All day yesterday I grappled with feelings of uncertainty about Jersey’s neuter & tooth extraction. He just didn’t seem to be making a lot of head-way with his back troubles… and honestly, if anything seemed a bit *worse* than ever. As we got closer to the surgery date, I just felt more and more unsure. Surely it wasn’t a good idea to operate on a dog who already was in compromised health? We brought Jersey into the vet as planned today & expressed our concerns to the vet. She did another physical exam of Jersey and agreed– he wasn’t fit for surgery.
Of course, it’s disappointing… but ultimately, I think it’s the best decision. Jersey NEEDS to be neutered and have this tooth pulled– yes. But not if it poses unnecessary risks.
Since we were already at the hospital, I asked if they could please run more diagnostic work on my sweet boy, just to definitely rule out other issues like hip displasia, torn knee ligaments, etc. She went ahead and did some X-rays of his knees and hips, as well as did a full blood panel. The good news is that his knees and hips look good and his blood work all came back clear and wonderful– no troubles there. The bad news is that the xray showed a few “questionable” places on his spine. Not exactly a surprise, I suppose… but very disappointing.
Unfortunately, X-ray imaging does not give a very good picture of the spinal discs. Only an MRI can give us the clear picture we need, & no clinic near here us has that technology. I am not sure that taking Jersey on a 16 hour road round-trip road trip, just for an exam that will simply confirm what we already know is worth it… At this point, even without the MRI, it’s safe to say that Jersey is officially dealing with Intravertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
This is of course bad news. But, the good news buried inside all of this crappy news is that the Vet is still confident that Jersey can make a great recovery from strict crate rest & medication. It’s still early (stage 1/2) and he still has good use and control of his legs (though he is wobbly). He has been put on another 6-8 weeks of STRICT crate rest… and will remain on his anti inflammatory medication, and has also been prescribed something for pain. As long as he doesn’t take a sudden turn for the worst, we are hopeful that we will be able to avoid surgery altogether.
If he DOES suddenly get worse we will be packing up, and heading directly to Dr. Nick Sharp at Canada West Veterinary Specialists in Vancouver for Spinal Surgery (The same Dr. who operated on Oslo 3 years ago)
I am thankful to have a Vet who I can approach so openly with my concerns, who listens & takes me seriously. I’m thankful that I was able to recognize these symptoms early. I am thankful for a husband who does what he can to help me during these insanely stressful and emotional weeks. And I am thankful for Pet Insurance… because if it DOES come to surgery for Jersey, we wouldn’t be able to foot the $7,500+ bill without it (I hope beyond hope that it doesn’t come to that.)