For anyone who came across this post without reading my other one, my senior papillon Kitsune was diagnosed with cervical IVDD on September 17th. Our first post about it, which you can see here, outlined his first week of recovery, day by day. This post is a continuation of Kit’s conservative IVDD recovery, week 2! This week, I think I’m going to try updating every couple of days instead of daily. For more frequent/up-to-date updates on Kit, you can also follow him on Instagram, or like us on Facebook!
We’re doing conservative IVDD treatment with Kit, which means using medication and at least 8 weeks of strict rest to give the injured disc in his neck time to heal. This is week two!
Saturday Sept. 24th – Sunday Sept. 25th
This weekend was hard, but I guess for a good reason. Our biggest problem has very quickly shifted from managing Kit’s pain to dealing with his frustration about being confined. Last week he seemed relatively content to rest in his crate, but not anymore! More often than not, now, when we crate him he cries and paws at the crate door to come out. It was stressing me out all weekend because I was so nervous that he’d get too worked up in his crate and hurt himself. But letting him out is stressful too because I need to watch him constantly to make sure he’s laying down instead of walking around too much, trying to jump onto furniture, or using the stairs.
On Sunday evening I decided to try setting up a blanket on the floor, for some gentle snuggle time. Kit seemed to appreciate it!
Monday Sept. 26th
On Monday I decided to gate off the door of my office so that Kit could spend the day relaxing with me, instead of being crated all day. There’s no furniture that I have to worry about Kit jumping on in my office. I brought in one of his dog beds and a bowl of water. Just like that my office turned into a nice little recovery room for Kit. He seemed to relax a lot better than he was in a crate and spent most of Monday just relaxing/sleeping in his dog bed.
I can tell he’s feeling better, though. On Monday he tried (I stopped him!) to use the stairs. He also tried eating grass when I took him outside for bathroom breaks. If you know Kit, you know that he loves eating grass! But today was the first day since this all started that he seemingly felt good enough to bend his head down long enough to chomp at the lawn.
Kit’s attempt at the stairs made me nervous, so I bought a cheap baby gate to block the bottom of the stairs. We already had a gate at the top of the stairs, but not one at the bottom. It’s supposed to get here on Wednesday.
Tuesday Sept. 27th – Wednesday Sept. 28th
I didn’t have anything new to report on Tuesday. Kit was about the same. Doing well, but still struggling with the crate rest.
On Wednesday we went back to his vet for a recheck. We’re going to keep him on his Prednisone and Gabapentin schedule for another week. After that, we’re going to attempt to stop the Gabapentin and start tapering off of Prednisone. So I guess we’ll see how that goes next week.
The baby gate we ordered got here on Wednesday morning. It’s nothing special, but it’s been nice to be able to block off the stairs with a gate as needed. I’m trying to keep Kit in his crate as much as possible, but the vet okayed time outside of his crate as long as he’s not moving around too much. Relaxing on the floor or a dog bed is ok. It helps during times when he gets restless in a crate. I let him out for meals as well. Our stairs are kind of precarious, even for people, so I for sure don’t want Kit attempting to use them. Before the gate got here I was using my vacuum cleaner and rug cleaner to block off the stairs (lol).
Thursday Sept. 29th – Friday Sept. 30th
Kit has been feeling a lot better, which has been both a blessing and a curse. I’m SO happy that he’s doing so well, but keeping him quiet still has been becoming more and more of a challenge. On Friday he wanted to run around in the yard, and, for the first time since all this started, he tried to do his infamous “Kit rolls”. That’s when he rolls around upside down to scratch his back on the rug.
During Kit’s vet appointment this week we discussed putting him on a diet to help him lose some weight. I’ve always kind of struggled with Kit’s weight, but keeping him thinner will hopefully reduce the amount of stress on his spine. But, I think, between his new diet and side effects of the Prednisone, he’s been pretty cranky when it comes to food lately. Friday night I was letting Kit sleep on his dog bed on the floor, instead of in his crate. He woke me up at 3 am freaking out trying to get to the bag of treats that I keep in the bedroom. I ended up giving him a few to help him get settled in his crate, where he thankfully slept quietly for the rest of the night.
And with that, we’ve survived week 2 of Kitsune’s IVDD recovery!
I’m going to continue posting updates, but I think the updates in the future may be fashioned more as weekly updates rather than daily, or every couple of days. Kit’s been doing so much better. I’m not sure we’ll be seeing little improvements every day at this point. Kit currently isn’t in pain, and has no neurological impairment. His remaining 6ish weeks of recovery are going to be about keeping him as calm as possible, so his disc has the time it needs to fully heal.
The first two weeks of Kit’s recovery went by a lot faster than I thought they would! Don’t get me wrong, it’s been exhausting, scary, and stressful. But it feels amazing to have the first two weeks of recovery down and to see Kit doing so much better today than he was 14 short days ago. My little old man still has a lot of fight left in him! When this all started it was so scary seeing Kit in so much pain. But I have no doubt, now, that soon enough these long weeks of recovery will be well behind us and Kit will be back to being his happy, sassy self.