Well me and M have had a very difficult couple of days. Stop reading now if you cant handle pet sadness.
It all started Sunday around 1:00pm. Our baby (dog) who is the love of our life, started acting different. She had her tail between her legs and was stiff. She was making a strange whining noise and I thought maybe she was feeling a bit sick as I can remember her acting like this before throwing up once.
Side note – our little girl is a just turned 2 yorkie/brussels griffon/shih-tzu rescue dog that clocks in at 7 pounds.
As the day went on she wanted to be near us on the couch or in our lap. She was not feeling herself. At 9:00pm M took her out to go pee for the night and she started tipping over and acting drunk. We became very concerned when we saw that her back legs did not seem to be working properly.
We called the emergency vet just after 9:00 and he said to give her benedryl and bring her into the vet first thing in the morning. Sometime during this whole nightmare M and I also came down with the stomach flu. I knew that I could not go in to work so I called in sick, and throughout the night our puppy did not improve at all. She go worse, she couldn’t even sit up.
We went to the vet right when it opened and she said that she thought our little dog had had a stroke and that it was very serious. She said her reflexes were poor and that she was unable to stand on her legs. She referred us to a clinic in the big city and said we had to go right away. During this appointment I received a text from our best couple friends (husband and wife) saying that her father in law had just passed away. We felt terrible not being able to help them, or be there for them.
Once we got to the clinic/hospital we didn’t know what to expect. We had been crying all night and day and were just hoping for some good news. We did not get the good news. He said that she was parlayed and had not only lost movement but also could not feel anything in that area. He said he thought she had a herniated disc that slipped out of place and caused paralysis. He said that it probably happened after time and normally would occur in older dogs but because she is a “dwarf” that it often happens at 1-2 years of age. He said there was no major trauma but it just happens over time. He said judging on her movement ability that the problem was in the upper back but after her front legs as those still had sensation. These were our options.
1. Do nothing and take her home. 5% chance of her getting any better from that moment on.
2. Have surgery. The surgery is very expensive. Cheaper then IVF but in the thousands… Surgery has a 55% chance of seeing some improvement, 7%-10% chance of developing a fatal condition from the surgery and would need to be put down, and a 35%-38% chance of showing no improvement but will not have pain.
The Doctor explained that if she feel into the 7-10% there was nothing that could be done, no warnings, it is just something that happened. He did say that after surgery if a dog shows improvement then they will not develop this, this percentage only pertains to dogs that show no improvement. A dog can get the surgery and take a while to show improvement.
He also said that the 35% that don’t show improvement could still survive. They may need to be in a cart and the whole bladder control thing would need to be figured out, but still they could survive.
So with tears in our eyes we didn’t really need to discuss it. We knew that we had to get her the surgery. First she had to get an MRI done to to confirm what the Dr. suspected.
We waited in the waiting room for an hour for the scan to be done. He came back out and told us that it was exactly as he expected. We said to please take her in to surgery. He said that since she was an emergency situation he would clear out his schedule and do hers right away. If you do not get a dog help within 48 hours of this happening, their is little chance of them regaining any movement.
We drove home as we knew she would be in surgery for hours and need to stay their overnight. We also had my follicle scan the next morning in the city so would need to go back.
The Doctor called at 6:45pm and told us the surgery was complete. He said he had to take out a very large piece of bone and that she should feel better as it was unusually large. Obviously she was sedated so we couldn’t know anything about results.
Here the thing about the big city clinic. It is like a human hospital, with visiting hours and badges, and a nurse line. Well I saw on the handout that if you wanted a nursing update on your pet that you were allowed to call between 7-11pm. So I called at 9. They said that she was doing well, did not eat anything but was moving her head up a bit to look around. We went to bed and tried to sleep. M passed right out as she really needed sleep. I had difficulty sleeping but did manage to sneak in a couple hours. The night before we were both up with the flu and watching our little dog R like a hawk. The Doctor would call tomorrow.
So here is where I become obnoxious. I wake up in the morning and really want to know if she made it through the night, and I did not want to go into the city for my fertility appt without knowing, so I called the clinic and asked in my nicest voice. They told me she was doing good, loved her pain meds but had eaten some food. They were even polite while I was interupting their day.
The Doctor called as we were parking for our appt at about 9:15. He said that she was doing well and was showing some improvement. He said that because of this she would not be in the fatal category. We were finally feeling relieved. He said that he would not normally suggest this but because she was recovering so well that we could take her home today! He said that he believed she could walk again and he was very please. Huge sigh of relief.
As we were already in the city we decided to stop by and visit her. Visiting hours at 12-4 and 5-9. We came by at 12:01 since we were already in the neighbourhood…. and gave our baby some snuggles. She recognized our voices and gave us lots of kisses. She was still iv’d up so they brought in a chair for us to sit in and hold her. The Dr. came in and told us to see her walk. She didn’t walk for us but when we sat her on the ground she could put weight on her back legs which she couldn’t do yesterday. We tried to bribe her with a treat but she just sat down because that is what she does at home. I know that I saw her tail wag and that couldn’t happen yesterday.
I asked him if he thought it was possible that she would regain any more movement and he said yes. He said that he does not often see improvement this fast at that this looks really good. I asked if he thought she would have control over her bladder and he said yes. He also said that her recovery so far is something they only see once a year and that they are very pleased.
We too, are very happy with these results. I am trying to be positive and believe that she will get better.
We decided not to take her home tonight as we were nervous that he sister might try to play with her and hurt her scar. We both need to go to work tomorrow and we don’t want her to be alone.
After all our bad luck with failed IUI’s and failed IVF, and the vacant ovary last month, I could not believe this was happening to our pup. We were feeling a bit sorry for ourselves thinking that we could not catch a break . I am going to try to post a photo of our baby at the vet being held by M, and one of her crazy scar. Does that face look like a dog that should have aggressive marked on her kennel!?!? (she barked at another dog so they had to). Please think positive thoughts for our little girl.