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Summit's Ivdd Surgery Progress


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It has taken me awhile to write this. Summit turned 11 on May 5th. That same day he herniated a disc in his neck resulting in extreme pain. I took him to the local referral hospital for a CT to confirm the diagnosis and then we proceeded with surgery.

 

Here he is in his x-pen, wearing his "Help 'Em Up" harness the night before surgery.

 

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Surgery of the spinal cord is never "routine", however these dogs generally do very well. Summit went into surgery with almost no neurological deficits, so he was expected to come out of surgery ambulatory. Many dogs are improved right after surgery, some have a bit of worsening of their neurological signs. So you can imagine my complete heartbreak when he recovered from the anesthetic and was completely paralyzed in all 4 legs. I was pretty sure I was going to have to euthanize him, that I had essentially robbed him of the next year or two of his life. He wasn't neurological, just very painful. I could have tried medical management first before going to surgery, but I didn't want to subject him to more pain and another anesthetic. I wanted him to be able to do the things he loves to do, and instead I agreed to a surgery that took away his ability to do anything.

 

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I spent a couple of hours every day at the hospital, hanging out with him in his run. The staff got pretty used me being around. He wouldn't eat for anyone else, so I went in to see him twice a day.

 

On the third night, he was discharged to my care. Thank goodness I'm a vet and could take him home, or the cost of prolonged hospitalization would have been a real killer on my bank account. The CT, surgery, and hospitalization was already close to $6000. When he came home he was beginning to have some reflexes and very slight voluntary motor function in his legs.

 

The next morning, when I woke up, I nearly cried as Summit was laying on the hardwood floor in sternal, and on the opposite side to the one we had put him on the night before.

 

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We set out more beds (our entire living room floor is basically just side by side dog beds now) to try to prevent him from falling onto the hardwood, and I had picked him up a really awesome orthopedic bed the day before he came home.

 

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The last 2.5 weeks have just been intensive nursing care. Medication, urinary catheter care, rehab exercises, cleaning up poop, cleaning up poop on Summit after he flails around trying to get away from it.

 

Last week he kept making motions as if he wanted to try to get up, any time we went outside with the girls. So we carried him out to enjoy the evening.

 

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The past week he has started to sleep in "normal" positions again, with his legs tucked up, or in sternal with his legs under and his chin flat on the ground. These are things he couldn't do. He literally could barely even lift his head after surgery.

 

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Anyway, here's a video of the past 2.5 weeks. I didn't take any video at the hospital, because I was honestly too heartbroken. He's still got a long way to go. Most of the major improvement happens in the first 6 weeks after surgery, so we've got another few weeks to see what's going to happen. He's a pretty happy dog, though I can tell he wants to come outside with us. Hopefully the weather improves so I can get him outside for a bit again this week.

 

https://youtu.be/lK4nIE0fQfY

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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What a dreadful blow this must have been for you, but I'm so glad Summit is improving, and will be keeping my fingers crossed that he makes a full recovery under your tender loving care. Love to you all.

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When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

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Such a frightening ordeal. Summit looks to be making very good progress, good job! All good thoughts for continued steady improvement.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

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:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Hoping he continues to improve for you!

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I gasped upon reading. Oh Summit. I can't imagine what it was like to find out his legs wouldn't work but the care you have been giving him for the past couple of weeks have really been paying off. Strength and hugs to you, this can't be easy. But at least you have Kili and Kenna as happy disfractions.

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What a shock. So glad he can be home with you getting the care and love he needs. (Though I can't imagine your exhaustion between this and a new puppy!) Best wishes for continued improvement and a full recovery for your sweet boy.

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Fingers crossed for continued improvement. I'm so sorry for both of you, that this has been such a rough experience.

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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:hope:hope:hope For continued improvement!

 

What a long road you're traveling. Please know we are thinking of you and your family!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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wow, how scary! Glad to see he's improving. :grouphug

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Awwww...poor Summit. That must have been awful to see him after surgery. He looks like he is making a lot of progress and improvement, I am confident he will get through this! He's lucky to have such a dedicated mom :)

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Guest LazyBlaze

He's making progress for sure. Poor sweet boy.

 

Hang in there, you're both doing so well. What a shock, but I hope he continues to improve. All good thoughts.

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Guest DarkHorse

Hugs to Summit. Hope things continue to improve for him and he's able to enjoy some of this summer and many more to come!

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I'm lost for words,your remarkable! ! Just something to share. A good friends borzoi needed surer footing (neurological issues). She wisely used the rubberized nonskid carpet matting,the gridded stuff. Easy to wash,inexpensive and helped on her wood floors. But thats down the road.

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Thank you for the kind wishes everyone. It has definitely been a trying couple of weeks. I'm beyond exhausted trying to train a new puppy and handle all of Summit's nursing care. But this is the price and responsibility of pet ownership that we owe to our beloved dogs for the love that they bring into our lives. It's really the least I can do considering what a fantastic dog he has been. It would have been nice if he had not decided to cash in all of his healthcare chips at one time... like a few smaller illnesses here and there over the years would have been better! I kid.

 

Last night he was able to get to his feet with minimal assistance and was able to stand for about 30 seconds unassisted. DBF also said that he helped him walk to the door (carried him down the stairs once they got there) to go outside for a bit. I was at work, so didn't get to see that. He does have a UTI though. He was very uneasy and restless last night, and I thought he might just be too warm, but this morning I thought his urine looked a little red. I brought a sample with me to work and he does have a UTI, so I'm taking some antibiotics home this afternoon for him. I'm not too surprised as his urinary catheter has been in since the day after surgery. He's almost mobile enough to remove it, but I'm not sure if he's really able to posture to go to the bathroom even if we can get him out a few times per day. I might see how things clear up on the antibiotics. I feel like if I can keep the catheter in until after the weekend that might just buy us enough time to make life easier for everyone. We shall see.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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What an ordeal. So glad you are able to provide him the care he needs at home to recover. Hope he continues to progress quickly.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

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