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Nick's Lower Back Injury - help?


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#61 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:05 PM

Well, hell. Instead of Nick going to the vet, my TRUCK went in. To the shop, that is. On my way to see Dr. Griffin on Friday, my poor little old Mazda pickup decided to conk out and die by the side of the road.

Luckily I was only about 20 miles out of town, and AAA got me a tow back down to a garage, where I could call hubby. Turns out the battery and alternator are kaput.

The folks at Loomis were very understanding and sympathetic, and so his exam and X-rays are re-scheduled for Friday the 17th. Hoping we can actually get to that appointment!

Stay tuned ...

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#62 Sue R

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:11 PM

Here's hoping all will turn out well.
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

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#63 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

Alrighty, then! I'm back from the wilds of central California, having gotten Nick safely to - and from - the vet in Loomis, CA. (I almost got stuck in an infinite loop between road construction on one railroad crossing and a TRAIN blocking the tracks on the detour!)

Anyhow, reiterating stuff I posted on Facebook ... Nick may *still* need a 4 or 5 thousand dollar back surgery. But honestly, it's not as scary as it was, and it's not immediate.

I took Nick in to see Dr. D.W. Griffin of Loomis Basin Veterinary Hospital. Just as with Dr. Richardson at Campus Commons in Sacramento, he was given an extremely thorough physical exam, which returned Nick's neurological responses as wholly normal. His musculature, stance, weight-bearing and everything were absolutely balanced and correct. However, Dr. Griffin did think Nick showed some discomfort when pressed firmly at the lumbo-sacral area. Not a lot, just Nick tilting his head to shoot a dour glance back at the doc. ;)

Then - oh, happy day! - they took not one, not two, but three beautiful digital X-rays. Those things are so COOL! :P

Ultimately, Dr. Griffin's findings did not differ drastically from Dr. Richardson's. Nick has a form of Cauda Equina, with spondylosis-y stuff going on at the juncture of L7 and his sacrum. There's an instability there that's been pinching and causing the pain he was experiencing. I do not know the *cause* of that, but it seems to be something that just ... happens. Wear and tear in a hard-driving dog. I'm not sure if Nick's accident back in October (whatever it was) caused it, or just triggered its manifestation. I belatedly realized I need to ask Dr. G some more questions. (Hey, my brain was full!)

However, he said that it's a very mild form of the condition. If Nick were a house dog, he'd have told me to just take Nick home, keep him fit, watch his weight and feed him glucosamine. But given that Nick's a working sheepdog, an athlete, it may not be so simple. What we have at the moment is "wait and see."

What IS notably different is that Dr. Griffin looked at our shiny, nifty, awesome new digital X-rays (all 3 views) and he did NOT see the Transitional Vertebral Segmentation that Dr. R. thought he saw in the previous, single-film X-ray. People, this is SUCH a relief! This means that Nick doesn't have something congenitally wrong with him. He's just damaged himself while storming around being a border collie.

He could still, (maybe, possibly, someday?) sire healthy Nick-babies and leave a legacy behind. It's a dream, anyhow. :)

Meanwhile, though, I can bring him carefully back to work, focus on his fitness, monitor how he's doing and let time tell. Dr, Richardson said lots of long walks and swimming if possible would be good for his overall fitness. Also, the doc approved of my regimen of MSM, Synovi G3 and Cetyl-M supplements for Nick. Then, if going back to work means that Nick does regress to pain and lameness ... I'll know that surgery will come sooner than later. Next fall maybe. Or not.

But it's such a relief to have a clear picture of what's going on, clear knowledge of what to do and what to watch for, and so good to escape the pressure of, "OMG, need surgery, need surgery, MUST DO SURGERY, OMG, SURGERY!" that I had begun to feel from Dr. R.

I have room to breathe. I have things to do, to help Nick. I still have a dog I can work, in the meanwhile. And the potential of *needing* surgery no longer feels like the end of the world. Nick's not on the brink of shattering like a twig.

*whew* I needed that. I'll have the X-ray images PLUS an impartial evaluation from their radiologist by next week, so I'll share all that, when I get 'em. :)

Thank you, everyone, for sticking with me, putting up with me, and offering your support. And special thanks to T and WolfTown and everyone who has contributed to them! They cut today's vet bill nearly in half. :D

Just had some pie. Now going to have some wine. Yes.

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#64 rushdoggie

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:34 PM

Wonderful news!

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#65 DeltaBluez Tess

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:40 AM

Great news....give Nick a kiss for us
*************************
Diane Pagel
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www.dynamitemarketing.com/deltabluezstockdogs
Carnation, WA
************************

#66 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 02:47 AM

For anyone curious, here's a look atAttached File  Nick Atwater Xrays0002x.jpg   85.64K   31 downloads Nick's shiny new X-rays.

And if I'm boring everyone rigid, please scroll on past this thread. ;)

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#67 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 02:47 AM

For anyone curious, here's a look at Nick's shiny new X-rays.

And if I'm boring everyone rigid, please scroll on past this thread. ;)

~ Gloria

Attached File  Nick Atwater Xrays0002x.jpg   85.64K   31 downloads - (Full view.)

Attached File  Nick Atwater Xrays0002a.jpg   69.78K   22 downloads - (Close-up.)
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#68 Serena+Eluane B.C.

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:43 PM

Hi, Gloria, I fell off the planet, had some issues starting January which did not clear until March, but so glad to re-read the postings here. How is Nick doing? is he back to trialing? I remember you mentioning about April. Bless on Tea and Wolftown too....

Loved the X'Rays. So crystalline sharp!

#69 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:56 PM

Hi Serena ~

Thank you so much for your inquiry! :) I'm pleased to say that, thus far, Nick is doing very well. It took time, rest, laying off and some home-spun rehab, as well as some acupuncture and a dose of cold laser, but as of now, he is back on his feet and back trialing. I'm very careful with the sort of things I let him do and the fun I let him have, but so far - touch wood - he's holding up well.

I am still reserving the possibility that something could revive the whole mess, but at this point, he seems not only back to his old self, but feeling better than ever. May God keep him on this trend for many long years to come. :)

Thank you again for asking.

~ Gloria
You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#70 gcv-border

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

Good news on Nick. Digital X-rays and a knowledgeable ortho vet are soooo important.

Jovi Larson

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"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."  Charles F. Duran


#71 Serena+Eluane B.C.

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:57 PM

Well, I am so relieved, but I also empathize. Once a Mama, always a Mama about worrying over our sweet "pups". They'll always be a pup to us. And I can definitely so understand about constantly checking, always trying to triple make sure about the safety. And it's often hard to know for sure. I too worry when Eluane gets near retirement age, I will not know either. I always check look for her right hind leg. She once had a spiral fracture in that leg, and it's the same leg she tore a toe pad and sometimes I think do I see a limp or is she nursing something there?? But nothing at all like what poor Nick has gone through of course. Plus Nick continues to work whereas other dogs are more involved with "hobbies"....

Well, as I say, the Good Lord and our big hearts continue to love and help us watch over our dogs. And Nick is a Lucky Boy to have Cold Laser, the Acupuncture and the Loving Home Remedies :D Well, Bless on Him! We are looking forward to seeing more NIck and trialing photos to celebrate with!


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