Friday, October 16, 2009

PETEY UPDATE: modern medical advancements

As previously noted, Petey emerged a champion after yesterday's MRI. And as predicted, it was revelatory and worth it (pet insurance coverage TBD... yikes!).

I have taken the liberty to nerd out big time and annotate the iPhone photos (?!) taken of the MRI with my feeble understandings of what's going on in each. There were words like SUBERARACHNOID being tossed around, so bear with me...

First, a side splice of P's spinal cord. (The off putting blur jutting off the top is his micro-chip wreaking havoc):

It's a little confusing to look at but from the top that's a layer of skin, etc. then vertebrae, then the spinal canal, then vertebrae, then guts and glory and so forth. The arrow notes the white fluid pocket which our vet believes to be causing the nerve compression etc. which is causing weakness and lack of feeling in is nether regions. (Note to the left along the top of the spinal canal there's no thick white line, i.e. this is abnormal. )

This is a frontal splice of Petey's spine. This was the most clear view of the fluid pocket causing compression etc.

Finally, a top view showing a clear perspective of Petey's wild assortment of malformed vertebrae, including butterfly, fused, hemi- etc. Sigh. Apparently this is to be expected to some extent for the breed but Petey's unique variety and possible trauma or inflammation is believed to have caused this fluid pocket or subarachnoid whatever. Again, my ongoing praises to AMC, they gave us a very thorough typed out description and explanation but I'll save the technicalities until after what will surely be hours and hours of googling and the what not.

The prognosis is basically this: Petey's spine is whack. Something (either the spine, a trauma, an inflammation caused from trauma or caused from existing with a spine like this) has caused this so-called fluid pocket. The fluid pocket is causing compression. Compression is causing everything we've been concerned about for the past month. Two solutions: medicinal or surgical. Obviously, we'll start with the former. I will spare you the descriptions of what the latter would imply but let me tell you, everything about it is terrifying (i.e. tempory and/or risk of permanent paralyzation). Medicinal means that Petey's going to start on steroids and an over the counter human medication that might also aid in reducing fluid. That's right, he's juicin'! Within the last 12 hours, we've already gotten past the first hurdle which would be his digestive system rejecting the steroids by means of puke and diarrhea... which hasn't happened. And now we wait to see if all of this has a positive impact on him. No fingers have never been more crossed in the history of time.

As for the crate rest, He's still on it (weep!) but he's allowed to walk around slightly more, just no stairs, jumping, intense playing, running etc. Believe me when I tell you that this small progression is already feeling like a miracle.

All in all, I am beyond relieved that the MRI went well and that we have some small sense of what's happening. FINALLY. Our vet also concurred that it's major progress to be able to pinpoint something that has treatment options. We are so NOT out of the woods but we're maintaining a sense of optimism and.... meanwhile Petey is so cute, adorable, and playful I think my head is going to explode.