Monday, August 4, 2008

A Bad Injury

It's been a little while since I've been on... Toby and I were taking things easy and hanging out in the safety of our home for awhile. Or well... that was the intention. Last Sunday however he stepped wrong off our 'mini-deck' (only about 6 inches off the ground) and we thought he pulled a muscle. He walked fine after the initial yelp and was his normal self. Late Monday night however things started to go down hill fast. At first he started with a slight limp on his left back leg (acting like he'd pulled a muscle). Then he cried every time he moved and within a few hours after the initial downward spiral he started screaming with the slightest motion. He collapsed and didn't move for hours. Not my normal dog by a long shot. My parents were still convinced he'd just pulled a muscle and that there was nothing we could do but give him rest and ice it. Mom and I slept on the floor with him all night, just trying to keep him comfortable and from moving too much. Halfway through the night mom finally conceded that there had to be something else wrong or at the very least he needed something more thant he dog asprin we'd given him.

First thing Tuesday morning we were into the vet's office. We carried him in using his crate (because I was scared that picking him up would hurt him more) and sat down for one of the most emotional vet visits ever. The vet had to poke and test his back legs to see where the problem was and everything just made him scream. She then started flipping his feet so that the tops of his feet were touching the floor and watching. Normally a dog is supposed automatically flip their feet back into the right position... Toby did it fine on his front two. His back right was slow. His back left (the leg we thought he'd pulled the muscle in) he never corrected. The vet started to fear some neurological was wrong. They sedated him for x-rays and took him out of the room. Half way through the x-rays he came out of sedation screaming in pain (they had to flip him on his back to get a better view and the pain was too much). I left the vet's for a few minutes while they finished the x-rays. I was too the point where my nerves were beyond raw and I was physically ill.

It turns out that Toby collapsed two discs in his back (or something very similiar, I was a little out of it in the explanation part)... and there was a real fear that he might not be able to walk again. He stayed at the vet's for a few hours under sedation to give him as much time pain-free as possible, but the moment he came out they called us back up to get him. Toby has not been handling vet trips well at all and the last one we had (a simple blood test for Heartworm he decided that he had no more tolerance for vets and lunged for her, a very weird thing for a dog who loves people any other place) so being in the office was stressing him out and they didn't want him hurting himself in the stress. So he came home with us (by far my preference). He's on crate rest for the next 6 weeks.

So far he's done really well. He's made a lot of progress this week. He can walk again, stiffly but enough to go potty. Though my dad is still supporting his back end with a towel to help keep some weight off Toby's back legs. We've made our house handicap accessible pretty much... Dad and my brothers built an addition to the wagon to wheel him in and out of the house and by dismantling the picnic table we have a ramp down the outside stairs. His pain level seems to have really gone down and his tail is finally starting to wag a little again. He's been such a trooper and we hope that the rest of his recovery goes as smoothly as this.

I haven't been this scared since he was a puppy and we battled parvo with him. He's always been the healthier of the two dogs but when he falls he falls hard. I'm just so glad he's okay. So here's to hoping he continues to recover.


Champion of My Heart said...

That's completely scary. I'm sorry to hear it. It's very serious stuff, the spine.

Val said...

Thank you. It took us all by surprise, but he seems to be making a good recovery. We're to the point today where he's getting irritated about being cooped up all day. Poor boy.

Sarah & Crash said...

Sorry to hear that...

Great blog by the way!

Sarah & Crash