Pet Questions? Ask a Vet and Get Answers ASAP
I am so sorry to hear that you little dog is unwell and would like to help you and her. I need to get a bit more information in order to better help you.
Is she able to urinate? What about defecate?
Is she eating and drinking?
I would like you to try to help her to urinate. Can you take her outside and support her on the lawn? If you put her in the right position, with her back legs apart, she may be able to void on her own. Wait about 5 minutes to see if she can. If she cannot then you may need to help her to get started. You have to put your hand under her belly, far back towards her back legs. Then, push up into her belly - deeply. Feel for something that feels like a water balloon. By now, I would expect her bladder to be about the size of an orange. If and when you find it, hold it between your fingers and thumb and firmly squeeze it with a constant pressure for about 2 minutes. This may help her to get started urinating.
Let me know how it goes!
No urine came out then? She didn't go on her own at all either?
Ok, thanks for that further information. I am working on your answer. What time is it where you are?
I'm so glad you are going to drop her off at your vet!
I am concerned that your dog may indeed be experiencing paralysis due to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD, herniated disc). This happens when the material in the discs between the boney vertebrae in the back ruptures out and presses on the spinal cord. There is a lot of internal swelling when this occurs, leading to pain and decreased nerve function. This can happen in conjunction with arthritis of the vertebrae, because that causes decreased flexibility between the vertebrae.
Treatment for IVDD often involves anti-inflammatories, pain killers and/or steroids. The goal is to decrease the swelling which in turn decreases the pain and improves nerve function. Sometimes, however, they are not enough. In these situations, surgery can be done to go in and remove the disc material that is pressing on the spine. This is called "decompression" surgery.
In order to determine what is appropriate treatment for your dog, a veterinarian needs to perform a very thorough neurological examination. The vet looks for neurological deficits such as a delay in turning the back foot over if it is turned so the top of the foot is on the ground instead of the pads, while the dog is in a standing position. The vet also looks for "purposeful movement" which is a stepping motion of the hind legs when the vet supports the dog's weight so the legs can swing freely. There are a number of other neurological tests the vet does to test reflexes. Also, the vet manipulates each vertebrae in a way to find where there may be pain.
Often, if a painful area is located, the vet will recommend x-rays to look for a compression between the vertebrae. This confirms the diagnosis.
The prognosis for each patient depends on the symptoms, the results of the neurological examination, how long the problem has been present, and how the dog responds to treatment.
I am concerned about your dog because it sounds like she is unable to urinate on her own. I am so glad you are taking her today to your veterinarian for examination and treatment. It would be helpful to take her on an empty stomach just in case they need to give a sedative/pain killer to take x-rays.
Here are some links with more information:
Depending on what your vet suggests, I am hoping that your girl will start to improve once you can start the prednisone. Also, many people with neck pain report that a warm compress is soothing, and your dog may appreciate that too. You can do this by making a wet towel compress. Place a small wet towel, folded into a zip-lok bag (unzipped!) and heat for about 2 minutes in the microwave. Remove and press all the air out. Make sure it is not too hot! You may want to put another towel around it, and then gently place over your Pug's neck.
I realize that all of these vet visits and tests are going to add up and wanted to give you some links to financial aid in case you need them.
Nationally here are some groups that might help you afford the vet bills: American Animal Hospital Association http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/ " Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship." Angels 4 Animals http://www.angels4animals.org/ "Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need." Care Credit http://www.carecredit.com/ A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. "With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget." God's Creatures Ministry http://www.all-creatures.org/gcm/help-cf.html "This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help." Help-A-Pet http://www.help-a-pet.org/home.html "Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor." IMOM http://www.imom.org/ "We are dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged." The Pet Fund http://thepetfund.com/ "The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care." United Animal Nations http://www.uan.org/lifeline/index.html "The m ission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care."
They also keep a list of local and national help resources here http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=163
If this has been helpful, please accept my answer and leave feedback. I will still be here to provide more information if you need it!
Best wishes and good luck to you and your Pug! Fiona