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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

Ol' One-eye

My sweet puppy-love, Raikki, needs some seriously positive energy directed his way, my people.

Tuesday night, we got home kind of late after spending the evening with some friends. We let all the dogs out and fed them and let them run around a while. Just before going to bed, we let them out one more time. Jasper and Chico came back in, with Raikki behind them, and as he came up the stairs, Dr. SmartyPants noticed he was dragging his left rear leg. Now, Jasper and Raikki are known to roughhouse quite a bit, and so our first thought was that Raikki had pulled a muscle or something and was just favoring the leg.

The Smarty called me in the kitchen and I started manipulating Raikki's leg, trying to find a sore spot, but nothing seemed to be causing him any pain - he just couldn't make the leg work. I pushed along his spine, but still no painful spots. Within about an hour, neither rear leg was functioning, and while he wasn't in any obvious pain, he was obviously in a great deal of stress. We talked about going to the emergency vet place, but with no one to stay home with the boys, we decided to make him comfortable and be at our vet's office as soon as they opened in the morning.

We put him in bed with us and watched him pretty much all night - there wasn't a whole lot of actual sleep going on.

We got to our vet as they were opening and after a physical, she decided to send us down to the University of Tennessee's vet school for a neurological exam, as she was afraid he had somehow ruptured a disc. The neurologist spent about an hour with him, and given his lack of pain, and all his other symptoms combined, diagnosed him as having had an FCE, which is something like a stroke that affects the spine instead of the brain.

The bad news is that there is nothing medically that can be done for it - no meds, no surgery, etc. The good news is that with physical therapy, there is a possibility that he will regain mobility in his rear legs.

He spent the night in the hospital last night for observation. They called me this morning and told me that he was about the same as yesterday, but that he won't drink any water and he's becoming dehydrated. They'll be doing some urinalysis and blood work to see if there are any other things going on that are causing that, and they may have to start an IV with fluids if he doesn't start to drink soon. If so, he'll go into their ICU and likely spend another night.

If he makes it through all this, he's in for a long road of recovery - and so am I. Raikki weighs about 68 pounds, and there are no flat exits from our house, so I'll be building up my muscles helping him navigate the stairs in and out of here, not to mention helping him with whatever therapy activities he will have to do.

In his favor are his age (20 months) and the fact that he's composed of nothing but muscle and energy. And all of it will be worth it if I can watch him like this again...

Someone's Glad to be Back in Knoxville