Monday, August 31, 2009

Bailey's Back Pain Diagnosis... Kind Of

We had high hopes that the prednisone and muscle relaxer meds would be all that Bailey needed to help her heal and recover. Thankfully, it appeared that was the case, because once they really kicked in, she was feeling good... walking with no problem, energetic, wanting to play. In other words, she was back to normal. Or so I thought.

We decided to start tapering her prednisone down, since she was doing so well. Unfortunately, within 8 hours, she regressed. Badly. When I saw her that day after work, she tried to walk to me and collapsed. I immediately grabbed the phone and called the vet and he decided we needed to bump her dose back up and schedule her for x-rays, so we could try to find out what we were dealing with.

I was devastated. I mean like crying-and-lying-on-the-floor-next-to-her devastated. To me, this meant it had to be serious. Cancer? Tumor? The thought of losing her was something I had not prepared myself for... it was always "sometime in the future".

I dropped her off at the vet office the next morning and was a nervous wreck all day, waiting for results. Finally, that evening I met with the vet. And his diagnosis? Well, we're still not sure. Here's what was found:

From her symptoms, it seemed the most likely possible cause for her pain was a slipped disk, as this was exactly what she was doing:
When a disc first ruptures, it causes intense pain. When this occurs in the middle of the back, the dog will arch his back up in pain. When the herniation takes place in the neck, the dog is unwilling to turn his head, and may not even want to lower it to eat and drink. Some dogs will shiver from the pain and walk very carefully and slowly.

Now what? Well, the vet had an idea for Bailey that I did not expect to hear at all: hyperbaric oxygen treatments. More on that in my next post...

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