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Hi everyone,

Pitanga is down with some terrible back pain, and her current diagnosis is Diskospondylitis.

Essentially, she has an infection between two vertebrae, in the disc. This is a very painful condition, that has made my very live girl into almost a veggie in two days. She lays down the entire day, only getting up for her ocasional drink of water and to go out to pee and poo. She doesn't even want to hang out in the garden, she wants to go right back to her bed.

She's doing a quite powerful medication with an anti inflamatory drug, and opioid pain killer and powerful antibiotics, and still is very clear she has a lot of pain (bless opiods, I can't imagine how bad she'd be without them). As soon as the AB start doing their job, she'll feel a lot better, but until then it's heart breaking looking at her. She also needs to have a month of "bedrest", we'll see how I can do that when the pain is gone! After the treatment and the rest, she should be perfectly normal and pain free for the rest of her life.

I'm also having trouble convincing her to eat, and do not want to change her food right now, because her digestive system is already dealing with the meds, I feel like a food change will do her no good at all right now, but she does need a full stomach to take her meds!

Has anyone ever had a dog with this condition? What was the outcome, and how long did they take to recover? any advice on keeping her resting for such a long time?

Also, does anyone has feeding tips, to get her to eat all her food without changing her dry food diet?


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Hi Cornelia, thanks for your concern!

I'm going to try the lamb! chicken and yogurt (her favourite treats) are not doing the trick right now, but I did manage to "push" down half her meal at her ususal time and some biscuts before bed. Tomorrow she's also going to have a gastric protector before her meals, for stomach confort, and an energetic+vitaminic suplement to get her apetite up again. We'll see how that works!

This is not something you get from a wrong move, it's an infection that gets to the disk trough the blood - no idea how or where she got the bacteria in her blood, or which bacteria it is at this point. Our results arrive monday, and we'll know there if we need to put her on a more agressive antibiotic or not, and how long she'll have to be taking her antibiotics for. She's still not doing so well, has  trouble getting up and down the stairs, and I end up carrying her half the times (my back probably will end up hurting just like hers!), but she's learning to manage her effort right now, wich is good! Now it's a matter of time and resting to make her all better...

Hi Mel,

thank you very much for your advice, accupuncture would be a great idea!

Saddly, the closest I'd get someone trustwothy to do it would be about 200km away from where we are, and she is in no condition to do 400km inside a car in the same day... Would be a great option but we don't have the means to do it right now, the trip would be too much for her!

oh teresa, no useful advise from here but we are incredibly sorry to hear such a bad news:((((((((( I really hope the antibiotic will work and soon, and that Pitanga would manage to face the pain.. it must be devastating  for you! a big hug and lot of cuddles from us.

Well, here's our update from today...

She is still in a lot of pain, so there was an increase in her opiod dosage. She is now on injectable tramadol so that I can have better control of the dose I give her, since you can't giver her half a capsule...

We are hoping the AB she is on are the right ones, but since there is no improvement, we may need to reinforce those as well with yet another drug.

Also, since she is not dealing well with the stairs (we live in a 2nd floor, no elevator) I end up carrying her up and down most of the times. We are considering crashing at a friends place for the month she needs to be resting to keep me from having back troubles with her!

All keep you posted on how she is doing, thank you all for your support!

Hi Teresa! I am so sorry to read that Pitanga is in pain! Hope she is soon better! Cuddles from me

Oh dear. Sorry to read this.  Tallulah had this a couple of years ago, and the first I noticed was her coming into the room screaming in pain as though her spine had locked. I was told that the problem was around the T4 5 and 6 vertebra.  It took months of rest, pain killers, antibiotics, and then bit by bit increasing her exercise. But there were quite a bit of progress and relapses. She received acupuncture, and then was seen by an osteopath who is licensed to treat animals, and bit by bit got her back to mobility.  Tally also had other conditions appear around that time, including peripheral neuropathy and laryngeal paralysis.  She was a real mess in one way or another. I am not sure if the condition set in after a fall from the Aframe in agility or whether it is related to her auto-immune condition.  It did all flare up horribly within 2 weeks oh her fall though.

I hope Pitanga stabilizes soon and starts to pick up.

Thank you very much for you reply Fran. I helps to know a bit more from someone who has experienced this with a setter.

Pitanga's condition has actually deteriorated last night and adding to her previous lack of apetite, now she is vomiting her food and medication - it's too much for her stomach right now. So, she has been admited in our University Veterinary Hospital and will stay there for at least one week, to be in absolute rest while getting her meds intra venous. She is still in a lot of pain, but her x-rays are showing a little bit of improvement.

I am devastated that she has to stay in the hospital away from the confort of our home, but it is for the best. It's a good thing I'm a student here so she knows and trusts all the vets. The other good thing is that I get to be with her in every walk, feeding and medication time, wich makes it easier for her to support all this. She is also allowed a daily visit from Romã. 

I hope she improves with all this rest and that her stomach goes back to normal soon, I'm going to miss my red girl at home these days....




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