Back problems/ defecation issues
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  • W

    sebastian has been having pain issues since i got him as a foster several weeks ago
    i took him to the vet for xrays yesterday and was told that several vertebrae in his neck had very narrow spaces compared to the rest of the vertebrae and that the vet felt his discs? were bulging and inflamed in those areas.

    sebastian was given metacam and muscle relaxers, he will go on steroids in a couple of weeks, and i was told that he cannot go for walks, he has to be carried up and down stairs for 4 weeks.
    has anyone encountered this issue with their basenji?
    i almost feel like he should have some medication to make him a little drowsy, as he is very active in the house since he cant go for walks.

    we had just started to get into a routine of walks and dog park daily which really seemed to help him build his confidence, his excess licking was just about over, and he was much more relaxed
    i havent been able to leave the house since i got him because he howls, so dog park and daily walks were my only outlet.
    i was hoping that with time and a routine, and lots of exercise, i might eventually be able to leave the house without him
    so now back to square one, im in the house without even the ability to go for walks or visit at the dog park (which gives me a bit of space from sebastian since he is always about 4 feet away from me day and night).

    not sure if i can deal with this isolation for at least 4 weeks. especially when he is so antsy tapping around the house snorting at me because he wants to get rid of some excess energy by going for a walk.

    i realize that this is not all about me although this post probably sounds like it is, and maybe it is, but….. i havent yet reached the mother theresa stage in my life, working on it, but not there yet
    if anyone has experienced this issue with their b and could give me some hints or help that would be really great!

    also sebastian seems to have this problem with bowel movements
    they seem to take him by surprise at times
    he was out this morning and urinated then came in the house and pooped on the living room floor, even though the door was open to the yard, and he'd only been in the house for about 3 minutes after urinating. this is the second time he has done this, the first time he actually pooped outside came running in and about a minute later pooped some more in the diningroom
    he once stopped dead in the middle of the road with traffic whizzing by to defecate
    not sure what this is all about?
    my roommates found the poop this morning and were not really happy about it, since i cant walk him which i thought might be one way to try to keep it from happening again, im not sure what to do to stop if from happening again
    is it just a quirk that we have to live with?
    maybe something healthwise?
    i have to say ive never seen such large deposits from such a small dog on a daily basis, maya was about 5 pounds lighter and put out about 1/8th of what sebastian produces :)
    so any input would be appreciated
    thanks

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  • I'm so sorry Sebastian (and you) are having problems.

    I am wondering if the disc problem is related at all to the lack of bowel/bladder control. As I am more familiar with human medicine, I am sure there are others on this forum who can see this from a basenji (dog) perspective. However, in humans, bulging discs can pinch nerves, impacting the bowels and bladder.

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  • Jet the tri-ing sometimes has back problems. I have not had xrays done but I do take him to the holistic vet who does chiropractics on him, and he is all out of wack. Jet will also poop in his sleep and I asked Dr Jim about this. Dr Jim told us that squatting to defecate puts strain (pain) on his back so the dog will be reluctant to do this (and so when Jet is asleep, the poop escapes). Jet's problems are not usually in his neck but lower down the spine, so I don't know how sqatting would effect the neck area of the spine. One of the biggest signs that is back is out is that he doesn't shake all the way to his tail and he tends to move a little off and his tail carriage isn't where it normally is.

    Jet has also thrown his back out while pooping. Of course all the vets were closed at that hour so I took him to the e-vet where they asked me several times if one of the other dogs ran into him. "No, he was just sqatting to poop and started screaming." They gave me some muscle drugs and some pain drugs. The holistic vet stuff works ever so much better.

    I would encourage you to at least call a holistic vet and see if maybe accupuncture or chiro would help. I'd also ask if you could maybe walk S with a harness as that would not put strain on his neck. Also look into some food-dispensing toys that will at least mentally tire him. Might also want to do some clicker training to help mentally tire him since you cannot physically tire him.

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    i did ask the vet about acupuncture or a chiropractor since brat had suggested that if the xrays didnt show anything a chiropractor would be the next step, she felt that since it was inflammation causing the pain that it probably wouldnt work. but im waiting to hear from the brat admins and they may suggest one of those options, i know that vets sometimes dont consider anything but meds so was hoping to hear from basenji owners who might have been through this and could recommend other alternatives that worked for them

    the vet did say that she found no signs of nerve involvement but perhaps something as subtle as this wouldnt show up on the few tests she did
    pooping in the house has only happened twice, usually he does it on our walks,
    it just puzzled me in that he had access to the yard and had just been in the yard to urinate yet pooped a couple minutes later in the house, with the door to the yard still open, the one time he urinated by accident in the house he licked it all up.

    im not seeing this as a house breaking issue, or a "its wet outside so ill go in the house issue"
    the first time he had went in the house he had actually pooped in the yard, ran into the house and immediately pooped again within 60 seconds of entering the house, strange
    he does walk with a harness but at this point hes not supposed to walk at all
    the vet said some neurosurgeons would demand that he be crated 24 hours a day for a month for his problem.
    so im going to take your advice about trying to mentally stimulate him at least
    and really i guess i have to ask is it going to greatly impede his recovery to take nice slow walks with lots of sniffing for about 4 or 5 blocks a day being carried part of the way?

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  • would the vet give him the okay to go swimming? Digital goes to hydrotherapy once a week and it has been great for him. (He's still not thrilled about it.) We're lucky in that an excellent canine hydrotherapy pool is about 15 minutes from here.
    http://k9hydrotherapy.com/blog/?paged=3
    (You can see Diggie on the blog on april 7th ) Swimming is very exhausting work

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  • First Basenji's

    Throughout all the talk of the feces, no mention of the 'consistency' way ever mentioned. the only time Buddy has ever had an accident, was because he had diarrhea due to virus. I very often check his 'poop' closely with a long stick….! and sometimes when any of my dogs' has loose stools, they get pumpkin or sweet potato added to the dinner and sometimes brown rice. Actually, I have used 'quick' oats to the dinners as well. All good news!!!(amount relevant to size...) buddy's pal-debbie

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  • W

    well it wasnt runny and it wasnt rock hard, it held its shape once deposited :) does this help?

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    My 3 b's don't like to poop in their yard. They like to go on walks so they can go away from their yard. This is no help to you re your dog, and back issues. But I wanted to share it with you.

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  • D

    I would ask your vet about adding Tramadol for the pain. My elderly foster-15-16 years old was prescribed this by the specialist and I thought it helped her. She had spinal problems. I would verify that your B is not taking other medication that Tramdol will react with. The only reason I took her off of it was to put her on Anipryl which she took for canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (senility) and the two cannot be taken together. I thought the Anipryl helped after 30 days but her back problem/pain got worse so she went back on Tramadol.

    If I remember correctly, Tramdol is an inexpensive drug that I had filled at WalMart.

    I have a female B presently on the liquid Metacam for Spondylosis. She had been on Metacam for a long time and I thought it stopped working so the vet put her on Previcox. She took it for over a year and I thought it was not as convenient as it was a pill and more expensive than Metacam.

    Jennifer

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  • If he hasn't already had a full thyroid panel done, I would suggest having one. I know of one basenji girl that was having back issues and it turned out that she was severely hypothyroid and that was a contributing factor to what was going on.

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  • When Topper hurt his back several years ago and was on steroids and pain meds , muscle relaxers, they told me crate rest for 3 days. Yeah right. He slept on the couch and I moved him so he didn't jump, which they said would be a bad thing. I started using a harness and we did slow walks but other than no playing at dog park, we were not walk restricted. I personally would want a second opinion on that, if he is an active dog he may strain more being confined than having a long relaxing walk, especially with his poop issues. Some vets just aren't realistic, IMHO!

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  • W

    thanks for the advice
    im really rather upset and confused at this point i was hoping that this might be just an episode that he will recover from and then he would be fine after the months rest
    but someone with brat emailed and said that dogs with this condition especially at his age can go down hill quickly or that the condition will worsen over time and he may need a permanent foster home, as he may never be adopted
    they want him to go on a diet of dog food without grain? and to keep his weight down
    they want him to see a chiropractor and in just a few hours have already found one for him to see im really hoping that this will help him

    im trying to be optimistic but im really really worried

    did topper have the same problem? and if so is he fine now?
    ill double check with brat and see if they think i could take him for short slow walks with lots of sniffing once a day
    thanks so much for writing i really appreciate it :)

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  • W

    wow thanks for all the replies :)

    when i go to the chiropractor with sebastian ill ask about the swimming and the idea of thyroid tests
    ill have to of course go thru brat for all of these and get their final approval before doing anything
    someone with brat said i should put him on a food with no grains as well
    im concerned as to how this will affect his adoptability

    i think that it would be best to walk him slowly once a day and give him a chance to defecate so that we dont have anymore problems in the house its really weird the way he does it :)
    my other basenji maya would take forever hiding, behind a bush going back and forth in this hunched position for minutes before going, a jeep ride was sure thing to make her move her bowels if you were in a hurry

    sebastian on the other hand is the exact opposite its like he doesnt know he has to go til it hits, afterwards he gets all excited and runs around for a minute or so like "whew" glad thats done for the day!

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    oh yes hes on metacam now for pain but also because it is supposed to help with the swelling of the discs
    when he comes off that in a week we have to wait for a few days then we will put him on steroids to ease the swelling of the discs
    i guess right now the crucial thing is to make the discs go back to the size they should be so they dont infringe on the spinal cord or nerves which would be really really bad for sebastian

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