If Your Pup Has Had Back Surgery And Is Still Having Issues, These Points May Help

 

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If your pup is having back issues or has had back surgery this is an interesting article from UC Davis as well as some points to try

Disc disease is a common problem in dogs and relatively uncommon in cats. There are two major categories of disc disease, Type I and Type II. Type I disc disease is characterized by disc herniation (“slipped disc”) and a sudden onset of signs. This type of disc disease occurs in dogs and cats of any age or breed, but is seen most commonly in short-legged breeds (e.g., dachshund, bassett hound, shih tzu, lhasa apso, corgi, pekingese), and some other small breeds such as the poodle and cocker spaniel. It also occurs in larger breeds of dog, such as doberman pinschers. In order to understand what happens in animals with disc disease, a little understanding of the anatomy of the back (spinal column) is required.

The back or spinal column is made up of a series of small bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are lined up like blocks and the spinal cord passes through a hole in the center of each vertebra. The spinal cord is very important, as it carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is also extremely delicate and the tunnel formed by the surrounding vertebrae helps to protect it from damage. Between each vertebrae, just under the spinal cord, lies a circular cushion called the intervertebral disc. These discs cushion the vertebrae from one another, acting like shock absorbers and also providing flexibility to the spine.

Intervertebral discs deteriorate as part of the normal aging process. Some breeds of dogs such as dachshunds, may undergo disc degeneration earlier in life. Normal discs are made up of an outer fibrous ring and an inner gelatinous center [similar to a Tootsie-Pop®(firm on the outside and soft in the middle)]. With age the disc changes and the outer ring often tears and the inner soft center of the disc hardens and may even calcify. A time may come when the torn outer ring may no longer be able to hold this hardened center in place and movement of the vertebrae may suddenly push the disc out of its normal position. This is called disc herniation (or “slipped disc”). When disc material herniates, it may be pushed out the side, below, or up around the spinal cord. Herniation of the disc often occurs very explosively, causing significant injury to the spinal cord and pain to the animal. There is very little room between the spinal cord and the surrounding bony vertebrae and as a result, once disc material has herniated into this small space it continues to cause damage to the spinal cord.

The areas of the spine most commonly affected by herniated discs are the neck, and the mid- to lower back regions. Common signs seen with herniated or “slipped” discs include: Back pain, lameness, incoordination, and/or inability to walk in the hind legs, or all four limbs. Animals that are unable to walk may also be unable to urinate on their own. Although these signs indicate that the dog or cat has a problem affecting the spinal cord, they do not indicate the specific area that is affected, or the cause of the problem. Tumor, fracture or infection involving the vertebrae or spinal cord may all produce neurological signs similar to a herniated disc. Further diagnostic tests are needed to determine the exact location and cause of the problem and to determine appropriate therapy.

The most common surgery done to remove disc material from around the spinal cord is called a laminectomy. The spine is approached through an incision in the middle of the back and using a special drill, a window is made in the bone of the vertebra immediately above the disc. The disc material underneath the spinal cord can then be gently removed.

The speed of recovery from surgery and the extent of recovery of normal function (e.g., walking) is dependent on many factors, including how fast the disc material hit the spinal cord, the degree of the damage sustained by the spinal cord and the length of time that the spinal cord has been compressed by the disc material. In general, animals exhibiting severe neurological signs (e.g., lack of sensation in their toes), a rapid onset of signs (hours or less), and/or a long period of time before surgery have a prolonged recovery period. The more severely affected animals may have varying degrees of permanent damage. Fortunately the majority of animals with disc disease that undergo surgery recover function to their limbs relatively quickly and completely.

For the full article click below

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/neurology/newsletters/disc_disease.cfm

 

Here are the points that  can be used during recovery and beyond to help the body find its new normal

http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1540-acupuncture-relieves-failed-back-surgery-pain

CV4  On the ventral midline 3 cun below the umbilicus
CV6  On the ventral midline 1.5 cun below the umbilicus
CV9 On the ventral midline 1 cun above the umbilicus
ST26 On the ventro lateral abdomen 1 cun below the umbilicus and             2 cun lateral to the ventral midline
KI13 On the ventral midline 3 cun below the umbilicus and                                .5 cun lateral to CV4
KI14 On the ventral midline 2cun below the umbilicus and                                 .5 cun lateral to CV5

Cun “small measurement”  the find the distance between the wrist and the elbow put your finger there;  half that distance half it again and half it again, The distance between your finger and the wrist is 1 cun so it will be a personal measurement for each animal

 

This may be another reason dogs love belly rubs :-)

 

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