Treatment will be directed according to your dog's condition, the severity of the symptoms, and the extent of damage to the spinal cord. Mild improvement may be seen in the first 14 days of treatment, with further improvement occurring between three to six weeks of treatment. From there on, recovery should progress until your dog is feeling energetic again. Recovery from weakness is slow but gradual and will require patient, supportive care.
While your dog is recovering from this injury, it may have some troubles with incontinence, both urinary and fecal, or it may suffer from urinary tract infections. These symptoms should improve. However, if symptoms do not improve or if there is irreversible damage to the spinal cord, your veterinarian may suggest that you consider euthanasia for your dog.
Living and Management
While your dog is in the recovery process, provide a calm and comfortable space for it to rest and heal, away from other pets and active children. If it is not practical to restrict your dog's movement, cage rest may be an option. Your dog will be feeling weak in the first several weeks of recovery. To save your dog and yourself the frustration of accidents, you may want to place a layer of newspaper near to where it is resting. Because you will need to encourage your dog to rest as much as possible, forgoing the walks for short, scheduled breaks to go outside should be the plan for several weeks.
Part of supportive care will include creating a resting area that is well padded, and making sure to turn your dog frequently to avoid bed sores. Do not underestimate the healing capacity of affection. Petting your dog so that it feels safe and hand feeding treats and small, high protein meals during this period of time will help your dog to heal. Encourage your dog to move a bit by making sure that the food is close by and easily accessible.
Your veterinarian will schedule a follow-up visit to monitor your dog's recovery and make changes to its diet or physical routine as it progresses.
A disease of the bone marrow or of the spine
A procedure of imaging internal body structures by exposing film
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
The padding found between the vertebrae that keeps them from rubbing together
The term used to describe the movement of an animal
The blockage of a vessel by an object, like air or fat
Inducing death on an animal or putting them to sleep
A medical condition in which an animal is unable to control the movements of their muscles; may result in collapse or stumbling.
A routine of feeding in which the animal is fed certain amounts of food at certain times of the day