Category Archives: Back pain

Wellness for our pets: It’s a constant challenge

Wellness for our beloved furry and feathered family members is every bit as much a challenge as it is for us.  My particular frustration today is with the veterinary world.  I have known a lot of veterinarians over the years, and I continue to have problems with the care they offer our pets.

Our 6 month old kitten is struggling right now.  We had her spayed when she was BabyMhysa4 months old, and surprisingly, she was in heat when they spayed her.  However, we were told all was well.   A few days later, after she’d gotten over the worst of her surgery, she started to show minimal signs of actually being in heat.  I mentioned it and was told it was some sort of ‘dominance’ dance with the other cat.  Well, it’s gotten worse.  This past week, she has cried and shown every sign of being in heat.

I have researched on-line and this appears to be what is known as Ovarian Remnant Syndrome.   This occurs when during the surgery the vet fails to remove both ovaries and/or fails to remove ALL ovarian tissue. I was told by the vet who did the surgery that ovaries can pretty much ‘regrow’ if tissue is remaining.  It’s unusual but there have sometimes been additional ovaries other than what is expected.  And the problem with this is that she will remain in heat her entire life!  That is an awful prospect for our little girl.  So now, because of a mistake, which the vet swears has never happened to him before, there’s a good chance she will have to undergo another surgery.  This has me horribly upset and it breaks my heart to put her through this.

Mhysa SleepingNext, we will do blood testing to see what her estrogen level is.  If it’s 25 or over, then there is ovarian tissue still there and that means she has to go under the knife yet again.  I honestly can think of nothing else that would manifest these symptoms.

The vet indicates that this is extremely rare, but my research and personal experience proves otherwise.  My adored 20 year old girl who transitioned in May, had often displayed estrus symptoms and had an alarming full-blown episode when she was 16 years old.  She had been spayed by a local vet as a kitten when we adopted her from Friends of Animals.  Through her entire life, she had been a very anxious girl with a lot of odd symptoms and now, I know what it was.  Sloppy veterinary surgery.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of disturbing behavior and heard a lot of disturbing comments from vets.  I’ve had one vet tell me that our pets don’t feel pain, when of course, they do.  I’ve had vets try to induce me to euthanize when it wasn’t necessary.  (I will go into that another time.)  When attempting to diagnose my older girl’s issues, the ‘second opinion’ vet didn’t accept the tests from the first vet, and insisted on doing tests again.  Not surprisingly, the test results were identical, and by then, I had a $3,000 total vet bill between the two of them.   They claimed they could find nothing wrong, declared it psychosomatic and then, with her x-ray on the light box, I could see she had spondylosis.  I knew because I had something similar, which is a degenerative condition of the spine from injury or from spinal arthritis.  I asked about that and they blew me off.  YET I know exactly how painful that is!

These are only a few instances.  I’d hoped we were finished with all of this, until recently when our baby began to suffer from estrus symptoms.

My husband put it very succinctly:  Vets consider our pets to be patients that won’t tell on them.   Vets are not counting on pet owners like us, who are very intuitive and who educate themselves.   Our pets are the center of our family and nothing is too good for them!

This, however, is reminding me of the surgery my husband underwent in 2012 where the local surgeon made some serious mistakes and to correct them, it would take more surgery.  It seems to me that doctors AND vets make an inordinate number of life threatening mistakes every single day.  To put your life in the hands of a surgeon (or in the case of today’s post, the life of my adored kitten in the hands of a vet yet again) is a a risky proposition no matter how you look at it.




Relief …. I hope.

Relief – I hope.   I have just come off one of the worst back episodes that I’ve had in many years.   I’d had an injury in 1992, but it had calmed down and gave me very little trouble until I was rear-ended by a hit-n-run in 2008.  That, of course, was when the weight really ‘cemented’ on and I ended up with a 33% permanent disability.   I simply couldn’t be active at that time.  I had many bad days then, but it had seemed to cool.  I honestly can’t put my finger on what it was that caused this episode, but I honestly cried out in pain at the slightest movement. I could sit (for a while), I could stand (for a while) and I could lie down (for a while) but the transition between any of those states?  EXCRUCIATING!

I was desperate for help.  I’ve had every support, cushion and aid known to man in the past but none did the trick.  So a week ago, I found this online and decided to give it a try.  backfriendIt’s called Backfriend and is made by a company in the UK.   It was shipped from California and surprisingly, arrived quickly. It came in a number of colors so you can attempt to ‘blend’ it in with your sofa and decor.   And no, it isn’t cheap.

I was skeptical.  I sat on it and I won’t kid you, it is HARD.  (They make a more padded version but it is really recommended for very heavy people and I’m not that any longer!)  It is lightweight and is portable, with a Velcro strap that holds the seat and back portion together when you carry it.

However, my back is better.  Actually, I’m almost pain free for the first time in weeks.  There is a downside, though.   Now my tail bone hurts from the hard seat portion.  And some days, the upper portion of my back hurts as well, from sitting on this.  I guess we can’t have it all, huh?

I have ordered the predictably-expensive sheepskin cover to see if it helps with the tail bone pain.  (So much for blending in with the decor.)  At least now, though, I can stand easily, walk upright right away.  Before?  I barely could move and was ‘S’ shaped.

Since most everyone has some sort of back pain, I believe this would be helpful for many.  If you have an interest in purchasing one, please post or email and I’ll give you the links and some info on the US supplier.  The reason I am not going into it all right here at the moment is that I’d initially ordered from one supplier on eBay, and to get expedited shipping was outrageously expensive ($45) especially knowing what the real COST was via USPS for the item ($18).  Also, they were in California and even expedited, I could expect a 10 day wait to receive, I was told.   They were taking unfair advantage of someone in pain.

Thus, I found a company, also in California, and they shipped with a far more reasonable expedited shipping ($24) and shipped within hours.  I had it in two days – no kidding!

Please feel free to post your back experiences and challenges here or on Facebook or on Twitter.