Intervertebral Disc Disease Turns Out To Be Discospondylitis

A little more than a month ago Ty was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IDD), and we started on a course of treatment that included pain medication and a lot of rest, hoping his back would heal and he’d get back to his spunky self. The vet said it would take about a month for Ty to return to his usual activities, so when four weeks had passed and he was still hunched up and not wanting to walk, we scheduled an appointment with a specialist.

Ty - Dog at Veterinarian with ruptured disc

We went to see Dr. Wolf, a veterinary neurologist near Austin, and after examining Ty she concluded that he’d been mis-diagnosed last month – he actually has discospondylitis (DS). Unfortunately, even though the name of this condition begins with the word “disco,” it’s not nearly as much fun and it sounds.

If you follow our Facebook page, you may remember back in September that Ty was treated for a urinary tract infection. It was a tough one, and after the initial round of antibiotics, it came right back. Ty was prescribed a second, longer round of antibiotics to finally knock it out … or so we thought.

According to Dr. Wolf, what probably happened is that the bacteria that caused Ty’s UTI (Staphylococcus pseudintermedius) hitched a ride in his bloodstream to the disc in his spine and took up residence there. Apparently this is something that can happen when dogs have a UTI, abscess tooth, or infected wound. When the bacteria has a way into the blood, it can travel through the body and cause havoc somewhere else … like the discs, kidneys, or lungs.

Apparently, it’s not uncommon for the early symptoms of DS to be misinterpreted – the back pain, weight loss, and fever mimic other more common conditions, like IDD. What triggered Dr. Wolf’s suspicions was the high globulin levels in Ty’s most recent blood work. Higher than normal levels of globulins indicate that the body is fighting inflammation or an infection. That, combined with his recent history of persistent UTI, caused Dr. Wolf to take a new set of x-rays of Ty’s back, and she was able to identify the characteristic lesions of DS.

Image of Spine

In very simple terms, discospondylitis is an infection of the bone and disc space of the spine. In rare cases it’s caused by a  fungus, but usually it’s a bacteria that damages the bone and causes inflammation that pushes on the nerves. In addition, the bone damage can cause the spine to be unstable at the point of the infection, so we need to be careful that Ty doesn’t do anything that could further injure his spine until the infection is cleared up.

Left untreated, the bacteria would continue to eat way the bone, cause extreme pain, lead to weakness and incoordination in the limbs, and eventually paralysis.

Treatment

Treatment involves the administration of antibiotics, pain medication, and crate rest. We ran cultures on Ty’s blood and urine to try to verify that we’re dealing with the same bacterial culprit that caused his UTI in September. Unfortunately, the cultures were inconclusive (which happens about 50% of the time with this condition), but based on Dr. Wolf’s suspicions, we wanted to get him started right away on his new course of treatment. We’ve added the same antibiotic we had success with before to his pain medication in hopes of killing the infection, and he’s under strict doctor’s orders to take it easy!

He’ll be on the antibiotic for at least a of couple months, and possibly for the rest of his life, to keep the bacteria at bay. In the meantime, long walks, going up or down stairs, and jumping are completely out of the question. Honestly, I think the little bugger is getting pretty used to being pampered … here he is in his new wagon:

Dog in collapsable wagon

The best news is that we’re already seeing evidence that Ty’s feeling better. He’s walking with his tail up over his back again – something we hadn’t seen in a month! And he’s venturing out on slightly longer walks every day, which Dr. Wolf says is a good sign that the antibiotic is working.

Long term, it’s possible that Ty could experience reoccurring bouts of DS. Because there isn’t a lot of blood flow in the discs, it’s hard to get enough of the antibiotic in there to completely wipe out the bacteria. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but I won’t be surprised if Ty is on a low dose of antibiotics for the rest of his life. Also, we’ll need to watch for signs that the infection has left a swath of osteoarthritis in it’s wake. If we notice that Ty’s back continues to be painful, we’ll need to treat him for that as well.

We all want to thank you for your concern and support while we’ve been dealing with Ty’s shifting diagnoses. Your thoughtful notes have meant a lot and kept all of our spirits up as we focus on getting Ty back in tip-top shape.

Disclosure: I am not a veterinarian. I’m a pet lover and parent, bumbling along as I try to understand how to best care for my dog. Discospondylitis is a condition I didn’t even know existed until last week, and I’m sharing what I’ve learned in hopes that it might help someone who’s dealing with the same thing. If you pet has been diagnosed with DS, please seek veterinary care immediately.

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  • Hi Amy,
    Just read your article as my 4 year old German Shepherd has been diagnosed with DS. We first thought it was a hip issue. We also had blood work done and his kidney levels were elevated. He spent 4 nights in the hospital, receiving fluids and antibiotics by IV. He’s been home about 2 weeks now and taking oral medications. He is showing improvement but pretty much just wants to stay on his dog bed. He also doesn’t have much of an appetite. We are still waiting for the fungal test results to rule that out or not. We have steps on our deck to the lower yard and a back door with no steps. So I think I’ll take him out that door. He still cries when having to get up. I hope that improves over time. Appreciate you posting this.

    Mark
    Idyllwild Ca

    • Mark, I’m so sorry to hear you pup is suffering. There’s nothing worse than knowing they’re hurting. I do remember that while Ty was recovering he also slept a lot, which could have also been caused by the medication. I’m sending good vibes and hoping that your pup is feeling better soon.

      • Thank you Amy, it’s been about 3 weeks and River is still very inactive. Would you mind sharing the type of antibiotic your pup was taking? River is on CLAVAMOX, AMANTADINE and Gabapentin for the pain. Did DS cause any kidney issues with your dog? That is a major concern as his levels haven’t been good. I’ve looked into giving him under the skin injections to keep him hydrated and lower the CREA and BUN numbers. Also, He doesn’t like the K/D support food much. I take him in next week for more labs to see if he has improved. For now he just sleeps all day unless I take him outside. I’m hoping he gets better in a couple of weeks. My vet did say it was goin going to take time. Thanks again, Mark.

        • Hi Mark. If my memory is correct, Ty was on the same medications that your dog is taking. I remember the vet doing a culture to be sure the antibiotic Ty was taking was the best to fight his infection. Perhaps asking your vet to do the same would be a good idea? We were lucky that DS didn’t cause any kidney or other health issues for Ty. I hope you can find a way to keep your boy hydrated — salt-free broth sometimes works because it’s tastier than water. And I hope you’re seeing more improvement soon. Take care.

          • thank you for this article Amy – I am in the same spot you were in with Ty, except we were able to diagnose DS much quicker due to the fact I had rushed to get my dog the surgery hours after being told he had IDD (he lost function of his back legs within hours of onset) and the MRI stated it was instead the infection. I am now just in the waiting stage. He was just diagnosed this evening and we are getting cultures. They just put him on broad antibiotics tonight. Thank you for this article – I have been searching all over tonight for information.

          • Hi Jen. I’m so sorry to hear that your dog is suffering with DS, and I’m glad you found our article helpful. I hope your pup responds to the treatment quickly and is back to his happy-go-lucky self soon. All our best to you both!

          • Hi Amy,
            I’m sorry to say that River lost his battle 2 weeks ago. I am completely heartbroken. He wasn’t responding to any of the medication. When I took him home from the hospital, I was giving him subqutaneous injections to keep him hydrated. His kidneys failed him and his hind legs were so weak. My special boy was only 4. What is most upsetting is the he was misdiagnosed last Sept.(at another vet) He actually improved that summer but in January his symptoms returned. I did what I could for River. I couldn’t sleep at night and most of time stayed in his room to comfort him. The vet told me it was more than likely a fungus due to him not responding to antibacterial medication. River stopped eating 5 days before he passed. Of course not knowing exactly how he got so ill is so frustrating. Not knowing the exact cause. I have Rex, a younger German Shepherd to lean on and get me though the grieving process. We both are pretty needy right now. Thanks for being so kind with your responses. Be well, Mark.

          • Mark, I am so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a dog “before their time,” and that feeling of being robbed of all the things you imagined doing together. Years and years ago we had a dog who died just before his fourth birthday. So, my heart goes out to you and Rex. The best thing you two can do now is live the life you wanted to give River. Part of him will always be with you.

        • Hi Mark, I came across this article tonight. My pug developed severe “shivers” a couple days ago out of nowhere. I took him to the vet where they did X-rays and I was informed he had herniated discs – we were told it could be treated medicallly or with surgery. He already within hours has lost the use of his hind legs so he was deteriorating so quickly. Just a few days ago he was running around and playful. I ended up rushing him to the ER with the plan to have them do the surgery. They then did an MRI – and it turns out, just like in this article – he has the spinal infection. They could not get enough fluid with a spinal tap to get a culture. They took blood cultures tonight to see if we can locate the bacteria causing the infection. Meanwhile he was put on an antibiotic. Hopefully I will be able to visit him tomorrow if they allow. How is your dog doing now? I know there is a prognosis difference if it is bacterial vs fungal (I have those concerns with my dog as well) Is your dog also being given an antibiotic for a proteus bacteria? That is a less common bacterial cause, but one that could be related if he was having UTI issues prior. I hope your pup is recovering well – I know how stressful this is. It’s so hard to see them in pain.

  • Hello Amy!
    This really useful information. I have a 5 month old english bulldog. Now I don’t know if she had a UTI but thinking back now she could’ve. She had drippy yellow pee that looked almost like puss every time I wiped her. I just thought that was normal or didn’t know dogs could get UTI’s. About 5 days ago she started showing signs of lethargy and she would cry when getting picked up. Vitals and blood pressure were fine. She also got an x-ray and blood work done. There was a radiologist that looked at her scans and said it looked abnormal, her vertebrae is shorter than normal and that alarmed him. My family vet suggested I seek a neurologist consult and possibly see if I could get a MRI or spinal tap done. Now I’m all new to this, but information from you and everyone else’s comment is seeming to help a lot with the decision in making to see that neurologist. She didn’t disclose that it was for sure discospondylitis but wanted me to make sure. I am going to get a second opinion on another vet who is more experienced with bulldogs.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you and your pup are dealing with this, Wendy. I agree, it never hurts to get a second opinion, and I hope you’re able to get your girl pain meds and antibiotics that knock out the infection. Good luck!

  • Thank you Amy for posting this. My 8 month old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Indy, was diagnosed with discospondylitis 2 weeks ago. She also had a bad UTI when I received her at 3 months old. Just like you the bacteria culture from her first UTI and her most recent culture came back as different bacteria strains. Staphylococcus pseudintermedius was the most recent strain cultured.
    I was seeing a local veterinarian and he misdiagnosed her with Panosteitis after taking an X-ray of her leg. She was given anti inflammatory and pain meds for 5 months and kept going downhill, so I took her to a specialist. She could barely walk and was in horrific pain. The specialist knew after giving her a thorough physical exam and watching her walk that she did not have Panosteitis. He then did X-rays of her spine, hips and legs and saw that one of her disks was not normal. Tomorrow she will have been on antibiotics for 2 weeks. I am seeing improvement everyday day. Friday she is starting physical therapy and walking on an underwater treadmill. Have you heard anything about this kind of therapy and if it helps? I am really hoping so because she’s lost so much muscle and movement in her back end. My poor girl has been sick pretty much her whole life and it breaks my heart. I know I can’t think: “I wish I would have taken her to a specialist earlier,” because I thought I was doing the best I could for her taking her to a local vet, but it’s hard not to think that way. Best lesson I learned is to always get a second opinion. Don’t stick with a vet that isn’t willing to dig deep into the root of the problem. All it would’ve took is a blood test to see that her white blood cells were off the charts to know that she was sick. I just hope we caught it early enough. Her bones are still growing for another 16 months so I have faith that she will have a normal, happy, pain free life in the future. These past months have been hell. Something I never imagined going through with a pet/best friend. Hearing you say that your pup ended up living a normal life made me feel even more optimistic.
    Did the disease ever come back later down the road after the 6 months of antibiotics?
    Thanks again!

    Whitney

    • Hi Whitney. I’m so sorry to hear that Indy’s been struggling, but glad that you’re seeing improvement and that she’s on the road to recovery. I agree that getting a second opinion is a must – especially if your pet isn’t showing improvement relatively quickly. That’s a lesson you and I both had to learn with this unfortunate disease.

      The good news is, Ty lived to be 15 years old, and never had another issue with discospondylitis after he completed his 6-month course of antibiotics. His vertebra healed and he lived a very long life for a Shar-pei. I hope the same is true for your Indy. My thoughts are with you.

      • Reassuring to know that your boy after 6 months was fully recovered. My young GSD bitch has just been diagnosed with this..it’s in it’s early stages , and at the moment trying to keep her temperature down. We are going to try her on steroids … apparently a lot of Greyhounds have had a good success rate. I work my girl in competitive obedience , she is a dream and very good…luckily since covid all the shows have stopped here..so I have until next year to get her fit.Oh and she is on 2 lots of antibiotics and pain killers…
        Denise

    • Hi Whitney.
      Thank you for posting your comment. How is your girl doing? Has she recovered 100% and is her spine damaged from the infection?
      My 2yr old German Shepherd was misdiagnosed with a pinched nerve because he had been hit by a car a year ago. Two months later a CT scan showed the discospondylitus
      and was put on iv antibiotics at the vets hospital. His lab work came back negative and we don’t know what bacteria or if it’s a fungal infection. Today they are going to grab fluid from his spine and hopefully get a result. I’m at a crossed road because my vet has had him for 9 days and I got to visit him a few days ago. He did not look good at all. One leg is going lame.His CT scan showed multiple legions in his spine. My poor baby is suffering so much. I’m hoping this last test will give us a result and hopefully has been treated with right antibiotics. My dog was super healthy and strong prior to this so I’m giving him a fighting chance. I’m reading different stories on how those dogs came back and that it took two weeks before they saw improvement. We’re at the beginning of week two, but not sure if he’s on the right meds until after spinal fluid test. My fingers are crossed and lots of prayers. Thank you
      Josie

        • Thank you Amy. This is such a horrible infection. I feel like I need to put him down, but from what I am reading they do pull through. If only my dog could talk. xoxo, Josie

          • I hear you, Josie. It would be so much easier if they could talk. Perhaps check with your vet to see if another pain medication might be more effective. Hoping for the best.

  • My otherwise 100 percent healthy and active 12yo German Shepherd tore the CCL in his right knee in Dec and had TPLO. He had the other one done in 2015 with no issues. 50 days into rehabing his right knee, in a matter of 15 min, he went from doing good to fever, lethargy, and inability to rise from side. I went back and infection was suspected in his knee. Cytology and cultures were taken of the knee. He had urine and blood cultures, tested for tick borne illness, and ultrasound of everything, and neuro exams. I suspected and tried to tell them I suspected his pain was originating in T6 of his spine. Results of knee came back of knee with bacteria but TPLO plate was negative. Culture was done for plate but not on sample that yielded bacteria due to sample size. Very frustrating because I wanted the culprit bscteria identified. The consensus diagnosis was Discospondylitis. He is on Cephalexin, Gabapentin, Rimadyl, and Codeine. I’m on Day 10 of complete agony, rollercoaster. I have not see a whole lot of improvement. Trouble rising which is compounded by the knee surgery. I’m obviously frustrated not knowing if Cephalexin is the right antibiotic and might need more time or if a change is needed.
    Any advice on antibiotics would help. I think its Staphylcoccal psuedimedius or MSRP. Tonite is the most confortable he’s been sine Feb 5th. This is one terrible disease. Thank you, and I know what you went through. Also, my vets have not been very helpful or accomodating which has been tearing me up. Feel a bit overwhelmed. I’m $9500.00 in since December.

    • Kevin, I’m so sorry to hear that you and your dog are suffering through this. If you’re not seeing steady improvement, my recommendation would be to get another opinion. We were fortunate to have Ty seen by a veterinary neurologist who was able to get him on the proper course of treatment. It seems to me that within a week Ty was showing signs of improvement. Of course, on top of the knee surgery, it will likely take your dog a little longer to improve.

      I really hope this helps and I wish you all the best. Please give your sweet boy a belly rub from me.

    • Kevin, are you seeing any relief now w/the antibiotics and pain meds. My 7 month old lab was just diagnosed with this and he has in the base of his neck along w/a torn ACL. We are delaying the ACL surgery in hopes of getting pain under control. Just stated the new antibiotics and pain meds but my guy is waking up every few hours in extreme pain screaming. Wondering how long it took for your pup to get some relief if any. My guy is on Cephalexin and Doxy along w/pain meds

      • Diane, I’m so sorry to hear that your boy is hurting so badly! It may take a few days for the meds to kick in, but I’d talk to your vet to see if there’s something more/different they can do for pain management in the meantime. Wishing you both the best!

    • Hi Kevin,
      I also have a GSD who has discospondylitis. Mine couldn’t
      walk and screamed in pain whenever he tried to stand or walk. My vet claimed he did bloodwork and checked for UTI
      and found nothing. Took him to a university teaching hospital and they found the problem. I opted for him to have
      the surgery to remove some of the infection. That was on
      6/05/2020. They couldnt remove all of the infection and
      he is taking 750 mg of Cephalexin twice a day. After just under a month I am starting to quit giving him his pain
      meds and he appears to be doing pretty well. His left rear leg is very week but we have been working on short walks
      and a few other exercises. My Hunter is a Search and Rescue Tracking K9 and I am trying my best to get him back to his old self. Only time will tell.
      If you have any questions I will try and help. There isnt
      very much help on the internet as far as any kind of therapy
      you should do.
      Hope all turns out great for you.
      Bill

    • Kevin, what happened with your pup? Mine was diagnosed with discospondyitis and they have him on that exact same medication combination. Curious if the cephalexin ended up being the correct antibiotic.

  • My 13 month old dog was just diagnosed with Discospondylitis. We are currently waiting on blood work results but they didn’t find any bacteria in her urine sample. She can go months with no pain and then there’s a 7 day span where she is whining and walking around with her head down. The vet initially thought it was growing pains so we didn’t think much of it. I pray it’s not fungal related or Brucella but those are the only other two options since it’s not bacterial. Has anyone’s pets had Discospondylitits caused by Brucella or fungal?

    • Hi Celena. I’m so sorry to hear that your pup is suffering. We weren’t dealing with Brucella or a fungal infection, but I so hope that your vet is able to nail down the cause and help your dog. All the best to you both!

  • thank you for the information you have shared. My husband and I had to have our 10 yr old Yorkie put to sleep this morning. He could no longer walk and could not relieve his bladder. I had to have him catharized twice. The second time the /emergency Clinic Vet said be kind and euthanize him. So we brought him to his regular Vet and we said our goodbyes to a fantastic dog who never complained while he got this bacteria into his vertebrae. I can’t stop crying and I needed to find out what this terrible disease is and how it started. Thank you, Diana Norton

    • Diana, I’m so very sorry for your loss. There are no words that make the pain any less, but I hope the happy memories of your life together help to heal your broken heart.

      • How did this vertebrae fuse? Could he have been born with the start of it? Or he was in a tiny cage from the former owner for 14 mos could his spine become deformed? He was 10yrs old when he passed. Thank you

        • I wish I could answer your questions, Diana. I know how much it hurts when they pass, and that understanding what caused it can help. I hope this is a conversation you can have with your vet. Also, looking into a pet loss support group to help you through your grief might be helpful. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

  • I’m going thru this with my 2 yrs old dog. MRI confirmed diskospondylitis at the last two vertebrae near his tail bone. He started on 2 antibiotics, how soon will I see him better? He’s still crying in pain getting up. He lays there and pee and sleep all day. Which antibiotics was Ty on so I can ask my vet about it. Thanks

    • Hi Janet. I’m so sorry to hear that your dog is suffering. The bacteria that cause the infection can be different, so be sure that your vet does a culture to determine which antibiotic will kill whichever bacteria is affecting your dog. Also, all dogs react differently to the medication, and how quickly you start to see improvements will depend on how much the infection progressed when treatment was started. If your pup is still suffering, talk to your vet about changing his pain medication or increasing the dosage. That should help him feel better until the antibiotics kick in. Sending our love and hoping for the best!

      • His urine culture came back negative. He’s no longer crying in pain but walking sort of lame on the right leg. His pain med of oxycodone was of no use. The cbd oil helped a lot. Vet said antibiotics for 2 mos but from what I read it should be longer.

  • My little girl was just diagnosed with this disease and it is breaking my heart to see her in so much pain. We hope to have a good course of action to follow, although it’s early so I know somethings may change. A week ago my 4 month old puppy was running and smiling and the happiest girl and now she can barely stay awake.

    I’m wondering how long it took once you started meds before your babies began to show a reduction in pain? Also, was there a pin medicine that worked best during the most acute stage of this disease?

    Any help is appreciated. I’ve spent thousands and I’m really so terrified I will Run out of funds before they get things right.

    • Hi Stacey. I’m so sorry to hear that you and your girl are going through this, but I’m glad to know that you’re on a good course now. Ty started showing signs of less pain as soon as we started him on the pain meds and antibiotics. He was sleeping a lot, but seemed to be less uncomfortable. If your dog is still in a lot of pain, I’d call your vet. It’s possible they can change the dosage or try a different medication. Each dog reacts differently to pain meds, so there might be one that will work better for your girl.

      Wishing your pup all the best for a speedy and full recovery!

      • I’m so glad to hear he’s feeling better, Janet. And I agree, I’d continue the antibiotics longer. I think Ty took them for 6 months. The vet explained that very little blood goes into the vertebra, so it takes a long time to ensure enough medication gets in there to wipe out the bacteria. I wish you the best of luck!

  • Hi, my girl has this virus. She has extreme weakness in her rear legs and knuckles her back paws. How severe was your dogs hind leg weekness/paralysis? And how long did it take for the antibiotics to work until he was in no more pain? My worry is once she’s feeling completely better she she still won’t be able to walk, the doctors are unsure if she’ll ever go back to her full function.

    • Hi Talia. I’m so sorry to hear that your girl is suffering with this. When Ty was diagnosed, he could still walk, but he didn’t really want to. His hind legs were weak and he couldn’t do stairs at all. Within a week it was evident that the pain medication and antibiotics were working. I hope that helps you and that your pup is back on her feet soon.

  • thanks for sharing. we are going through this painful disease. I was wondering with the course of antibiotics when the pain resolved for you boy. we go through days when we think she is getting better but then all of a sudden it seems to relapse and she is screaming in pain getting up. is this all normal and part of the healing process? we are hoping for the best for our girl

    • I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, Bo. What I’ve learned is that each dog is different – they all respond to the medications differently. Ty mostly slept through the worst days. I would recommend talking to your vet about the pain your dog is still having. There may be a different pain medication that would be more effective. Or they may be able to add a second pain medication to help until the antibiotics have had time to work and the bone starts to rebuild.

      Sending our thoughts out to you and hoping your girl is feeling better soon!

      • Unfortunately our dog passed after fighting for 9 months and I’m so sorry you and your dog are going through this. This is a rare disease from my research and even the doctors are basing their treatment on seeing symptoms resolve or not at the end of it. My dogs situation was on the extreme, however, and more complicated and different… not the norm for this disease.

        She had a primary fungal infection in her spleen that spread to the kidneys and further caused the opportunistic secondary bacterial infection to arise in the spine which resulted in the discospondylitis. The doctors originally thought the source if infection was caused by a urinary tract infection which is typically what happens. An xray of the lung and ultrasound of the kidneys, spleen, liver showed the fungal spread eventually.

        I’ll preface it by saying every dog is different with this disease and my experience was an unusual situation since you don’t typically have a fungal and bacterial combination. After 3-4 weeks, we changed one of the bacterial antibiotics after my request and with some reluctance by the doctor. She got better after a week then had returned to square one with the initial drugs given. We were on 2 antibiotics and 2 pain meds for 3 months then only 2 antibiotics and 1 NSAID when the pain subsided.

        Improvement progressed with less episodes of intense pain. She would get up only to go to the bathroom and started to scream less. She was initially only sleeping. Progressively she would get up and start stretching more when things got better. Her follow-ups showed no bone rebuilding although symptoms were better. This was not the norm and an unknown/concern for the doctor but the plan was to monitor. We did not know this but we did not combated the actual source of infection..the fungal issue in her spleen. The lack of bone rebuilding was a sign. Hope this helps.

        My thoughts and prayers for you and your dog. I know its hard. My case was actually the exception. Best wishes on your fight!

        • Bo, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for the detailed explanation of what happen to your girl. Hopefully it helps others dealing with the awful disease.

  • My 5 year old lab has just been diagnosed with discospondylitis and reading your post this is exactly the same thing that happened to us. We just thought it was an injury and had him on pain killers and thought everything was getting better but then all of a sudden it got worse. We just started him on the antibiotics and have done a urine test to see if that was the primary cause. I really hope it is and we can just get him well. Reading about Bruscella now and wondering if we have to test him for that. Thanks for your post. It gives me hope when I read about Ty doing okay.

    • Hi Anya. I’m so sorry you’re going through this – it’s hard both on the dog and on his people. Hopefully you’ll start to see improvement quickly now that he’s on antibiotics. Ty recovered completely from his case and he’s still going at 14 – so there is hope! We’ll keep you in our thoughts.

        • I’m just glad we can provide some additional information, and hopefully some hope, Anya. Hugs to you and Oscar!

          • Amy. So sorry to bother you about it but I have a couple of questions. Did you allow Ty to move around at all during treatment – I mean like roaming the house? Or were the strict orders from the doctor for him to stay confined? Also, was he okay with the antibiotics and painkillers or did he lose his appetite at all? Just got an instruction letter from the animal hospital saying he should not be allowed to roam the house. That’s mad!!!!

          • No bother at all, Anya!

            When Ty was being treated, he didn’t want to move around. He was hurting pretty badly – plus he’s also a couch potato, so for him staying still is his preferred level of activity. We were told that, depending on how severely the infection had damaged his vertebrae, moving could cause the vertebrae to break. So, my advice is to keep your pup as still as possible.

            Each dog’s reaction to the drugs is probably a little different. I would say that Ty probably had less appetite while on the medication, but I don’t know if that’s because of the medication or if he just wasn’t feeling well. I hope that helps you! Sending our best.

          • I didn’t realize their spine could break thank you for mentioning because Dexter cries to come on sofa then if we are not paying attention he’ll jump down, he did it couple times but then I stop allowing him up, I feel so bad I was not aware

          • Try not to beat yourself up, Jackie. There’s so much to learn about this disease, and we can only do the best we can. Until Dexter is feeling better, you may need to make a comfortable spot for yourself on the floor with him. I hope he’s back to his old self soon.

  • Aloha, unfortunately our 7month old pup has discospondylitis! He’s going on 4weeks now. Luckily, it was diagnosed and being treated with IV antibiotics painkillers and oral meds. We feel so helpless when he “screams bloody murder” when he gets up and tries to walk. Thank God its not Brusella. We know that it’s a long journey to recovery, but he’s our fur baby! His name is Ke Kona, a pitbull.

    • Oh Len and Deb, I’m so sorry your pup is hurting. Hopefully the medication will kick in quickly and Ke Kona will be feeling better soon. On the hopeful side, Ty turned 14 last month – 3 1/2 years since he was diagnosed with DS, and he’s still getting around!
      I know how hard it is to see your dog in pain. Hugs to you all – I’ll be hoping for the best.

  • Hello Annie. I’m so sorry to hear that your puppy is suffering. My recommendation is to call your vet immediately. It’s possible that your puppy could be put on a different pain medication, or perhaps have another added, until the antibiotics have time to begin working. This is a difficult disease, but Ty made a complete recovery and is now almost 14 years old. I really hope the same can be true for your pup. Good luck!

  • Good day we think our 4 month old puppy has the same illness, we cannot confirm it as the tests in South Africa is very expensive. The vet put him on antibiotics and pain meds, but the pain meds have not been working well as he is in a lot of pain. I have been spending my nights with him in our living room to prevent him from waking up the rest of the household as he is screaming in pain although he gets his pain medication. My husband is now thinking of euthanising him because we cannot afford the treatment and also to relieve him of his pain. I don’t want to go that route, can someone maybe give me some advice please.

  • Hi Samuel. I’m glad you’ve found us, though I’m sorry to hear that the reason is that your dog has discospondylitis. I’ve not heard of an initial round of IV antibiotics as part of the treatment – but, like you, I think it makes sense. Certainly it is worth discussing with your vet.We didn’t have any trouble with incontinence with Ty, but that may be related to the part of the spine that was affected. I’m glad your boy is getting better, and I hope the improvements continue!

  • Samuel Crews Thank you for sharing, Samuel! This condition isn’t very common, so finding information can be difficult. If you happen to come across that link again, please pop back and let us know – I’d like to read the paper, too! Also, I hope that you find that you don’t have to have your dog on antibiotics forever. Ty was on antibiotics for 6 months and since he finished them, he’s been fine. He’ll be turning 14 in September, and while he’s not a spry as he used to be, he’s still getting around pretty well. =)

  • My dog Luke, a Husky and I’m pretty sure Samoyed mix, was diagnosed a month ago. Age is unknown as he is a dog I rescued, but lets say 8+. I just had his 3rd cleaning and extraction almost 2 months ago. And have had him less than 4 years. Likely being all white/blue eyes, and with all the problems they have, that this is something like stomatitis. I have a cat with that, and she had to have a full mouth extraction a few years back, and did wonderful after that. Anyway, given how badly his teeth were, when we first got him, you could smell his mouth from feet away. So needless to say, he had massive infections moving through his body. So who knows how long he’s dealt with this pain in his spine as well. Have you or anyone here had their dog given intraveneous antibiotics for a day for this condition, before starting on the pills? Most advice I’ve read online don’t mention it, but then I starting finding research papers with the recommendation to do a full day of IV. I don’t know enough to understand if doing it like that makes it easier to reach the infection in the dogs spine or not. But it does make a kind of sense, since it’s going directly into the blood and not having to pass through the digestive system first. My dog is just ending his first month of pills. And I’ve been wondering if this isn’t something to think about doing? Or what a vet might think (other than rolling their eyes) at the idea of doing it once a month? Now they said it was an IV, not a shot. I guess continually bombarding it over a long period??? But even still, I would think a shot would still be a more direct method than a pill. If anyone has any insight into this, or had it done, please share. I’m just grateful it was diagnosed correctly the first time. And it was my first time to try out this vet. But he zeroed in on it almost immediately. He never did take the spinal sample, to check for the type of infection, but I guess that might not always be necessary. He’s on Cephlexin 500mg 2x day.Also, has anyone had an issue with their dog loosing control and urinating, or even defecating inside? I had that issue for a while. After doing research on my own, and getting a vet neurologist in another state to chime in, we both believed it was being caused by the swelling in his spine and the steroid use. It’s been about a week without steroids and I haven’t had to clean anything up. Yay!Thank you so much for this page and providing a forum for people to talk about it with others.

  • Danni Duggan We didn’t do it with my dog that was just diagnosed a month ago. But doing research online afterwards, I have found where some papers written on this said to initially give an IV antibiotic course for the first day/night then put on pills. But I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t do that at any time during his treatment. I keep reading that we have to give the pills for months, or life, because of how difficult it is to reach the spinal area. I don’t pretend to know how this works, but I do think that having it shot directly into the bloodstream would allow it to reach the spine better than a pill that has to go through the digestive tract. Heck, maybe even just an antibiotic shot once a month??? But worth bringing it up with your vet. Be prepare for the rolling of eyes however. Unless you have a vet open to advice. I’d recommend skipping the part where some stranger online told you. lol Since I got it from a paper written by a neurologist. Maybe just say that. I wish I could provide a link, but I was just writting stuff down in a notebook as I found it, not trying to write a term paper with references. So didn’t think to save. Anyway, hopefully you don’t mind my butting in, it’s something I’m thinking of bringing up with mine when I see him next.

  • Marian Blalock Bernstein Oh Maian, I’m so sorry to hear this. We also have a 10-year-old GSD, and I can imagnine what you’re going through. We’ll be hoping for the best for your pup.

  • My GSD has just started down this road. He is on cephalexin, methocarbamol, gabapentin, and a tapering prednisone dose. He also has a torn knee ligament, so he is forced to rest. My vet immediately suggested his disc rupture could be related to his very severe uti. He is 10 and we are taking it one day at a time.

  • Troy Nathan I’m so glad to hear that Koda’s improving, Troy! And I agree – this is a tricky condition to diagnose. It’s pretty unusual and the symptoms mimic other more common conditions, so nailing it down can be difficult. Fortunately, it sounds like you’re now on the right path and I hope Koda is back to 100% very soon. We’ll keep sending the love!

  • Thanks for getting back to me Amy. So Koda is on Amoxyclav which is the same as Clavamox (Amoxycillin + Clavulanic acid). He seems to be improving already after only a week. The urine culture came back negative however we haven’t got the bloods back yet. It definitely helped doing research on a complex issue like DS and we only got the answer after seeing three vets, the last being a specialist vet and it definitely paid off seeing a specialist.

  • I’m so sorry, Troy. Ty was on Clavamox, but the culture should show which antibiotic will work best to fight Koda’s infection. It sounds like you’re in good hands – and we’ll be sending our love. On the postive side, I wrote this post two-and-a-half years ago, and Ty celebrated his 13th birthday this month, with no signs of DS. All the best to you and Koda. <3

  • Thank you for sharing this! We are currently going through a similar case with our 4yr GSD Koda and are waiting for the blood and urine cultures to come back. Do you know what antibiotic Ty was on? The specialist has started Koda on Amoxicillin and we have our fingers crossed he improves without need for surgery. MRI confirmed it is DS.

  • Oh Wendy, I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s alway difficult when a pet passes, but losing your dog in this way must be especially hard. Yes, I do wish it were easier to determine that back/neck pain is being caused by a bacteria. I know that we had to do a culture to determine which antibiotic would work best to clear up Ty’s UTI, which eventually turned into his discospondylitis. My heart goes out to you – take care.

  • Thank you for your experience, sadly our pup wasn’t diagnosed by our local vet, he got reffered far too late, within a day our pup was diagnosed, he was hospitalised on meds, on his second night he went into cardiac arrest and couldn’t be saved, Our pup was doing good on antibiotics and painkillers until his last week when the vet didn’t give him antibiotics ( his answer was he doesn’t need them). Very sorry but he did !! Also had bloods done at local vets 2 weeks prior was clear to them apparently, I even took his urine and was clear!!!! What u would love to know is would this bacteria be in his blood/urine when my dog had pain in his neck ???? Please if you think your pet needs meds be persistent.

  • I’m so sorry to hear that your pup is suffering with this condition, Jan, and I hope she bounces back quickly. Ty’s still doing well, more than two years after his diagosis, and we’re happy to share his story if it helps others. Good luck!

  • My pup was diagnosed with this yesterday. We are awaiting results of blood & urine but in meantime, she’s on long term antibiotics plus pain relief. She had a UTI back in January. It was great reading your story. Thanks for taking the time to do ’tis. Good luck Ty.

  • I’m so sorry for you and your girl, Brittany – though I’m glad you’ve received a diagnosis, which is sometimes the most difficult part. It’s been more than two years now since Ty was treated, and he’s doing great. I hope that your pup recovers quickly and you can put all of this behind you. All the best to you both.

  • I’m so sorry, Patti, for you and for your poor girl. I hope this is only a temporary set back and that you’re able to get your dog back on the right track. It’s so hard to see them hurting and I know how frustrated and stressed you must be. We’re sending our love and hoping for good news from the vet.

  • So happy to find that I’m not alone. My Aussie is a normally healthy 10 yr old. She had knee surgery in December 2016. While at the pre surgery appt , I had the doctor test a couple bumps under her skin. All turned out to be fatty deposits, thankfully. Everything seemed to be healing normal with the knee when things took a turn for the worse in January. During that time, I noticed the spot that the doctor needled for the fatty deposit, was all puffy and infected. I drained it and got her on antibiotics. Things seemed to get worse. She started not wanting to get up at all, cried all night, had a bout of bloody diareah and I really thought she might have cancer. I had blood work, X-rays done and found nothing. Started her on on prednisone and gabipentin. Nothing helped. Then we went to a neurologist who did the MRI and diagnosed with discospondylitis on her spine. It’s been a month and she started doing better on rimadyl, clavamox, tramadol, gabipentin. The last 2 days she’s taken a turn backwards. Not wanting to walk again. Back to vet next week. So very frustrating. Poor babies.

  • Lauren our boxer Finn was diagnosed in November at the age of 6 months although we had been working with the vet since September when her first exhibited symptoms and were trying to weed out what he had. Finn has been on Augmentin and enrofloxacin as well as gabapentin for pain since November. He has responded very well so far. We pray everyday that he stays on this path to recovery. Prayers for you and your pup as well �

  • I am so glad to hear Ty is recovering he is so cute. Thank you for sharing your story it makes me feel hopeful about my 7 month old labrador pup who has been diagnosed with discospondylitis. He is not very well at the moment and has been on the same medication as your Ty for the last two weeks and we have not really seen an improvement, so thank you for sharing your story, all the best xx

  • Thanks so much for sharing this information, Lynette Veenstra-Houck. I’m so sorry to hear that your sweet girl is suffering and I hope she recovers quickly. Armed with this infomration, at least adopters can ask their vet to run this test early on and hopefully catch it before their dogs start to show symptoms. The best of luck to you and your pup. <3

  • She’s 3yrs. old and we’ve had her for 6mos. This bacteria is zoonotic, meaning can infect humans as well…I’m trying to get rescue organizations to test their dogs before adopting them out. We’ve just learned about all of this after she experienced a lot of back pain and was walking unsteady…she’s currently taking 2 types of antibiotics and a muscle relaxer and pain med. The “RAST” blood test will rule this out!!

  • We rescued a beautiful shepard/heeler mix from Texas. She started getting back pain. After lab tests and x-rays we learned that she has brucellosis. Kennel dogs, strays, etc. Are infected with this and spreading it. Apparently rescue organizations do not screen for this and when they’re adopted out it is showing up all over. Diskospondylitis is one of the conditions they can get..have your dogs tested!

  • Ty started out on the antibiotics and pain medication, but was able to come off the pain meds after a few days, Dawn. We saw improvements really quickly, and I hope you find the same with you pup. We didn’t explore other treatments, because the antibiotics were working, so I’m afraid I can’t be helpful with that. All the best to you, and please let us know how your dog does!

  • My yorkie was just in hospital and we got a possible diagnosis of Discospondylitis and tooth infection. We just got him home tonight and he’s on an aggressive antibiotic. If it doesn’t help they want yo put him on steroids for possibly having IMHA. But it really looks like Discospondylitis according yo his xray. I’m wondering about other treatments or therapy that might help him.

  • Hi Danni! I’m so glad to hear that Riley is improving, at least in his neck area. Hopefully you’re on to the right antibiotic and his the area in his sacram will respond in time. I have no veterinary training, but it seems to me that the bugs that were once easily managed with antibiotics have become harder to control. Longer periods of medication, rotating different antibiotics, and using combinations of drugs seems to be happening more and more. What was once a simple infection, cleared up in a week, now turns into something like discospondylitis. I’m sorry that so many dogs and people in Portland are suffering through this, and we’ll continue to send our love that Riley makes a full recovery. Be well, and waggin’ trails.

  • GoPetFriendly.com Thanks! The area in his neck is looking great. We did a second MRI this summer. The area in his sacrum is what appears worse. Our biggest issue is not knowing the bacteria in question. They can’t needle biopsy it. It would require actual spinal surgery, which seems way too invasive to us. We did check for bladder issues as well, but came up empty (no pun intended). Riley was the 4th case diagnosed in December. Prior to him, our doc had seen 4 cases in 10 years. He is now one of 15 of her patients, and the other neurologists also have case loads as well. It’s like some bizarre cluster in Portland, OR all of a sudden. Your Ty’s improvement gives me hope for Ry-Bear.

  • Oh, Danni – I’m so sorry. The doctors told me that dogs respond to different degrees to the antibiotics, and there was a chance that Ty would be on medication for the rest of his life. It’s good to hear that Riley is not hurting, and hopefully that 3rd antibiotic gets ahead of the infection. Over time, Ty’s vertebra remodeled, and now looking at his X-rays, you can’t tell he ever had discospondylitis. I’m hoping the same for Riley. <3 Good luck to you both!

  • I’m so sorry to hear that Benny has been suffering, Terie, and I hope that now that you’ve gotten the correct diagnosis he bounces back quickly. I’d never heard of this disease before it affected Ty, and he was initially misdiagnosed as well. I completely understand how you’ve been suffering along with Benny – it’s so hard to know that they’re hurting. We’re sending our love and hope that he makes full recovery. Please let us know how he’s doing!

  • Thanks so much for your post. Our dog Riley was diagnosed December 2015. He has been on a cocktail of now 3 antibiotics and pain medication for a year, with a recurrence in his lower spine despite the continued antibiotics (that is when we added the 3rd). While he does not seem painful anymore, he has had decreased mobility, and his stance on his back legs is much weaker. I don’t have hope for long term for him, but I’m glad we have had the past year with him. Things were so ugly just a year ago.

  • my baby BENNY was just diagnosed and he has been in serious pain for a year..hes been treated with 2 different antibotics and two different diagnoses….so hard to watch him this way..now i am hopeful that weve figured it out and pray for a speedy recovery…i just now learned of this disease….discospondyliius, my poor baby has been in serious pain for along time…my heart breaks to hear him grumble from pain….

  • I’m so sorry, Dani! I hope that the ABs begin to provide some relief quickly, and hopefully you can get Rosie to a vet where they can prescribe pain medication to help her feel better. Sending our love, and hoping for the best. <3

  • Our 2yo rescue Rosie was diagnosed in April and put on antibiotics and pain relief and seemed to clear up. Unfortunately the infection has recurred and more aggressively, she struggles to move, has gone off food and screams when she tried to get up as her neck hurts too much. We are currently in no mans land at her moment waiting to see if the AB’s work but it’s torture watching our beloved dog in so much pain ���

  • Deb Ivy I recently bought this wagon for my lab at Kmart, I know this thread is for awhile ago but in case you had not gotten one yet or knew of others who may still be looking.

  • I’m so glad you’re starting to see some improvemet, Dee! It can be a long haul, but Ty’s completely recovered from his bout with DS. I hope the same for your pup. Ty’s sporting a MAC wagon, and he highly recommends it when you’re not up for walking. Here’s a link for you: https://www.amazon.com/Mac-Sports…/dp/B0079P1KH6Good luck to you! I’ll keep your Little Man in my thoughts.

  • Our Little Man, who’s not little (57#) :), diagnosed with DS 4 weeks ago – after being on multiple pain meds, anti-inflammatory and 2 different antibiotics (clavamox + baytril) for 2 weeks and lost his appetite…a second opinion moved him to Clavamox and Rifampin ONLY. The loss of appetite may have been from anti-inflam and/or baytril. He hasn’t stood on rear legs in almost a month, then, this weekend – he’s standing for a few secs! We’ll take it! Just ordered a peanut balance ball to help him with strengthening. One thing i’d like to share is to find a veterinarian who has seen and treated DS before. We thought we were doing the right thing at a premier Veterinary School/Hospital, but ASK how often they have treated the infection. Now to my question for Amy – what brand is that rocking wagon of Ty’s?!

  • Oh no – that’s terrible, Lois! I’m sorry, but I don’t know what antibiotic will kill the baceria and not lower blood platelets. Does your vet have any suggestions? If not, I’d consider finding a neurologist in your area and making an appointment – it may be time to see a specialist. Good luck – I really hope you find something that works.

  • Our dog reacted well to Clavamox and started wallking again but then after 2 months developed life threatning low blood platelets so we had to stop. Anyone know of an antibiotic that won’t lower platelets?

  • Hi Janice! Thanks so much for your note, and I’m sending lots of vibes that Lola bounces back quickly. Ty’s been great since we finished his antibiotics, and we’ve had two xrays now that show that the bone has remodled and the infection is gone. I hope you’re in the same boat with Lola soon! We spent several winters in Austin, but we actually travel full-time in our motorhome – and love it! We’re in Alberta, Canada right now visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains, which I absolutely adore. We’ll be back down your way in the spring, though – so we’ll be neighbors again, at least for a bit. =)

  • Good Morning. Our lab mix, pup Lola has DS. The 1st round of antibiotics did work, but she’s had a reoccurence. We are going to start her on antibiotics again today, hopefully. The lady at the rescue organization where we got Lola shared that they’ve had great luck with acupuncture for their dogs with back issues. She shared that it’s fairly reasonable also. We may be trying this if her pain does not get better soon. Just FYI!! :) Hope Ty is still on the mend.

  • I’m so sorry to hear that, Marilyn Anderson Simpson. The vet did tell us that there was a possiblity that Ty would be dealing with this for the rest of his life. We’re very fortunate that he’s completely recovered and going strong at nearly 12 years old.

  • Hi Amanda. I’m so sorry to hear that Ace has been diagnosed with this, and that he isn’t responding to the treatment more quickly. Ty was still walking, but was hesitant to do steps and seemed generally uncomfortable when he was diagnosed. Ty did perk up shortly after we started him on the antibiotic and pain medication, so perhaps you could ask your vet if there is a different pain medication that might help Ace feel better, or if it’s possible to adjust his dose. Either way, I wish you all the best. I know how heartbreaking it is when they’re hurting. On the positive side, Ty has made a full recovery and the vertebra where the infection is healthy now.

  • I’m so glad to hear that your dog is finding some relief with the chiropractic treatments, Marilyn Anderson Simpson. Thanks for sharing your experience, and I wish you all the best.

  • I have a dog with discospondylitis, 2 1/2 yrs on various antibiotics, no improvement. I have been trying various alternative therapies with success. One thing I highly recommend is a chiropractor. It really helps with the pain. She is visably relieved at each treatment.

  • Hi Rick. I’m really sorry to hear that Rufus is suffering with DS. Ty was on Gabapentin for the pain in addition to the Clavamox (an antibiotic). The Gabapentin seemed to help Ty right away, and I know that all dogs are different, but you might want to talk to your vet about trying with with Rufus. Also, if you don’t already know about this, I wrote a post on saving money on pet prescriptions, which you can find here: http://www.gopetfriendlyblog.com/saving-big-bucks-on-pet…/Gabapentin is covered under this plan at Walgreens.I hope that helps – and good luck to Rufus and you!

  • Good to hear Ty is recovered! Our dog, Rufus, has been diagnosed with DS too. He’s been on antibiotics for almost 3 weeks and isn’t walking much. When he does move, he walks hunched up and with very little weight on his rear legs.Rufus was on Vetprofen for 10 days with no noticible pain relief. He’s been off 5 days now with no improvement so I would like to know what pain medication Ty was put on and how long he was on it. Thanks.

  • My goodness – that’s a lot all at once, Jinx. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Our vet did an xray of Ty’s spine to diagnose the discospondylitis. We could see on the xray that the vertebra were cloudy where the infection was active. I also want to let you know that it’s been more than a year since Ty was treated, and the xrays we did last month showed no evidence of the disease. I hope this helps and you can figure out what’s going on with your wolfie. Good luck!

  • Now after reading this I am wondering if my Irish Wolfhound might just have it. My Swissy was diagnosis with ‘Wobblers’ two months ago, like that wasn’t bad enough. But my I.W. is five years old and has had on going UTI’s. He had an ultra sound, didn’t show any cancer. I thought maybe he had prostate cancer. How was this diagnosis?? What tests should my vet run? Right now he has a urine sample that he is running a culture on. Jake is on Gabapentin, Tramadol, and Rimaydal. Every once in a while he jumps up from pain in his neck. I’m at my wits end with two dogs in pain. I do think the little ‘Wobbler’ is getting better. She is on the same med’s. It sucks to be us right now.

  • Oh, Alicia, I’m so sorry to hear that your pup is suffering like this! When Ty was diagnosed, the vet did tell us that it was possible that he’d need antibiotics for the rest of his life as well. We were fortunate that he’s not had a relapse, and spinal x-rays taken last month (a year after his diagnosis) show the vertebra have reparied themselves and he’s back to his usually spunky self. Still, I know that we were very lucky, and that Ty’s case may have been mild compared to other dog’s experience. I wish you all the best of luck and hope that your boy bounces back quickly. We’ll be thinking of you.

  • I just want to comment here because our golden retriever went through something similar, if not exactly like this. Our new puppy (at the time) around 6 months old got diagnosed with DS. It was the vet specialists best guess because X-rays could never definitely show DS. He was inpatient on IV meds for a week, came home with antibiotics and did GREAT for three months. Antibiotic ended and he relapsed three days laters. Back to the specialist, still no confirmation of absolute DS but he was testing negative for any and everything else so it was our closest bet. Another round of IVs and a week long inpatient hospital stay. Took him off pain meds and put him on a steroid with his antibiotic. He was on the steroid for three months and antibiotics continued – and will for the rest of his life. We had him neutered a week ago and his pain medication for the surgery ended last night. He relapsed DS this morning. Our vet advised us to put him back on one of the neuro pain meds he was taking prior to surgery so we did and hope that’ll help him. It’s been a long 8 months of hospital stays and has been quite emotional and financially draining on us so I can relate to your story with utmost sympathy. Good luck getting Ty back to his old self. I think DS is a lifetime of what ifs and having to cross bridges As you get to them.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s pup, Danielle. Ty was on a high dose of antibiotics for 6 months to try to knock out the bacteria, and he just finished that course a couple weeks ago. We did see improvement at his last x-ray (in May), which showed his vertibrea were remodeling. Since he finished the antibiotics, we’re in “wait and see” mode to determine if the bacteria is gone, or whether Ty will need to be on antibiotics for the rest of his life. I wish I had better news for you – I really hope you and your daughter find success with her dog.

  • Oh my word . . . my daughter has a new dog (Siberian Husky) of which is now 10 months old and shortly after she was spayed at 6 months, she developed DS. She has been on antibiotics for 3 months now but keeps having recurring bouts with pain and discomfort that last about 1-2 days. Is there any hope for full recovery?

  • Thanks so much, Cheryl. Ty’s been on antibiotics for 3.5 months now, and he seems to be doing great. We went for a follow-up x-ray yesterday, which was sent to his neurologist in Round Rock, and we’re waiting to hear back to see how she thinks he’s progressing. I’m the same way you are – crazy when the dogs are sick, so I’m glad he seems to be feeling good. I’m hoping to find out we can get him off the meds, but if not, that’s fine, too. I’m just happy to see my spunky little guy getting around so well. Thanks again for sending your love – Ty and I are both grateful.

  • Poor Ty….best wishes for a full recovery for him. I am a nurse and understand what’s happening, but I am also a pet owner and parent. I get crazy when my pets are ill. I’m quite sure my vet has considered the witness protection program a few times when my pets are sick. Austin has a lot of very capable vets (I know because I live here). Lots of licks and tail wags for Ty

  • I’m glad Ty seems to be feeling better. So frustrating when they aren’t feeling well, but I’m glad you persisted. Hopefully now you have a correct diagnosis, you can get him feeling back to himself.

  • Thank you, Janie, SweetPea and Shammy! I’m happy to report that Ty seems to be getting a little better each day. (Wouldn’t it be nice if he could just tell us how he’s feeling, rather than having to guess?!?) At least it seems we’re on the proper course of treatment now and hopefully the little guy will be back to his usually sassy self soon.

  • Poor Ty… So glad you’ve got the correct diagnosis and correct treatment plan… Hugs and Kisses coming his way from me and my two girls, SweetPea and Shammy.

  • Thank you, Robyn. You’re so right, and it’s almost worse with the dogs because they can’t tell you what hurts, or if they’re starting to feel better. All I know is that I’ll be so relieved when Ty’s back to 100%!

  • Thank you, Aavery! It’s always something with these goofy dogs, right? I’m just so glad to see him starting to feel better. Knowing they’re hurting and not being able to do anything about it is the worst.

  • Yes, it’s hard to know if he’s just recovering from the TPLO surgery, or if something else could possibly be going on, Wende. I’m so glad to hear he was up for a longer walk last night and I hope things keep moving in that direction! Fingers and paws crossed! <3

  • My month hasn’t been any more stressful than yours, Leo. We’re sending lots of love to you and Kenzo and hoping that you get to the bottom of what’s bothering him. Sometimes I think the not knowing is the hardest part because you don’t know what to do to help. I hope you have a diagnosis and can get Kenzo on the road to recovery soon!

  • Thank you for getting this in layperson terms and such. I had a vested interest in this discovery as our Shiba Inu had a horrible abscessed tooth in late October 2014 that we needed to take care of prior to TPLO surgery just before Thanksgiving. At two and half months/nearly three months post surgery he was still having difficulty moving and lack of energy for walks longer than a couple of blocks. However, last night he was energized and went for a fairly long walk (probably longer than a mile). But, I’m going to keep paying attention to him and bring this up to our vets if he slips back to where he was. I am so glad Ty has you all to care for him! What a sweet boy.

  • It must have been a terrible month with worries and shifting diagnosis, I hope you can start looking forward again. I never heard of DS before, and it sounds like a lot of life-time management. Ty is such a trooper, already feeling better, kudos Amy and Rod, he is in the best of hands to pull him through this.

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