Well, our trip to the pet ER on Sunday led us to take our dog Andee to her vet the next morning, where he promptly had her transferred to the LSU Vet School. Her prognosis was poor but mixed. The vet felt she might have a better chance of recovery, but that he did not have the diagnostic tools and that the Vet School would be able to give her the very best chance possible.
Kathy took Andee over to LSU, where the dog was examined by a team of vets. After some additional X-rays and other tests, it was clear that her prognosis was not good. She did not feel deep pain in either leg. She had no control of either leg, and did not respond to the normal reflex tests that are given to dogs. They did see that several disks in her lower back had mineralized (more than what they saw at the ER), but they did not see any proximate cause for the injury or pressure on the spinal column.
They felt her only hope for recovery was to operate on her back. In doing so, they could see if there might be a tumor causing the problem. They could also try to relieve some of the pressure on the spinal column, so that she could regain control of her lower extremities. The surgery went well, but they found no tumor. They did find bits and pieces of herniated disks in her spinal fluid, which they have sent for analysis. She recovered from the anesthesia well, and she has already enamored several of the attending vet students.
As of today, her nerve function is actually less than before the surgery, but that was to be expected. The swelling from the surgery will take a few days to come down. By the end of the week we may know more about Andee’s prognosis. In the meantime, she’ll stay at the small animal clinic.
Back at home, Happy (our older dog) is completely confused. She wanders the house looking for Andee, and she seems extra “needy”. We’re trying to provide some extra comfort to her, and play with her a little more than normal. More to follow…