Tuesday, October 6, 2009

PETEY UPDATE: Convalescence, Day One

This is the back story:

We recently noticed that little P had some awkwardness in his back legs.  This primarily manifested itself as a wonky gait and a scuffing of back toes, particularly noticed after prolonged activity and a series of action-packed vacations/day trips. A physical examination occurred,  followed days later by an x-ray. As is common in this breed (and similar breeds such as boston terriers, etc.) it was obvious that there was a malformation of sorts in his spine. This could be hemivertebrae, block vertebrae, etc.  Apparently this could not be determined with this caliber of x-ray.  My vet, as per usual, went into a mild panic (which I can appreciate to some extent) and we scheduled another x-ray, which would have happened this morning. In the meantime, she didn't really have any advice other than to attempt to protect his toes from his scuffling and to wait.... We decided to seek a series of second and third and fourth opinions (oh, the googling I have warped my better judgments with!) and managed to connect with a friend-of-friend who just so happens to be a resident specializing in neurology. She suggested that Petey might have experienced some sort of injury/strain/bruising/tweaking/trauma during the seven days solid that he was romping and frolicking in Cape Cod and that only 4 weeks of strict bed rest a.k.a. "crate rest" were in order.  Her advice was to forgo the second x-ray (which would have required mild sedation) and start immediately on "aggressive rest therapy". According to her, this will be the most indicative thing we could do. Throughout we are to observe him and if he got worse or stayed the same, we'd take him in for further analyzation.. i.e. MRIs and the what not. Meanwhile, we're going to go ahead and take him to yet another vet tomorrow morning for the purposes of confirming this treatment and obtaining yet another set of eyes cast upon his situation.

So. In the meantime: "CRATE REST".

Uhm, yeah. As obvious as it sounds, I am somewhat at a loss. Supposedly, this will entail 23 hours a day in a crate or on our laps if we are home (and presuming he is still?). He is allowed to go for short walks, a few minutes at a time, and otherwise must be carried to and fro, up and down stairs, etc.  At this point, after one night,  I implore you... if you have any experience in crate resting an active, surly, jazzy, snappy little one year old pup... please share your trade secrets. My current thoughts are that there is no amount of peanut butter stuffed goodies in the entire world that could quell my mister into sitting down, much less laying down for four long weeks, much less four long minutes.

To be continued....