Jump to content
BC Boards

Max My Border Collie - Need Advice/Info Hemilaminectomy


Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

First time positing here. I registered so I can ask for advice or information. Sadly Max my Border Collie and best friend was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease and Surgery was required and performed.

I got him home last Wednesday. I have got him a dog playpen, a great bed for dogs recovering from such surgery and it is a case of physio and playpen rest.

 

I have been given instructions on physio from the surgeons and Max is due to see a physiotherapist on Tuesday to receive physio/hydrotherapy.

I cant find any information on the internet where Border Collies and this disease is concerned apart from one unfortunate owner who posted here back in 2008.

 

Is it common for Border Collies to suffer from this degenerative disease?

If so is it common for them to be so young? Max is 6 years and 4 months old.

Is it for definite that he has a degenerative disease because one of his discs ruptured? Could it be that he was too extreme in his exercise? As much Border Collies are always on the go.

Supposedly genetics have a role to play, but his dad and mum was very healthy and when I picked him up as a puppy his Granddad (19 years old was still around)

Have I done anything wrong to cause this?

I have to remain positive so I am going to put it like this "when I have him back one his 4 limbs moving around how do I make sure he has an enjoyable life whilst reducing risks to his back?"

Has anyone else been through this on these forums apart from that unfortunate owner back in 2008 and if so has those people got any Wisdom, Advice and kind words for me?

 

Best Regards,

 

Mark Cosgrove

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry I don't have much to offer in the way of information. One of my late dogs had a bulging disc but it was caught early and was successfully treated with crate rest. IIRC, it was at pretty close to the same age as Max.

 

The one thing I would advise is to follow the recommendations of your veterinary team so that he has the chance to heal and recover fully from this. It would be easy to give in to your dog and allow him to start doing things too soon that could cause setbacks.

 

As far as information on the condition, it's not border collie specific, so researching intervertebral disc disease in dogs (or canine) should yield a lot of information.

 

I wish you and Max the very best in his recovery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Google crate games. There are many things you can do to keep that wonderful brain occupied while he is recuperating. Check w/the physiotherapists & doc to make sure that the specific ones you might want to use with him are okay for his specific situation.

 

Perhaps your questions about border collies being prone to this injury could be addressed to your veterinarians, particularly the surgeon.

 

I am so sorry that you and Max are having to deal with this. It turns our worlds upside down when our beloved beasties are so ill. Best of luck, and please let us know how you and Max get on.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have experience with it because I owned a chondrodystrophic breed (Dachshunds).

 

The Dachshund Club of America has some useful information:

 

http://www.dachshundclubofamerica.org/ivdd-booklet/

 

http://www.dachshundclubofamerica.org/intervertebral-disc-disease/

 

ETA: This is a different breed, of course, so take this for what it's worth: We who have owned Dachshunds who have had this problem (and even Dachshunds who haven't had IVDD) do not allow our dogs to jump off of couches or beds. We buy or build ramps. We also don't allow our dogs to do stairs; particularly going down.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked as a Veterinary Technician for over 20 years (ugh, I now feel old) and I've never seen a Border Collie with this problem. It is common in Dachshunds and other small breed dogs with long backs. We do have a German Shepherd that went to a specialty Hospital and they did an MRI and found multiple areas of disease although nothing had ruptured yet. They sent instructions home with the owner on strict exercise restriction for the rest of her life. No jumping, ever. Essentially, the instructions said, all four feet should stay on the ground.

The specialist should be able to tell you if on the MRI there was other areas of concern for your dog. If everything else looks great I'd be willing to believe he did some crazy acrobatic that caused the problem and it was simply an unfortunate occurrence.

I'm sorry, I wish you and Max the best. Perhaps swimming would be something he would enjoy and would help him burn off energy and regain mobility. Ask the therapist. Oh, I'm rereading your post and I see he is to have hydrotherapy.

Keep us posted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for your kind words and replies. I do know from reading on here that other Border Collies have suffered from the same illness. Max has regain somewhat control over his bladder and his left leg is working to an extent, I only got him back home last Wednesday so I feel positive over that. He attends Physio tomorrow I will let you all know how he goes on.

 

Best Regards,

 

Mark C

Link to post
Share on other sites

When my border collie was 6yrs old he herniated a disc in his back. Surgery was done, my guy was only given a 50% chance of regaining function in his hind legs(he had no feeling in his his feet prior to surgery even though surgery was performed less then 36 hours after the injury). He had hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic and Accupuncture for 1 year. Unfortunately he didn't regain function, it has been 19 months since his surgery. He is still the same amazing dog he was before this all happened. He has a wheelchair and gets around great, nothing every slows him down. He still goes hiking, swimming, running on the beach with my other dog.

 

I really hope that Max has a quick and successful recovery. Just keep positive and do what ever exercises are recommended.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Just wanted to give an update on how Max is doing. So after getting him back home the first few days where rough. Mainly just because I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. Soon got to grips with it, carried out his physio 3 times a day and spoiled him. More importantly got into a routine. It has only been two weeks that I have had him back. He has seen a professional physio which came up with a new plan for Max and showed me thoroughly what to do and poor Laura XD I asked her 1001 questions.

 

Max has started using his left leg properly and has started trying to use his right leg which he is getting better at doing.

Considering it has been only two weeks I am more than happy with this, just hope he keeps improving.

Will keep you updated when I get any spare time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, haven't checked this forum for a while as ive been very busy. Just thought I would check in and give a another quick update. Max has had two hydrotherapy sessions over the last two weeks and each time the Physio has seen him she has been astounded at Max's recovery. This is week 4 and I was so chuffed as she gave me the all clear to give max a 5 min on lead walk. I know its only 5 minutes but to Max having been what he has been through and not being outside the hosue apart from the backgarden... I know it would mean the world to him :) I just got back from taking him for his first walk since the start of this ordeal and you would think ive given him the world.

Im absolutely made up with him, I know I have been with him all the way and given him the best treatment at home and with the professionals but Max is an amazing companion. At week 3 he was walking mis corodinated with no assistance and from what I was told most dogs only start that at week 4 even in a good recovery.

Anyhow I will keep you all posted on his progress :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, I have not posted in here in a while. So Max is doing really well, has been giving the all clear for two 10 - 15 minute walks per day. My sister said he is almost walking that well that you would not know anything had happened.

If I had to point one thing out his left leg is stronger than his right but I feel he is improving on both with his physio and hydra therapy.

I am hoping I can get some advice though. Max is feeling that much better that he thinks he is fine. When I got him home I had certain rules given to me. He isn't allowed to climb stairs, jump on furniture etc.

He has gone upstairs once, got 3/4 of way up the stairs another time and Jumped on the bed twice.

I am trying sooo hard to make sure he doesn't do anything to cause any harm to himself but he is ironically so quick. If I could just communicate with him and have him understand.

I feel like an awful owner because these things have happened. I mean he seems absolutely fine but I am just terrified if it happens again that the will come a time where Max wont be :(

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keeping a border collie who's feeling better can be a real challenge. Ask me how I know. :rolleyes:

 

If he were my dog he'd be confined in an x-pen whenever I couldn't actually be watching him so that he couldn't do these things he shouldn't be doing. Yes, it will be tough on him and no, he won't understand or appreciate it, but IMO it's just not worth the risk of him re-injuring himself.

 

Best wishes that he continues to recover uneventfully.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Google 'crate games'. Teaching him new tricks that he can safely do will keep him engaged with you and give that brain something to do. Feed him out of puzzle toys, or make them for him. A piece of pvc pipe with holes drilled into that will let kibble drop out if the pipe just happens to be nudged around by a bored dog is good. An old plastic water bottle w/the lid taken off can do the same thing.

 

Crate games will show you that's there's lots you can do to keep that busy mind working. That helps a lot.

 

R & G

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi thanks for the replies. He is at physio therapy / hydra therapy tommorow. I will be letting Laura know what my last reply entailed. He does seem absolutely fine. However I completley agree it is not worth the risk and I am trying my up most best to make sure his amazing recovery continues.

Not to be big headed but I am constantly with Max day in and day out which I think is why he is recovering so well. The physiotherapist "Laura" said that I have done amazing with him.

The are a lot of people at home and I kind of think that plays a part in the mishaps. I do have a massive pen for him which I have rearranged an area of the house to put it.

I will have to sit down and rethink strategy/tactic going forward. The fact that any mishaps have happened shows that the strategy on his recovery needs to be revisited.

 

Side note: Laura his physiotherapist agrees with a commenter on here... A veterinary technician of 40 years said he has never heard of a border collie suffering from IVDD and if he had to guess thinks Max has done something crazy and acrobatic which has caused his slip disc. I am really hoping this is the case and that after his 3 - 6 month recovery period as long as I don't let him go full pelt and be on the go all the time. E.g. Two walks a day on lead for 80% of it and some gentle of lead for 20 % of the walk and no going up stairs or jumping on furniture as a rule... That Max will not have a relapse in future. "Fingers crossed"

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi, I am hoping I get some replies to this. So Max is going on a 20 minute walk earlier in the day and a 10 minute walk of the evening. Thankfully he seems happy with that. I have another dog Jack who is a border collie / whippet. He is 10 and has never had any issues and is still very fast when on a hyper. Max just saw Jack playing with a member of my family and was crying as he wanted to play.

My question is obviously he needs to not run too fast and over do it and all legs have to stay on the ground. So how do I play with Max and yet not risk injury?

I think I find myself getting fustrated for him.

Really would appreciate advice :)

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

Google 'crate games' for things you can do with him. He needs interaction with his human(s). Teaching him silly tricks, teaching him new cues, say in Spanish or French or whatever language you want to use, for things he already knows, that will keep his mind busy too.

 

If he's got favorite people, and he doesn't go nuts jumping around and stuff when they visit, arrange some human company for him. Ask a friend that you trust to take him for a walk.

 

Search the topics, I'm sure there are other suggestions.

 

Good luck,

 

Ruth & Gibbs

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

Thanks for your reply. So Max's Physiotherapist/Hydra therapist has gone on leave as is expecting her Baby anytime now (Laura) She is a fantastic and lovely Scottish lady with a great sense of humor.

I saw Laura's colleague last time who is lovely, though some of her advice contradicted what Laura had said on previous visits. So Laura was happy for me to have Max 80% on lead and 20% off lead on walks. Most of the time I only let him off lead for a few minutes in a quiet and remote place so he can sniff and explore. Max knows calm/close and slow down commands to make sure he is always in a controlled manner.

Laura's colleague though advised No off lead and not to let him have any loose lead and to have him at my side and walk slowly.

 

I took the advice but im finding it hard as walking as slow as she recommended means Max dosn't get to see as many sights with in his designated walk allowance. When I say slow I mean any slower and I would be standing still and I can see it is frustrating Max.

Then no off lead not even for a few mins using commands that keeps max in a control manner. Im all for being careful and not risking anything but Im also thinking about Max's quality of life.

I mean Laura always said she couldn't get over Max's recovery and that is with my constant supervision and caring for him and thanks for the excellent surgeons and of course Laura.

Max's recovery has been without the paramaters of > walking as slow as to near standstill and absolutely no off lead time even in a control manner.

Max is 5 months post op now, as I am typing this im thinking am I wrong but then Max has got to this stage with Lauras advice which was slightly different so urgh I dont know im just woffling now.

 

Any advice or help would be great.

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this is the problem but when you select to attach the photo, so that the thumbnail size comes up at the bottom of the post screen, you then need to click the "add to post" button. I missed that at first. Otherwise post it to a photo hosting website, make sure it is public and post the link.

 

I hope that makes sense...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...