Shadow is my Velcro dog --
my heart dog. He has been since he was eight weeks old and he'll be 10 in July. A few
months ago though he stopped following me around. He would lay down and just watch and
wait for me to return. Then when he would walk, he would stagger a little like he couldn't
balance on his hind legs. Off to the vet we went! At first this was attributed to
arthritis, but after a couple of weeks Shadow's condition worsened. Now he wasn't just
"wobbly", he was falling down -- a lot. Back to the vet we go. This time they
took x-rays and something showed up on his spinal column so our regular vet sent us to a
specialist. The specialist did a myelogram. Shadow was anesthetized and dye was injected
into his spinal column and a series of x-rays were taken. This was to determine if there
was any compression in his spinal cord. There was. Shadow had a herniated disc right above
his shoulders. A spinal tap was also done and it showed a higher level than normal of
protein. This concerned the vet because it might indicate a degenerative condition that
would not be cured with surgery. We went to another specialist and he confirmed the
herniated disc but disregarded the degenerative condition.
Shadow had to wait for a week to recover from the myelogram. After the myelogram Shadow was unable to walk without a sling under him. My poor baby couldn't even have a bowel movement without me holding his body up. He was in really bad shape. Without the surgery this is how he would be for a short period of time and then he would get worse -- quickly. It was either surgery or say good-bye to my Shadow, and neither one of us was ready for that. Especially Shadow, up until this, he was still perfectly healthy and played with my three year old golden retriever like he was three years old! Shadow had never been crated before but during all of this he had to be. He's been wonderful about it and hasn't fought it for a second!
The surgery was scheduled and he came through it with flying colors! His surgery was on a Friday and he stayed at the vets until Monday. When I called them Friday night, only four hours after his surgery, he had eaten and been outside and walked! Granted with some assistance, but he was doing great!! By Sunday night, the technicians at the vets were beginning to wonder why he was still there. The surgeon was so pleasantly surprised and I was ecstatic!
It has been only two weeks now and Shadow continues to show little improvements every single day. The first major sign of improvement I noticed was his reaction to bending his hind feet. Prior to the surgery Shadow's response to having a hind foot bent under was to leave it there -- Shadow didn't have the nerve sensation to realize his foot wasn't flat on the floor. Only a few days after surgery, he had recovered that sensation and would correct his foot! He walks without any assistance now but must still be on a leash to keep him from running or jumping, which I KNOW he would do off leash. HE is ready to play again! But he and I need to be patient, both specialists indicated that it would be months before Shadow fully recovers. We're both looking forward to that day!
When it was realized that Shadow needed surgery, a friend of mine recommended that I contact LLL for assistance. I couldn't believe the expenses that were involved with Shadow's testing and surgery. LLL came to our rescue! Without their help I honestly don't know how we would have made it. Thanks LLL from the bottom of our hearts!!!