We knew that Andee, our smallish Irish Setter-type (we really don’t know what breed she is), had been feeling poorly for the past couple of days. She had stopped eating, although she did have some eggs I made for her this morning. But when I came home from the market early this afternoon, she was outside and was having real trouble getting up from a seated position. I helped her up, but discovered that she had lost control of her rear left leg. Her paw was turned upside down (she wasn’t putting her paw side down) and she just couldn’t walk on it.
I helped her inside the house, and figured we would get her to the vet first thing tomorrow morning. I got her comfortable on her favorite bean bag chair, hoping she would get some rest and sleep. About an hour later, she was trying desperately to get up. And I discovered that she could not use either leg. Kathy and the kids had just returned home, and we agreed that she needed to see someone immediately.
Our vet’s phone bounced us to an animal emergency facility where they agreed Andee needed to be examined (of course they would say that). So we carried Andee to the van, and drove off, fearful we might not bring her back. The vet was very nice, and explained her examination quite thoroughly, including all of the possible scenarios. Andee had some control of her right leg again, and she was feeling “deep pain” in both legs. But she did not have the ability to put her left paw in the correct position (it’s an automatic reflex).
After a couple of X-rays, it was clear that Andee had a mineralized disk in her lower back that was pressing on the spinal column. What was odd was that the paralysis in her hind quarter was only on one side of her body. The vet felt the dog would rest best at home, and that we should have her see her regular vet tomorrow, perhaps with a referral to the LSU Vet Clinic. So some muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory meds, and her X-rays, we took her home.
We can only hope for the best.