No improvement yet.
Symptoms started last Tuesday; she wouldn't lower her head to the floor to pick up a treat. By Tuesday night she was standing in place, quivering all over, panting, and crying. We paged the vet and he said it sound like pain, maybe back-related, and to give her 2 aspirin and call Wednesday. She finally calmed down that night and laid down; woke up at 3:00 to the sound of her drinking some water. I got up and she seemed fine. Wanted to go outside, came back in, acted normal again. I stayed home Wednesday morning to monitor her and she still did not want to lower her head to the floor from a standing position. Called vet's office back and made an appt for 3:15. DH left work early and took her in. She seemed alright. They took x-rays and did some flexing and other tests. Said it looked like a vertebra in her neck (C7) was shifted and compressing a disc in her neck. He didn't give it an official name, but after doing some internet research I believe she has Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease.
Gave us some Tramadol pills to give her if she was having a "bad day". 2 hours later, my dog couldn't walk at all. Paged the vet again and he said to start her on the pills immediately and to bring her back the next day. DH stayed home from work Thursday and took her in. She still couldn't walk. Vet gave her a Cortisone shot and also gave us 3 weeks' worth of Cortisone pills (Dexamethasone). DH also stayed home Friday. We had hoped over the weekend we'd see some improvement. Nothing. I went up and got my mom (2 hours away) on Sunday. I had been planning on going to get her anyway, for this week for Thanksgiving. I took a vacation day yesterday and stayed home with the dog. Still no improvement. Called the vet's office and asked him "is this normal???" and he basically said that it could be, depending on the dog, etc. Couldn't really tell me anything. Said he'd be able to tell more today at her follow-up appt. Said he might be able to see progress that we can't, by doing reflex tests, etc. My mom is home with the dog right now; I'm going home at lunch to turn her over and clean her off, then DH will be leaving work at 2:30 so he can get home, do the same, and get her bundled into the truck for her 4:30 appt. I think I'm going to leave a bit early and meet him at the vet's.
Last week I was feeling pretty optimistic, but after 5 full days of medicine, both of which are supposed to bring down the inflammation, and no noticeable improvement, I'm pretty much a basket case right now. And it sucks because I so want to be home with her. My mom can't get down on the floor to pet her and lay with her, which is sometimes the only way to calm her down and get her to relax and go back to sleep. But employers, of course, aren't as understanding or easy-going when it comes to taking time off for a dog...."it's only a dog", after all.
My husband has already used up his last vacation day until April; I have 3 left, I think, thru the end of the year. I just don't know what's going to happen if she has to have surgery; we can't just take unlimited time off for 2-3 weeks or more until she can walk again. But I don't know what to do if it's not safe to leave her home alone, and I wouldn't want to do that anyway. At least my mom has offered to stay an extra week or two if that's what it takes right now.
I would almost just take her over now and get the darn surgery so she can get fixed up, and not play this waiting game with the meds anymore.