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  • Hello Cairn Friend

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    • sanford
      It's heartbreaking to read what Murphy and you are going through and I'm impressed with all the medical interventions you've made for him. I have no idea if IVDD is common and can only say that in almost 15 years with Cairns, reading about the breed on this site and elsewhere, and talking to other dog owners, the topic never came up, so I assume it is not a common ailment, but don't know for sure. As to whether any of us have had cairns with spinal problems, Carrington developed a degenerative spinal nerve disorder that affected is rear legs and impacted his ability to walk, etc., but that was not until his 15th year. Unlike Murphy, there was no pressure or pain on the cord or spine, only weakness. Like you, I resorted to a number of medical interventions, but surgery was not an appropriate option. As to acupuncture, Although I am not a proponent, I tried it for Carrington anyway because we had few choices. Also, some dogs (and uprights) get positive results. Finally, there is no placebo effect with dogs...It either works, or it doesn't. VoodooWeasel, you are an inspiration and an example of the best of us, for the measures you've taken for the dog you love. I can only hope that he contiues to be happy, with bright eyes and with his tail up and wagging constantly for a long time!  
    • VoodooWeasel
      Hi there! First time poster. I have a 5 year old Cairn, Murphy, who has ongoing spinal problems. Starting two years ago he had some soreness on his hind end. Then, last summer he lost use of his hind legs. Cue vet visits every other day, three different clinics, all telling me to wait and see and that most dogs bounce back after a few weeks. Finally, one of the vets flat out told me "Why didn't you get surgery for him sooner?" Anyway, the next day Murphy received spinal surgery to reduce pressure on his spine. (I can't remember the exact name but they created a window to relieve pressure on the cord). He was given a 40% to walk again because I "waited so long". Yes, I'm still salty about that. It took 6 months but he finally started walking again on his own around December. It was the best Christmas present I could have had. But it's been tough. He doesn't have a log of strength in his back legs. He can shuffle them forward, but can't lift them. He can't jump or step up stairs or scratch behind his ears. When he goes on walks more than a few blocks, it has to be with a doggy wheelchair or he'll start dragging his hind legs again. He SEEMS to be a happy dog. Now that he can use his tail, it's up and he's constantly wagging and bright eyed. But he has phases where he will become sore and lose control of his legs again. It's hard because he's so young still. I guess my question is, is this common with Carin Terriers? The vets guessed it was IVDD since he didn't have any major injury before that, and they said it was genetic. I love my dog, and someday I would like to get another Cairn so I can have a walking buddy. (Murphy is a super slow walker for obvious reasons.) But... frankly I'm not sure I can go through this again with another dog. Having to squeeze the pee out of your best buddy and stimulate him to poop for weeks until he can do it on his own again is... rough. Has anyone else had IVDD or other spinal problems with your dog, and what have you done?   He's been on swimming PT, steroids, and the surgery. Am not willing to try acupuncture or healing crystals. (Why yes, those have been suggested. I live in Oregon.) That ship might have sailed since the original surgery was 18 months ago, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks!
    • anniegirl
      Thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate it! Yes puppies are work and we want to train them well. So one little guy or girl, wait and then another, sounds good. Maybe I will work really hard to train the male not to mark. My guy was neutered at 7 months. He was pretty good not marking at home, but when we brought our little girl home 3 years later...they would take turns sometimes peeing on each others beds. Little rascals, so we would put up the beds during the day and only down at night when it was bedtime.  My male would accept loving mostly from me, was a bit aloof to strangers. I would cuddle him on my chest like a baby. When he got older it was ok but just for a couple of minutes. My girl was so loving and amazing and loved everyone Bless their little hearts for giving us so much joy
    • bradl
      Personally I would not place littermates in the same home. I would actually discourage even getting two unrelated puppies at the same time and recommend getting one through the wildest puppy stage first and add the second when the first is about two. I don't have any preference male/female, nor for any combination with the exception that based on my own experience and the cumulative experiences of the breeders I have heard discussing such things the unresolvable death-match grudge issues have been almost always two females. Intact males may fight in the vicinity of females but *in general* male-male fights tend to be more sound and fury while the female-female fights tend to be more damaging. This doesn't mean that female/female is necessarily bad, just that the worst cases of fighting I've heard about (and experienced) have been female/female. All generalizations are suspect  
    • Hillscreek
      Your two are just adorable. I understand how much you must miss them. They will be in your heart for ever. A new cairn friend will not take their place but will bring a new adventure into you life. Some say girls don't get on so well together. Some say boys are naughtier than girls but more loving. I've met people with all combinations whose dogs are fine. A lot depends on your situation and time available to train your pups. Two young pups will be A LOT of work -  indeed I found one young Cairn pup a LOT of work. So intelligent, so independent, so wanting to be the leader. Maybe get one first and another later when you see how things go. The older one often teaches the younger one. Eventually with patience and persistence rowdy pup turns into the finest buddy one could ever want. Re marking  - was your boy neutered? Some say an unaltered dog will mark wherever he can. I always kept mine (neutered)on a leash close to me inside a house when visiting where other dogs lived just as a precaution. Good luck in your search for a new friend.    
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