Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with Honey. You've described a doxi suffering from cervical (neck) intervertebral disk disease - a "slipped disk". If she has completely lost the use of her front legs, Honey is a surgical candidate; in other words, the disk(s) that is compressing her spinal cord and causing her paralysis
would be removed. Time is of the essence in these patients. The sooner surgical compression is performed, the better her prognosis.
Here are important facts for you to note:
The most important prognostic indicator for paralyzed dogs - usually due to degenerative disk disease in a 6 year old doxi - is the presence or absence of nociception (deep pain). This assessment is always subjective but apparent loss of sensation caudal (behind) the level of spinal cord injury suggests the possibility for permanent paralysis regardless of treatment. Approximately 50% of dogs in this condition recover if treated with decompressive surgery.
Approximately 90-97% of dogs with intact nociception, even if they're paraplegic or tetraplegic, recover fully or nearly fully with surgical decompression. However, the time frame for recovery is extremely variable (few days to many months).
With nonsurgical treatment about 85% of ambulatory and 50% of nonambulatory (but retaining pain perception) dogs ultimately recover.
The recurrence rate (i.e., a new disk extrusion at a different level) is low in nonchondrodystrophic breeds (non "pushed-in faces" breeds), although some of these dogs (especially German shepherds
) may have initial signs attributable to disk disease at multiple levels simultaneously. For chondrodysplastic breeds treated with surgical decompression, recurrence rates vary from 5-20%. The recurrence rate for medically managed patients is about 40%.
Dogs with signs attributable to ascending-descending myelomalacia due to bleeding
in the spinal cord have a poor prognosis.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.