I’ve finally been able to sit at my desk for an extended period of time and catch up on my emails and my blog. What a crazy few days it’s been. As you know from Facebook, I spent Father’s Day at the Animal ER with Chuy and spent the evening at the regular ER with my Dad. Talk about when it rains, it pours!
I wanted to give you an update on how Chuy is doing.
Saturday night Chuy appeared to be really slow and having a hard time walking, going up steps, and refused to jump on the couch. I could tell he didn’t feel good and that something was wrong. This came out of nowhere!
We kept an eye on him and ended up staying up until 5am. We really didn’t want to have to rush to the ER and spend all that money. If this was 3 years ago, we would’ve gone the minute something was wrong. I’ve learned to calm down a bit and observe the situation now that I know more about having a dog!
Poor Chuy just couldn’t get comfortable no matter what position he was in. Chuy wanted to huddle by the front door, so we set up camp and stayed with him.
We took him to our normal vet in the morning and they said there was a 3 hour wait for walk-ins. Um, no thanks. They did a quick exam on him and said it wasn’t life threatening so we’d still have to wait. All the animal hospitals in town were not accepting walk-ins.
Long story longer, we ended up at the ER anyways. In fact, we were there from 12pm to 8pm that night! They had several life or death emergencies that kept pushing back all the other walk-ins.
The vet said that Chuy has Compressed Disk Space. Almost a year ago to the day he was in the ER for a Bulging Disk. Sadly, it seems his condition has worsened. Instead of trying to tell you what the vet said, I’m going to type word for word what’s on his discharge papers:
“As we discussed, it can be very difficult to determine whether pain is abdominal or spinal, as was the case with Chuy today. His blood work (including a test for pancreatitis) was normal today. You report that he walks a little unsteadily on his hind legs, which we saw some of in the exam room today. He does not appear to have back pain on examination but he did have some abdominal tension. He also does not have any other neurologic deficits on exam. His x-rays show a compressed disk space in his spine, which fits with some of the signs we are seeing today and a history or having these same problems a year ago. However, we do not typically see nausea with disc disease (although some dogs can have this response to pain) and with gas in his stomach and a history of intestinal problems, I cannot rule out that he does not have abdominal pain from a stomach or intestinal disorder. We have decided to treat Chuy for pain and see if his decreased appetite and heaving resolves with pain control. We will also write you a referral to the surgery service to discuss the pros and cons of spinal diagnostics and possibly surgery. It is critical that you keep Chuy well rested at home for at least one month. He should be confined to a crate or small room and only go on very short walks for bathroom purposes. No running, rough play, jumping, or stairs.”
I’m just beside myself at what this means for Chuy’s future. I’m trying not to worry too much about the what-ifs until we have further testing done with the surgeon. I want to avoid the surgery if at all possible but ultimately will do anything necessary to give Chuy back his quality of life. I miss my wild and crazy Chihuahua!
I’m also starting to wonder if all those “mystery” stomach issues were his back all along? This is when I wish animals could talk!
Have you experienced disc issues with your pet before? What was the outcome and how are you treating it?