krissy Posted May 25, 2016 Share Posted May 25, 2016 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Quote 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 Like us on Facebook! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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