Last Tuesday Emily called me to say that Digby, our dog, appeared to have hurt his foot, he was limping, and whimpering and seemed rather stressed. By the time I arrived home he seemed back to normal, I wondered if he had hurt is foot on the frozen ground or slipped on some ice.
Then last night I got home and let Digby out for a potty break, I got busy with some things and was alarmed to suddenly hear loud howling at the front door. I rushed to the front door and Digby came in, he was limping badly, whimpering and occasionally howling, panting, shaking and just couldn't relax. I wasn't sure what to do, I thought he might have been bumped by a car and was simply shaken up. However an hour later Digby was still pacing, seemed in extreme pain if he tried to sit as he couldn't/wouldn't put any weight on his left front leg.
My neighbor Nancy stopped in for supper and she was worried about Digby too, he was obviously distressed, Emily called the emergency after hours vet clinic and we decided to take him in. Nancy drove and Emily rode in back with Digby. We arrived at the clinic, found out Digby weighs 61 lbs, and then waited for the vet. Eventually the vet came into the examining room, she asked us about his symptoms and then proceeded to check his back legs, we thought this odd at first. Then the diagnosis, Digby has a slipped/ruptured disk in his neck, she took him into the back to do some further neurological tests and later returned. Our poor Digby has a slipped/ruptured disk, he has to rest for six weeks, take pain pills and prednesone. Unfortunately this is not a cure, he may recover and be fine, he may not. If the pain continues the only option is surgery, and unfortunately it is not an option that fits with our income. Today he seems to be in pain, even with the meds, I hope he starts to feel better soon because I don't think I can watch him suffer for six weeks.
The other bad thing is that this can reoccur at any time, we will always have to make sure he doesn't climb the stairs, jump around, or do anything that can jar his spine and cause further injury. Paralysis is a possibility but less likely for Digby as the injury is to his neck. Prednesone is hard on body and it can have side effects that can cause liver and kidney damage. We feel like we are in a rock and hard place and our dog is miserable.