Well, when it rains it pours...
My poor pooch Jasper has gone and stuffed up his back!
It all started Thursday last week. Both of our dogs spend work days with my mom and dad. Thursday evening mom says to me, “Jasper didn’t want to get on the couch today.”
My dogs are cuddlers. They spend most of their days cozied up with me, my husband, my mom or dad. So hearing Jasper spent his day on the floor should have been a bigger warning to me.
On Friday I worked from home. Jasper didn’t come downstairs to sit in the bed behind me. I thought it odd, but then ignored the obvious sign. He and I did go to the vet on Friday. Jasper had a small ear tumor to be biopsied. His mood seemed funny but things weren’t clicking.
Saturday was a quiet day at the house. Jasper was getting down steps but was being funny going up. Like he couldn’t get the momentum to propel himself upward. I was concerned but was hoping a day of rest would turn things around.
Sunday we had plans with my husband’s family. A cousin was visiting all the way from Perth, Australia. We dropped the dog’s at my parents with the warning that Jasper seemed more delicate than Thursday.
Our vet was closed Sunday and then again on Monday because of the President’s Day holiday.
By Monday things were obviously wrong. Jasper wasn’t going up or down the two steps into our yard. He wouldn’t get on or off the couch. He was walking fine but not his normal self. I decided to call the emergency vet. However, since things didn’t seem like an emergency they would not see Jasper until Wednesday. OOF! I decided to call our regular vet first thing Tuesday morning.
Then everything shat itself.
Something was happening outside. Jasper ran across the living room and made a leap for the couch to try to get up and look out the window. He didn’t have enough momentum and ended up bouncing off the side of the couch and landing awkwardly on the floor.
And that is when his back legs stops working properly. 😰
Jasper’s back legs began wobbling and he kept stumbling over himself. Then he froze with the saddest look in his eyes and began to whimper. I bent down and lifted him into the couch (making sure to support his front and back ends). Then he let out the saddest squeals I have ever heard.
We went straight to another emergency vet.
The vet determined Jasper was having a spinal issue. It is quite common in dachshunds because their short legs do not provide enough support to their long backs. The vet gave Jasper methadone and sent us home with two other pain meds and an anti-inflammatory steroid. We were instructed to put Jasper on strict crate rest for two weeks.
My husband stayed home Tuesday to keep an eye on Jasper. In the meantime we set a follow up with a veterinary neurologist on Wednesday. Well, the neurologist called from the emergency clinic and asked us to come back for the follow up.
On Tuesday Jasper’s condition didn’t improve.
On Wednesday the neurologist recommended an MRI and surgery. The MRI showed Jasper had a badly herniated disc. The padding between one of his vertebrae had pushed out and was pressing on his spinal nerves. This was causing pain and impeding the movement of his back legs. There was also a risk of paralysis if the disc jelly continued pressing against his nerves. We agreed to the surgery. My husband was at work, but my dad came with me to the vet for support.
The MRI plus surgery took about 2 hours. They also removed the tumor from Jasper’s ear. The vet said for his age, the rest of Jasper’s spinal column looks pretty good. Our little man spent the night in the hospital and I was able to bring him home yesterday around lunchtime.
The first day home was rough. He is on lots of meds and cannot walk. Plus, his bladder control isn’t great. The vet said this worsening of Jasper’s condition is expected and he should start improving after a couple days. I was super excited that I fashioned a sling out of an old sheet last night and was able to help him potty outside.
My husband and I brought a mattress into the living room last night. So we will alternate camping out here for the next month. Did I mention Jasper is on 4 weeks strict crate rest now? I took last night’s shift.
Today Jasper is still resting, but his appetite has improved. We made it “outside” a couple of times and he was able to do a subdued doggie head shake. Though he can’t walk yet he was able to some weight on his back legs, so these are all good signs.