Finally, I have enough time to write this out. Gabe was having some issues jumping up and off the bed and couch for about 2 weeks. DH and I noticed it and just thought , he is not puppy anymore. He is turning 6 y/o, September 3rd. On Sunday, Gabriel complete miss jumped getting in to the van after visiting our friends at Pet Persona. Gabriel didn’t whelp or anything, but it definitely looked painful. Anyhow, DH and I noticed it and talked about it, but again… we didn’t know what to think.
Well, Wednesday night when I got home. Gabriel did not come greet me. In fact, he did not even raise his head to say hello. He did try to get up when I went to grab his leash to go outside. At that point, he was really struggling to stand up. Then I notice he was walking like he was drunk and his body shape was that of a greyhound (kind of like a curved-c), his tail was tucked and ears were flat.
When I got him outside he was stumbling everywhere, crossing his bind legs, dragging a leg every now and then. He tried to pee and I watched is back side sink, like he couldn’t support his legs. At that point, I put Abby back in her kennel and lifted my 80 lb dog from the house to the van to head to the doctor’s. DH informed me, that our usual vet was gone for the day and I had to take him to the emergency room.
I know most people may have not done it.. but I did… Ataxia, is nothing to screw with, the damage could be permit or it could get worse and lead to a human or animal being paralyzed.
He continued to have standing and walking problems the whole time. When we met the doctor, she actually came out to Gabe and I in the waiting room. She watched him from the moment she called his name all the way into the exam room. The only time, she looked up at me was when she asked if Gabe was aggressive. Most people would be offended but I am not… She is treating my dog, she needs to observe his behavior more than look at me.
She did a spinal exam and got to the 13th, 14th and 15th vertebrae Gabriel screamed and tried to nip her, immediately after that he was licking her as to say sorry, but that F*cking hurt!!! She had to narrow done the vertebrae by counting his ribs. She took him away for an x-ray. Oh, how I wanted to be back there, instead of people Gabe didn’t know handling him.
The x-rays showed a weakened (calcium build-up) and slightly moved disc. This is what is causing the ataxia (balancing, stumbling, drunkenness). Its what is placing the pressure on his spinal cord. The doctor put him on some anti-inflammatories and pain meds and referred us to a specialist.
Today after a few hours at work, Gabe is functioning a bit better. He has a bit more strength and balance, but we are definitely not out of the woods. The specialist looked at the x-rays and wants to see if the meds will work before stepping into the realm of Gabe going through surgery to remove the calcium and if needed the rubsured disc. The disc itself has shifted up but not to the point of massive concern. It normal for this type of thing.
If Gabe continues to stabilize (walk alone and straight, balance,etc) we might consider taking another x-ray to see what it looks like without being in his current state. (He wasn’t too happy to have to be moving last night)
He still has his appetite which is good. But you can tell he has a lot of discomfort at times. Oh, the X-ray did not show any tumors/cysts so that a positive, too. Our friends have directed us to a doctor that sits on the Veterinary Board for Virginia. I will probably call him tomorrow just to discuss things and possible bring Gabe in to give him the X-rays and see how Gabe is progressing. If we need the surgery avenue he would be a great resource for who could do the job the best.
Anyhow, that’s all I got right now… I am so tired. DH is on travel, so it is me lifting Gabriel around to help him get outside, to his food, to water. I quit sitting on the couch, because he wants to be around me, so we are hanging out on floor…. and by the way.. Abby is being a good sister. She is leaving him alone. She has asked him to play a few times, but since he is not interested.. she is leaving him be. It’s unique to watch.
I can’t believe this is happening to Gabriel. My running partner, the dog that ran 16 miles, the dog never missed a moment to run in the water, chase a deer, chase a squirrel. He truly is my bestest friend. It is so hard to watch him go through with this, and yet still remain a pack leader. At least he is good and listens to me. He will wait until I get to him or come back from upstairs… ugh.. I hate this…
Anyhow, thanks for listening…(excuse the typos, I haven’t slept over 3 hours for the last two nights)