Tuesday, October 07, 2008

See Duff Run

After three and a half long months of nursing my lame dog, and endless internal debate over what was best for him and for me, I have a diagnosis and a course of action.  I finally sucked it up and took him in for an MRI last week, which showed that his C5 disk is seriously compressed and bulging up into his spinal cord, suppressing neural communication. Not so much that he can't move his legs, but enough that he cannot make the move to stand.  Tomorrow at 8 a.m. he goes in for surgery to cut the offending tissue away enough that he will, in all likelihood, be able to walk again.  The neurologist is highly optimistic (a conservative 75% chance, she gave it), and when I asked about recovery time (she assures me he will need to be kept still for a time), she answered that it can vary a lot, but she's seen dogs in his situation get up the same day.  She also praised me, for she said it was clear I had taken amazing care of him over the summer.  This was a tremendous relief, because you can have no idea how I've worried that I wasn't doing right by him, keeping him alive in this state.  

She gently admonished me for taking him off the pain meds and steroids (main squeeze vet and I don't agree), but conceded that due to his good care, there was almost no fibrosis or scar tissue, or even much swelling in the area of the trauma, as one might have expected after three months of this. I'm sure that the acupuncture twice a week is largely responsible.  The colostrum has probably helped, too.  She previously had been concerned that we had waited so long, but the MRI showed that he was in great shape for surgery.  My vet subsequently informed me he's relieved we didn't send Duff right away, because he truly believes, given the really poor state Duff was in in June (I mean, the poor guy couldn't even use his bladder), that there is little chance he would have made it through the operation.  He says they almost surely would have put him down.

The cost is ridiculous, and would amply carve away a good chunk of debt for me, but I feel completely devoted to this sweet fellow, who has been the best companion I've ever had.  We take them in for our own selfish purposes, now don't we?  Is is not my responsibility, as well as my desire, to see him provided for as long as he can have a decent standard of life?  And, you know, I just love him.

So do me a favor, if you can spare the time, and wish him a little extra luck.  It will be good to see him charging up the hill once again.  ...And on that beat, he just sat up.  You should see how he acted when I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk last week.  Sounds cruel, I know, but I had to see where he was at.  He raised quite a ruckus, and bludgeoned the mattress with his great otter tail, he was so excited by the notion.





3 comments:

McGone said...

There are few things greater in this world then when they start thumping that tail. Best wishes to Duff and you from the IHoB Home Office (and our tail-thumper, Haley).

stella said...

Man would I like to see Duff clocking goldfish one more time...!

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