Some encouraging dog news today.
Jake’s recent spate of problems are of a musculoskeletal nature. He is having obvious problems with his back legs, and he can’t really navigate stairs all that well as a result. It’s a serious problem: he needs to go down/up six steps to get outside, and there is a full flight of thirteen upstairs to where we sleep. Since he can’t get up there, he sits at the bottom of the stairs and barks the saddest bark you’ve ever heard when we go up to bed. All night. We’ve been taking turns sleeping on an air mattress downstairs so he doesn’t stroke out. He’s earned that much from us.
We found a new vet. We absolutely love our old one, but they are far away, near where we used to live in the city, and getting him in and out of the car is an issue right now. We found a vet out here who does house calls. He came by today and did some very interesting tests to demonstrate that it’s not really pain or arthritis that is hampering him (though there is surely some of that, too). The real problem, it seems, is that a major nerve to his legs is impinged due to a disc or arthritis or something in his spine, and he has lost muscle strength and proprioception as a result.
Yes, that’s right: my dog has a bad back. It’s almost humorous.
So, the vet is prescribing some of the exact same medications I took and we’ll see how it goes. He also did some kind of treatment with a laser, rubbing it right up and down his spine. Jake seemed to like it.
The vet made the point that we need to consider not just Jake’s quality of life, but ours, too, as we have these difficult conversations. I mean, the status quo would be OK for a while, but this is not really long-term sustainable. However, if he can get up and down the stairs again, he seems otherwise healthy enough to be here a good while longer. Fingers crossed. Thank you for your mojo and other good thoughts in the meantime.