Someone wrote on my facebook wall this week in response to what has been happening "seems like there's always drama in your life". I guess they're right. Maybe God just doesn't want our lives to be boring!!
Let's start at the beginning. Right before Tim left for his trip to San Diego, Annie wasn't showing an interest in jumping up into bed with us or onto the couch. She eventually would but we had to keep urging her to jump up. On Friday, before Tim's flight arrived, she wasn't even coming up the steps in the front or back of the house. I started getting worried because she was only wanting to lay on one of the dog pillows and not being herself. Having had dachshunds in the past, I knew the signs of back problems and I was worried about what all of this meant. Tim got in and we decided to take her to the emergency pet hospital because we didn't want it to get any worse. We went and the vet there said it was back pain and gave us an NSAID for her to take and seemed to think that would take care of it, but if it didn't we should see our vet. Well, Saturday morning she seemed to be doing ok, but by Sunday night she wasn't able to do much, had a clear hump in her back and her back legs weren't working all that well. We decided that we would go to our vet first thing Monday morning, each of us would just go in late for work/rotation. We got up and got ready Monday and I got Annie up to take her out before we left and she couldn't walk. Her back paws were flipped backwards and she couldn't flip them back on her own (which means she didn't have control over her back limbs). I told Tim I was going on and he could just meet us there. He was going to drive his own car so he could leave as soon as we saw the vet to go on to his rotation (which is an hour away).
Long story short, our vet saw us, took some x-rays, told us to go home and pack because we were going to Dallas for emergency surgery. They took care of calling the surgeon, we called Tim's brother and sister-in-law to see if we could stay with them the night, called our friends to take care of Leo and called parents and bosses to tell them what was up. They told us we needed to leave as soon as possible so that we could get there in time to have the surgery that night. It took us about an hour to get everything together to get going. We arrived at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center around 4:30.
I must say, it was nicer than any human medical complex that we had ever been to. The staff and the surgeon were so friendly, professional, and worked quickly. We went through consultation and he told us they would do an MRI then go ahead with the surgery. From the x-rays and looking at her back our vet and the surgeon thought it was a compressed disc in the middle of her back but the MRI showed it was actually a completely ruptured disc in her very lower back. When the surgeon called us that evening to tell us how the surgery went, he told us how severe it was and it confirmed to us that we did the right thing by making the trip to have this done. Had we not and simply treated it with steroids thinking it was a compressed disc, she could have become completely paralyzed. During the pre-op, he informed us that it would probably be Wednesday when we could take her home but possibly not until longer. We discussed how we would handle it if it took that long to be able to take her home. We decided we would have to go on home and just come back on the weekend to pick her up. We talked with the office Tuesday morning to set up a time to visit her that afternoon. That is when the doctor who was checking on her told us that if she emptied her bladder on her own, we could take her home that day!
We went to visit her and I was a little discouraged. She didn't seem to be doing that well, but I knew it would be a long road to recovery. I was sad to see her little back shaved and the 17 staples from the incision.
Even though Annie didn't empty her bladder, they let us take her home anyway, in hopes she would go pee pee on the trip home.
Thankfully, she did! We got home around 9 Tuesday night and I don't think either of us knew how exhausted we would be from everything! I took her to our vet on Wednesday so he could take a look at her because she seemed to be in a lot of pain and she also wasn't pooping. He gave her a few shots and they told me to start her on a bland diet. I spend more time on her dinner that night than I did on mine and Tim's! She had boiled chicken breast, brown rice, and cottage cheese.
As you can imagine, she gobbled it up! She hadn't eaten since Sunday night so I know she was starving! Poor girl!
That night, we set her up to sleep in bed with us on a curved pillow in between us. That way we could feel if she moved around.
She can't jump, run or get worked up for at least 14 days while she heals. After that, she has about a 6 week recovery time while we do some PT exercises with her. When we take her out to the bathroom we have to use a sling-type contraption called the "Walkabout". I thought I would include some pictures because she is so cute with it on!
This is Tim about to put it on her.
Also, I wanted to add in a few cute pictures of her. She is obviously taking this bed rest thing seriously...she didn't even lift her head to drink water out of the bowl!
We will keep you posted on her recovery!