Our DOG Has a Herniated Disc

We (and by ‘we’ I mean my parents) have a new malamute named Mary. She came from a puppy mill breeder as breeding dog and has already had tumors on her mammary glands. So those were removed, she lost her girly bits so no more puppies, and she moved in with us.

She’s scared of people, and if you try to lead her by her collar she just gets more and more crouched to the ground and limp. No nipping, just fear.

We’d noticed she was falling a lot and had problems walking, so my parents sent her to the vet. Our fear was that she had a tumor. Our hope was that it would be something easy to deal with like Lyme’s disease.

It was neither. She has a herniated disc.

I had a herniated disc back in 2013, and it was the worst pain of my life. No joke. I was bed bound for three months on some steep pain killers, and I was having constant pain through the pain killers. I couldn’t even get onto the toilet by myself and had to crawl on my hands and knees to get to the bathroom.

It was, let us say, AWFUL.

The vet said that Mary either needed a $7000 surgery, or they could try treating with anti-inflammatory meds and pain killers.

Now, when I hurt my back, my regular doctor immediately thought it would be major surgery and sent me to a specialist. BUT. The specialist said that 90% of the time, they treated an injury like this with painkillers and physical therapy, and she thought that would be enough for me.

And it was. As long as I keep my posture straight, it doesn’t hurt, and I can move around easily now. I can’t bend over to get things off the floor though, and if I sit on the floor getting up is hard.

So, I’m hoping that this will work for Mary.

IAMRA (Illinois Alaskan Malamute Rescue Association) was where we adopted Mary from, and they sent us a special harness to help move her around so she could piddle called a Help ‘Em Up. We tried it today, and Mary was just complete dead weight. Didn’t try to use her legs at all. It was like carrying a suitcase with legs to trip over.

That being said, the handles are close to my center of gravity, and I was able to carry her outside. It hurt, I’m not going to lie, but I managed it. I’m thinking someone more physically able will be better suited to helping her!

So, here’s to hoping that time and painkillers will be enough to heal her! Poor floof. She’s had a hard life already. If you have any experience with this type of dog injury, I’d love to hear about it!