I got a call Monday morning that Oliver went down in the back and couldn't get out of his crate.
I was in Greencastle, Indiana. Over the course of the day it took me 15 hours to get home with a few stops for gas (one I had run out due to my frantic nature of worrying about Oliver), two times I went the wrong way on interstate when getting back on it...and didn't realize it until 10-20 miles down the roads. Ahem.
I picked up the "Big Hairy Beast" also known as Mitcham in Des Moines and I honestly can tell you I cried from Greencastle all the way to the Minnesota border.
So what happened?
Sunday morning O jumped off of the couch at my parents' house. He yelped and held up his front leg like it was hurt and then he acted normal, chasing the ball, going for a walk with the grandparents etc. Again that night when he jumped off of the couch he yelped and held his front foot up, but then quickly forgot about it. They put him in his crate around 9:30 pm. At 5;30 am, my dad went to let him out and O couldn't get out of his crate. he couldn't use his back legs.
I'm not sure what all happened but I do know they called me at 8:30 to tell me they were taking him to the vet. My vet took one look at him and referred him to the U of M. He at that point still had deep pain (which is a good sign for recovery) and had the anal tension. They xrayed him and his bladder was empty and there was no stool in his intestine close up.
My mom got the ok to take the day off of work and took Oliver down to the U of M in St Paul which is 3 hours away. They immediately rushed him off to be viewed and this is the jist of what was said.
* Oliver was extremely healthy in the front end. No fever, good heart rate, blood work looked normal
* Oliver turns out on one leg and the vet said that that seems to have a lot to do with the breed's spine ( i also thought that curved or bent tails had a lot to do with spines)
* They searched for the deep pain and that was gone. It could have happened 5 minutes before she got to the U, or 5 minutes after she left our local vet's office. His chances of walking again WITH deep pain was 90% after surgery. After the deep pain was gone, it was less than 50%.
* Surgery was $4,500.00 minimum. She didn't give any other options.
* I had been sent to the U to do a MRI on him. The surgeon told my mom that the only way they do an MRI is if I would allow them to go right to surgery. they wouldn't do it if I didn't elect to do the surgery. She couldn't diagnose him officially without an MRI. She said that it could have been a stroke, but most likely, due to the brisk pace of things happening, it was a ruptured disc, as this breed is known for a lot of those.
I had told my mother and myself that I couldn't do a cart dog, and that I couldn't afford to do the surgery. I just don't have the funds and don't have a credit card. I sobbed most of the way home because Oliver is just as much my heart dog as is Sadie.
When I got home last night my mom and dad were at my house with the Big O in the kitchen on some towels. He was so excited to see me and Sadie. He tried going to her and just couldn't. My heart melted. We got the bed situated and had Oliver, Sadie and Zoe on the bed. Everyone was reunited and licking faces and such.
I didn't sleep well. Oliver kept trying to situate himself and he was unsuccessful by himself. He still barked at me, although it wasn't as loud or forceful as his previous bark. He still grumbled to me when I quit scratching his belly. He still smiles at me. I still cry when I look at him.
I assumed I would have him put down as his quality of life has severely changed. I also assumed I would cry like I"m doing right now.
But now that I see him, I wonder if by NOT doing the surgery, that I let him down, that I gave up on him. I saved Sadie and did all I could with no guarantee of her success. And yet I didn't save Oliver. They said there was a 24-36 hour time frame to do the surgery before permanent damage would set in. It has now been 24 hours.
do I have other options? chiropractic options? anything?
Am I being selfish?
Am I giving up too soon?