It’s been a stressful month, you guys.
Since Oslo came out of crate rest a few weeks ago, we’ve had another run in with pain. He spent another 2 weeks of this past month crated, while I ushered him back and forth to the vet and generally completely lost my friggin mind. After a lot of stress, a lot of hours talking to his vet, and many tests, his Doctor & I have come to the conclusion, that Oslo is likely dealing with chronic, neuropathic spinal pain.
We suspect that he has something going on, somewhere in his spine (could be at his old surgery site, could be somewhere new) that has ‘flared up’ and is hurting him. So far whatever it is, isn’t catastrophic because he has yet to show any neurological deficits (loss of coordination, loss of bowel control, etc). Whatever the issue is, it’s not affecting his mobility– which is great.
His vet *would* like us to get an MRI done at some point so that we can have detailed imaging of his spine & see just what exactly is going on… But there are no veterinarians that do MRIs near us. Not to mention, the closest ones (several hours drive away) charge $1000-$2000. Unfortunately that’s just the going rate for canine MRIs. It’s money that we just can’t spare at the moment. Plus, to be perfectly frank, I have a hard time swallowing the idea of spending that sort of money “just to know what is going on”. That is a LOT of money for a purely diagnostic procedure.
So instead, for the time being we are going to continue treating this as an issue of chronic pain. We have been able to get Oslo onto a routine of pain killers that has really helped him. He started out on 3 different medications, however I am already in the process (since it’s been almost a month now) of weaning him down. In the next week, we will get him down to just one medication– Gabapentin— which he will likely remain on, at a med/low dosage, for the rest of his life (assuming his diagnosis of ‘chronic pain’ doesn’t change).
He’s not needing to be crated at the moment, however we are still keeping him quiet & generally limiting activity. We’ll continue to watch him closely over the coming weeks and cross our fingers that the worst of it is behind us. Living with Chronic Pain is certainly not something I would ever wish on my darling boy… but if the pain can be easily managed with medication, I’d certainly take that over him needing to be rushed off for another emergency spinal surgery.
These dogs! Oy!