My sweet Jersey is not himself.
I noticed yesterday that he was hesitating to go down the one step between our backdoor and backyard. Normally he does this one little step with no issues, so it was strange to see him stop at it. That immediately put me on high alert… then I noticed that in the 10 minutes after coming in from outside, he was trembling quite a bit. Then I noticed that he seemed to be walking stiffly– as if his entire body was tense. Then I noticed that his belly felt super firm.
Scary. All signs of early IVDD.
He is NOT dragging his feet though. And he is NOT wincing or yelping when we touch his spine. He’s not having difficulty getting comfortable in bed. He’s having normal poops. And he isn’t grunting and fidgeting like he’s in pain. His appetite is still good, and he generally seems to be in his normal spirits. All good things.
But still, I’m scared.
Oslo exhibited similar ‘early signs’ of IVDD for about 3-4 days, before he suddenly ‘went down’ in the rear legs. I was uneducated then, and didn’t know the signs, so I didn’t know what I was dealing with. The trouble with IVDD is that the early signs are SO SUBTLE. Your dog really just seems to be ‘acting strange’, but the strangeness is so subtle that you convince yourself that you could be making it all up. It’s very very very tough. Even many Veterinarians misdiagnose IVDD in it’s early stages because it just presents in such an insignificant way.
That’s what makes this disease such a beast– you don’t know for SURE until::
A.) Your dog becomes parlayzed (or almost paralyzed),
B.) Is in so much pain that they yelp out every time their spine is touched.
C.) You pay $1000-$2000 for an MRI at a Specialist Veterinary Clinic.
Knowing what I know now though– I’ve decided to put Jersey on strict crate rest until I can get him into see our normal vet (they’re closed for the weekend). It’s entirely possible that I am making all of this up…Hypersensitive and over-reacting. Or, perhaps, he has something ELSE wrong with him? Whatever the case, being confined to a cozy, safe place for the next few days won’t hurt him.
When we see the vet, we’ll be able to do some blood-work and possibly x-rays to rule out any other issues and we’ll take it from there.
I’m very worried about my sweet fella.