My foxhound cross is having back troubles. We first noticed it a few weeks ago, with a little hind leg shaking and less vigorous tail wagging, but it got dramatically worse late last week and we took her to the vet yesterday. He didn’t do scans, but based on palpation and proprioception tests, believes that she has a bulging or deteriorating disc. He gave her a shot of dex and put her on 3 weeks of prednisone, and we have a re-check tomorrow. He felt it presented as fairly mild and indicated that the majority of mild/moderate cases resolve well with steroid/NSAID and management changes (no stairs, etc.).
The thing is, she has not evidenced any improvement since yesterday’s shot and today’s two doses. My husband thinks she looks better, but I think she looks worse. She can barely creep a few steps without sitting and resting. She walks very crouched in the back with hind legs low. To get her outside to potty I literally have to stand in front of her and toss her cookies that she creeps forward a bit at a time to take. I didn’t think to ask the vet how much/what improvement to expect but I don’t feel like this is it.
Her appetite and attitude are good (she’s even wagging her tail more comfortably!), and she will sit sternal and will lay on both sides (not favoring one, although her proprioception test was worse on the right).
But I’m wondering/anticipating that when we go back in, we may be looking at something like surgery, unless I’ve completely overestimated how gradual the progress may be with the steroid regimen. I was sort of under the impression that she should be able to get up and walk a bit more normally/comfortably after a couple of days of the steroids but maybe I misinterpreted.
What has been y’all’s experience with disc problems in dogs? What would further diagnostics or potential surgery look like? She is 12 but in great health otherwise. We have a great vet school 45 minutes away, so definitely have expertise available, and my husband is teaching online this summer and will be home all day to take care of her needs.
My mind is definitely going to dark places, as I lost one old horse last March, my heart dog last year right about this time last year, and my retired eventer back in February.