I was finally able to get Jersey into the vet today.
The bad news is that his Vet agrees that we are likely dealing with a neuro/spinal issue. She ran a bunch of physical tests on Jersey, looking for symptoms typically presented when dogs have decreased sensation in their hind-quarters… and there were a few of them that he didn’t do very well on. To be clear, he’s still walking (running, if I will let him!) and acting fairly normally… in fact, to the untrained eye he might appear totally fine. But there are subtle issues that are presenting.. and they are tell-tale enough for the Vet to have felt comfortable confirming my fears.
(Here is a great link about the sort of tests that are done during a neuro-exam.)
That’s the bad news…. The GOOD news is that we think that I was able to catch it early enough that he should be able to be treated with crate rest & anti-inflammatories. Jersey has been prescribed 2 weeks (minimum) of STRICT crate rest. Followed by another 2 weeks of rest. As long as his condition doesn’t take a sudden turn for the worst (say, by letting him out of his crate too soon), we should be able to avoid surgery altogether. If his spine is given ample opportunity to rest & heal, there’s a good chance that the damage is minimal enough that he’ll be able to make a full recovery on his own.
I did ask why/how he looked SO terrible on Saturday, but by Sunday & Monday seemed so improved… and the Vet explained that it’s entirely possible that even just those initial couple of days of rest gave his spine a chance to recuperate enough that Jersey was feeling loads better. Amazing how effective complete rest can be!! That doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods– it just means whatever is going on with his spine isn’t TOO bad and the chances of Jersey recovering with ample rest is very good. It’s imperative not to end the crating-period too early as we could basically undo any healing that’s occurred. Another 2’ish weeks should hopefully put him into the clear.
Thanks to everyone for your concern and words of encouragement over these difficult few days. As you can imagine, it’s been extremely stressful.
I am thankful that I know the signs of IVDD well enough that I was able to crate Jersey immediately. Had I overlooked those early symptoms, we could be in a very, very different situation here today.