Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck
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Thread: Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

  1. #1
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    Question Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

    Hello everybody:

    I am new to this forum and I wish everybody the best since we are obviously animal lovers. The last time I posted on a thread like this my 17-year-old Shi Tzu was blind and deaf and I needed some comfort asking some hard questions.

    Now my male Shi Tzu who is 10 1/2 years old has developed a bulging disc in his neck which causes him to arch his back stand still and not want to turn his head much. He has one or two episodes per day and he needs to be medicated and lay down until it passes. I have spent approximately $2700 getting to this point with my diagnosis and now my choices are:

    1. Medicate him and see how he does

    2. Perform neck surgery with 85% success

    I would like to ask opinions on what you would do since my dog is 10 1/2 years old, has lots of spunk, loves me dearly and vice a versa but the surgery is $3600. Your opinions would be helpful...

    Thanks in advance

    Don

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

    I'm not sure that anyone here can help you make that very tough decision, but here's some of the factors I would be taking into consideration.
    • What are the possible side-effects of long-term medication use?
    • What kind of recovery time should you expect from the surgery?
    • What should you expect if the surgery is NOT successful? Would the dog be worse, the same, better but without full recovery?
    • How significant would the financial burden be on you?
    Those are just a few of the questions I would personally have. Good luck with your decision.

  4. #3
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    Re: Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

    The questions that you are asking are the same ones I've asked myself. It's just comforting to have other people give their opinions since we all love our animals sometimes even more than people. Thank you very much

    Don

  5. #4
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

    The first three are questions your vet should be able to address. The last one only you can answer, but you'll need to be honest with yourself.

    I've never been faced with that type of decision myself but, in a way, it must be tougher than deciding on the right time to euthanize a very old dog.

  6. #5
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    Re: Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

    I'm sorry to hear about your dog. My first dog went through something similar, first he herniated discs in his back and we tried to medicate (steroids), but it didn't help. Finally we opted to do back surgery, and after a tedious recovery period (he didn't want to stay crated...) he was perfectly fine. A few years later, he compacted vertabrae in his neck and was in terrible pain. The vets put him in a neck brace and we gave him high doses of steroids. The vet said that we could do neck surgery, but it probably wouldn't work as well as the back surgery, because he would have to come in under the throat and move away all the important stuff to get to the neck. We opted to continue treating with the steroids, and just as I was beginning to think about putting him to sleep, he recovered completely. It involved a lot of crating, and minimal exercise, but it bought us some years before he had heart failure. It took him I think a couple months of steroids before he felt completely better. I know it is a hard decision, but the quality of life plays into it greatly. My dog had a crummy life the few months he was in the neck brace and on steroids and crated, but after it was all said and done, he was fine...I don't know if this helps at all, but I thought I would share.

  7. #6
    Senior Member tsorcus's Avatar
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    Re: Shi Tzu has a bulging disc in neck

    I would be worried about the effects of the anesthesia on an older animal. I had to put my 12 year old cat to sleep following dental surgery last January, as she developed complete kidney failure. She had pretty bad teeth and developed a mouth infection and they said that it would just flare up again if the teeth weren't removed, so of course I wanted what was best for her and agreed. In hindsight I wish I'd just told them to give her antibiotics and see how she got on, as she might have had another couple of years of decent life that way. They did the blood tests before her surgery and her kidneys were fine, so it was definitely the anesthtic that did it.

    It really depends on the amount of pain the dog is in now versus the side effects, I know it's hard to judge that kind of thing... and it is awful to watch them in pain.

    The best of luck anyhow.

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