Tuesday morning began like any other morning – our oldest dog, Chesney, an eight-year-old German shepherd, loudly protested her canine brother running upstairs to say hello (she is notoriously loud and protective of our daughter’s room). A short time later, Chesney went outside to potty like any other day and nothing seemed amiss.
Fast forward 2 hours – I left to run an errand with my daughter. We were gone for 30 minutes and when we returned, Chesney could barely walk up the stairs. I “hoped” that she had pulled a muscle, but it was quickly apparent that something terrible was happening. She did walk to the top of the stairs and even managed to come down to eat…but she struggled to go back up the stairs.
By the time we were able to get into the veterinarian, she was completely paralyzed in her hind end – completely. As we sat in the exam room, we learned that it could be anything from a tumor on her spine, to a rare spinal infection. Based on her x-rays, the veterinarian believes that she has a herniated disc, brought on by arthritis. According to the veterinarian, there is hope that Chesney may regain the use of her legs over the next several days – she told us to be patient as it could last upwards of two weeks.
If she does not regain the use of her legs, she indicated that we will need to talk about quality of life and possible euthanasia.
Chesney is a big girl – weighing in at 85 lbs (not overweight, just a big shepherd) and in otherwise great health – her blood work came back perfect. But, she is big – and getting her up and outside is almost impossible. Getting her in and out of the car is impossible without two people – this.is.hard.
I know there are others who have experienced something similar and would love to hear about other pet owners’ experiences – what helped, what didn’t? Anything to give some hope – we are devastated. And to all of you pet owners who struggle with veterinary costs – I understand. Yesterday’s visit was over $500 – if surgery winds up being indicated (with only a 50% chance that it would even work) we are looking at thousands…
Please leave your comments below – especially if you have ever experienced anything like this. And please, keep our beautiful Chesney in your thoughts. We are praying for improvement.
The founder of the American Red Lion Animal Rescue Fund has graciously offered to collect donations for Chesney’s veterinary expenses. I am humbled by her offer. If anyone is interested, the link to make a donation can be found here.
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