At the risk of being repetitive to some, on September 17th my beloved senior papillon, Kitsune, was diagnosed with cervical IVDD. Thankfully, because his case was considered mild, we’ve been able to pursue conservative treatment. That has basically involved a number of medications, as well as strict rest. We currently just completed week 3 of Kitsune’s required (at least) 8 weeks of rest/limited activity. I’ve been keeping a diary of sorts to outline Kit’s IVDD recovery week to week. If you want to go back and read more about what we experienced during the first two weeks, you can do so here…
The first week especially, I posted day-to-day updates. Now that we’re further along, barring anything unusual (which, knock on wood, won’t happen), I’m planning on making these weekly updates a bit briefer. We’re not so much seeing changes on a daily bases anymore. The name of the game now is basically just trying to keep Kit calm so that his disc can have the time that it needs to fully heal.
Saturday, October 1st – Friday, October 7th
Kit is really feeling A LOT better! Keeping him calm and making him relax has gotten harder and harder as the weeks go by. We’ve kind of settled into a schedule that has Kit crated about half of the time, and out relaxing (no running, jumping, and no stairs) for the rest of the day. Thankfully our vet gave us the ok to ease up on the crate rest, as long as Kit’s not going crazy and is still relaxing outside of his crate.
I think the biggest change this week is that we’ve started to wean Kit off his medications. Last weekend, on October 1st and 2nd, we weaned him down from taking Gabapentin every 8 hours to every 12 hours. When that went well, we tried stopping Gabapentin completely on Monday the 3rd. Gabapentin is for pain. We had every intention of putting him back on it if he showed any signs of pain. Thankfully he didn’t! On Wednesday, the 5th we also started the process of tapering him off of his Prednisone. Now instead of getting it twice a day, he only gets it once a day. After a week, we’ll switch to every other day before stopping steroids completely.
I was glad, if not a bit nervous, to start getting Kit off his medications. I was so nervous that once he was off meds he’d start showing signs of pain again. Thankfully, so far, that hasn’t been the case. The meds Kit’s been on are pretty strong, and they can come with a host of side effects that I have been keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll continue to avoid. Steroids and prescription pain meds can be hard on dog’s organs. I’m glad it seems like we’ll be able to completely have Kit off his IVDD meds soon.
That’s All She Wrote!
I guess I don’t really have anything else to write for this week’s update. All in all, Kit is doing really well. He’s quite eager to get back to normal, and doesn’t seem to quite understand why he can’t jump up onto the furniture or run around after his brother. I’m SO glad that he’s doing so well. Unfortunately, although I’m sure as far as Kit’s concerned he thinks he’s better, it does take quite awhile for disc injuries to fully heal. Because dealing with another IVDD flare anytime soon is the last thing I want to do, the resting continues!
I’ll continue to update. These updates are probably quite boring for most people, but hopefully if you stumble upon them because you’re dealing with IVDD too you’ll find them helpful. IVDD is a really tough disease to deal with, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence! The road to IVDD recovery is long, and stressful, but hopefully Kitsune and I can help show other IVDD dog owners that there is hope!