ago. He still pees in the house by accident sometimes, has trouble getting up on slick floors and falls a lot when he works sheep, but he is happy and enjoys life.


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Thank all of you for your thoughts.


We went out to Denny's for breakfast and we were going to go over to the near by mall to do some distracting window shopping. After almost absentmindedly running through a red light (did stop in time but made some people nervous) we decided that the best thing to do was come back to the clinic and just wait.

Gives me a chance to catch up on my email and such and be here if they need to talk to us right away.

Were are lucky that MSU is about an hour away. It is an excellent facility and we have had a couple of our dogs here before.

But it has been over 5 hours since they took her back and 3 since we have returned from eating.

I tried to do some programming work while I have been sitting here, but caught a couple silly mistakes I made and if I screw that up, people or machines can get hurt or damaged. Another not good thing.

So I'll just keep reading the debate in Coffee Break over the 1st Amendment, although frankly, the religious part of the 1st concerns me less than the freedom of speech, assembly and redress of grievences, but that is another topic.

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Well we got back from the clinic about an hour ago.

Blood work looked good, X-rays showed nothing but a slight depression between T13 and L1 that the doctor did not feel was related.

They recommended the MRI, but we can't get in until Thursday morning.


On the plus side (I guess) is that Baby does not seem to be aware that anything is wrong.

When we got home and I set her in the living room, she scooted over and grabbed one of her toys and started shaking it and threw it to me. I tossed it for her but made sure she could catch it.

Also after dinner she still did her Frisbee begging routine, but that is obviously out.

So at this point we just have to wait it out unless there is a dramatic change.


Thanks again for the well wishes and the support.

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Oh Gary I am so sorry to hear this. What a storng girl you have, I am sure her antics help put a smile on your face. Please keep us updated and know that we have you all in our thoughts. If I ever get the time I will have to go back and check on the first amendment thread and join back in- especially if it will help keep your mind off of the stress :rolleyes:

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Ruger got bummed up a couple of weeks ago. My wife actually noticed him limping before I caught on. I am sure it was from playing frisbee. I was very careful with him and started him on glucosamine. I will keep him on the glucosamine forever since the frisbee dogs do way more jumping than any other dog. He is back to normal but I was scared there for a while. This was the first time he was ever hurt.


Hope Baby comes out okay. Having dogs that are OCD over frisbees and not being able to play is not fun.

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Well, I guess it's kind of a good news/bad news situation, Gary. Sounds like she's not deterioriating any more, and it's really good that she's happy in herself - that must make it a little easier on you. Best wishes and positive thoughts from the land down under Down Under.

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My poodle had a back problem a couple years ago. He was in the backyard and yelped loudly but seemed fine when the hubby checked on him. He was meeting me at practice with one of the other dogs so he did not think anything of it. We got home and Aspen's could barely walk. I was freaking. Anyways, took him to the vets the next day and they were checking his back and they felt a pop. The vets eyes got real big. It seems he had a vertebrae out of place and it popped back in accidently. He was on prednisone for a couple weeks and it has never happened again. His back does tighten up easily so we have to keep it warmed at but he is playing flyball again. We are just careful about warming him up and such...


Sorry to hear of the back problems. I hope all goes ok.

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One of the things that the vet at MSU did say it that it could possibly be Myesthenia Gravis.

They did the Tensilon test and there was mild improvement, but not to the degree that they typically see with MG afflicted dogs.

This morning was about the same as yesterday. No improvement, but at least it was not worse.

I am thankful that she is not in any pain and as I mentioned earlier, she does not seem to be aware that anything is out of the ordinary except that she can't stand up.

She did do a normal squat to urinate last night and this morning and her appetite is still as strong as ever.

To look at her laying on her rug in the kitchen, you would not know that anything is wrong.

All we can do is wait till tomorrow when we take her to the neurology specialist and see what they can come up with.

She does manage to get around with her frog hopping, which if not for this situation, would be funny to watch.

We are trying to minimize her movements because even though she shows no sign of pain when she does this, we don't want to take a chance that it may be aggravating the condition.

I will post everything as it happens or what we find out.

Its good for me, and I can't tell everybody enough how much your responses, thoughts and sharing mean to me.

I also hope that everything I post can possibly be helpful should anyone else see similar symptoms in their dogs.

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I'm so sorry Baby Girl is having this issue but it really does sound like you are doing every thing you can. I know how hard it is trying to maintain normalcy when you are distracted, please take care of yourself too.

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