San Diego Pug Club Message Board › Advice needed! My baby has a herniated disc

Advice needed! My baby has a herniated disc

A former member
Post #: 1
My 4 year old pug (Ninja) was totally healthy and agile and happy until one night, when I noticed him shaking in pain and unable to walk- dragging his right hind leg. I took him to the ER and they said it's most likely a herniated disc pressing up against his spinal cord. They prescribed a painkiller- Tramadol. The next morning he was still in so much pain that I took him back to the ER and they gave him a morphine injection and added an NSAID to his meds. He is in less pain since then, but now I am noticing him dragging the other (left) hind leg.

I am extremely worried about my baby. Has anyone else in this group had a similar problem with their pug? How good is the prognosis for such a condition? Is there a good chance for recovery and use of his legs? I'd really appreciate any information or contact from anyone who's been through the same thing.

Thank you so much for reading,

user 9226826
San Diego, CA
Post #: 20
Hi, Angie.
Did the ER do any x-rays at all? It's not cheap, but I'd want to be sure they had the right diagnosis and could see how bad the herniation is, if that's what it is.

This exact same thing happened to my pug a few years ago. He was about 9 at the time, otherwise in perfect health. I had spent the whole day at home with him, and he was fine. I got into the shower, and when I came out, he was just as you described your pug, shaking in pain and dragging his hind legs. Well, I didn't know much, but I knew sudden lameness was NOT good, so we went to the ER where they pretty much terrified me -- could be spinal cord compression, tumor, a neurological disorder, may need surgery, and they'd have to keep him overnight for observation.

It turns out he had a mild herniated disk (they did x-rays). They did keep him overnight to make sure, but at 6:00 am they let me pick him up b/c he hadn't changed at all, and they felt confident it wasn't anything neurological. They sent him home with Tramadol, and he was on movement restriction for 4-6 weeks -- no dog park, no horse play with his sister pug, no jumping off/on the couch/bed, no going up and down stairs. I carried his furry little butt around for a month.

He made a full recovery. I just have to let people know that he's got a herniated disk before they handle him (vets, etc.).

I'm not sure where you live, but I would highly recommend making an appointment with Cuyamaca Animal Hospital in Santee. Ask for Dr. Martin, and tell them it's an emergency. Cuyamaca is where all the pug rescue pugs go, so they know their pugs over there. http://www.cuyamacaan...­
They're closed on Sundays but open the rest of the week. If you don't want to wait, I might try taking Ninja to a different emergency vet.

Hope this helps! Good luck to you and Ninja!!
Warwick, RI
Post #: 8
My little Merlin had the same thing as well. He jumped off the sofa in 2004 and started howling, could not sleep that night, took him to my Vet, they did images and told me he may have further injuries, but likely herniated something. I also took him to a Canine Chiropractor, she did a few exercises on him and I con't to monitor him. Then 3 years later he became incontinent of bowel and bladder. Veterinary Specialists in Sorrento Valley did spinal surgery; hemi-laminectomy w/ some success costing $7,000. However, the scar tissue from the injury was to close to the spine so they only removed what they could stating it would return. Here it is 4 years later, he has hip displasia, deficits from the injury 4 yrs ago and he is permanently in diapers. Merlin is happy and we medicate him regularly do range of motion on his back legs, but he will always drag them and sway his hips. Because he used to leak, Mugzie who is another male, used to mark where Merlin leaked, so they are both in diapers for life:( They are our kids, so anything we have to do for them is worth it. Good luck to both of you, Robin.
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