Where to begin??....??
Meeks, (Mekail) is my red male Doberman who turned 8 last month. Healthy as a horse, he has never suffered more than the occasional bump or bruise. We live in the country, and he has roughly an acre of fenced property he rules over, and is an extremely active dog that always seems to be stuck in high gear. Also, according to my 6 year old daughter, he also is her protector from the bears, wolves, crocodiles and gremlins that try to torment her at bed time.
So last Wednesday, he was showing signs of what I can explain as wobbly hind quarters, which I chalked up to an injury. I carefully went over both rear legs looking for the source of what I thought would be the cause of his strange walking. But, being stoic as he always is, he did not show any signs of pain whatsoever. His condition continued to deteriorate, to the point that he was falling over quite often. I brought him to our vet on Friday, and after a solid exam, she concluded he had a condition called wobblers. Wow, this was news to me, and having never hearing of this disease, I was stunned to say the least. So no big deal, she prescribed an anti-inflammatory along with a strong painkiller and said he should dramatically improve over the weekend. However, because this a common health issue in Dobermans and great Danes, we will have to be vigilant in monitoring this for his future health.
So shortly after returning home from the vet, not only do his hind legs go limp, so do his front legs. My 74 lb boy is basically paralyzed. What a horrible site to witness, he was totally helpless. So I immediately call my vet, and after a chat, we both agree on letting the medications take hold for 24 hours, before drawing any conclusion. I placed Meeks on the couch beside me, praying the medications would kick in, relieving the swelling in his neck, and returning his mobility. I spent my most sleepless night beside him, trying to comfort him, with my mind racing all over.
Come Saturday morning, no improvement. He was still unable to move from his neck down. I immediately loaded him up into my vehicle, and headed back to our vet with tears in my eyes, knowing this was it. I would have to be fair and put him out of this misery, after all, what quality of life could he possibly have paralyzed??? Well, she eventually talked me into driving over an hour away to the Ontario Veterinary Clinic in Guelph, Ontario. This is a major small animal clinic which is part of the University of Guelph.
So I arrive in record time, and they take him in and perform a battery of tests on him, concluding he needs to be seen by a neurologist. After she arrives and performs her exam, she recommends an MRI to pinpoint the issue. OK, so on to the next step....the MRI reveals that the material between two neck discs has popped out, and is now impeding on his spine, causing the paralysis. She says if they perform surgery, he has an 85% chance of recovering. WOW...hear I was earlier in the day expecting to put my boy to sleep, and now I am being told he has a chance to recover! Emotional rollercoaster for sure. Anyways....what an easy decision right?? ya....you would think. They are quick at this point to say that time is of the essence for the surgery and oh ya...this will cost $7000.00. And I apologize as this is my first post, and am not sure about colourful language on the forums here, but I am thinking HOLY ****!! that’s an insane amount of money. And it begs the question....what would you do? Well, surprising I didn't even hesitate and gave the full go ahead to do whatever they needed to do. Do I have that kinda money in my bank account? Absolutely not, but being very lucky in this economy, my wife and I have decent jobs and I am willing to borrow the money to save my best friend.
So fast-forward, he has what the surgeon describes as successful surgery, and now we have wait and see if he recovers the use of legs. And because of the bruising on his spinal cord, this may take awhile before he regains movement. It’s been two days since the surgery, and I am being told he has showed NO purposeful movement in any of his legs. What a horrible feeling....so my wife and daughter all went down to see him tonight, the first time since the surgery. We entered the ICU where he is being kept, and his eyes light up like a Christmas tree....we are able to spend a couple of amazing with him. And during the first the half hour of our visit, he is visibly super excited to see us, and starts moving his front left foot in an incredible fashion! The vet that was with is super excited, as this is his first movement since the surgery! What an amazing feeling of joy!! It felt like a boulder was lifted off my chest, and finally I am seeing the evidence that he will recover and walk again!
So anyways, after a couple of hours, we had to head home. I am planning on driving up again on Friday to see him, and am hoping and praying he will continue to make great improvements and hopefully bring him home soon and start his rehabilitation.
I just wanted to get this experience off my chest and share my story. Although this story is far from over, I am finally able to rest easier knowing my boy is on his way to recovery. And if anyone has taken the time to read this crazy wall of text, thank-you.
I will keep this updated on his progress, and please let me know if you have experienced this or have any questions!
Thanks for reading!!!!
Here are a fews pics of Meeks.....1 before surgery, and 2 from tonight.