An Update on Tate

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my updates about Tate over the last week. He injured himself jumping onto our bed last weekend and hasn’t been himself ever since. He is typically a very active, jumpy dog. He jumps up and down when someone knocks at the door, or if he has to go to the backyard to potty; if we’re going to give him a treat, or when he wants to take a nap on the sofa or jump up on the bed, so jumping has never been a physical issue for him. When he started to leap onto the bed last Saturday night, we didn’t think anything of it, but as soon as he landed, he started yelping in excruciating pain. We took him to the vet and she wasn’t able to really find anything after a physical examination. X-rays didn’t show any broken bones, but they did show that one of the discs in his lower spine has morphed in shape over time. The doctor said it could be completely unrelated and just a coincidence that they found it on the scan or it could be pinching some nerves and possibly causing the pain. For the past week, Tate has been on pain killers and bed rest with orders from the vet for limited physical activity. He seemed to be getting a little better each day even though he hasn’t fully been himself. Unfortunately, on Friday, before his follow-up visit at the vet, he decided he felt well enough to jump on the bed again. It all happened in the blink of an eye and we weren’t able to stop him in time. As soon as he was airborne, he was yelping in terrible pain again. 

We are taking Tate to a neurologist today to see if we can get more answers since the vet wasn’t really able to give us a solid prognosis. It’s so difficult to see him in pain and suffering when he so badly wants to engage in his regular activities, but knows that he can’t. I wish that I could explain to him what is happening and that we are doing everything we can to get him healthy again. I wish that he could transfer his pain to me because as an adult woman, I know my limits and could handle something like this better than my sweet puppy son can. Fabian and I have been worried sick and have hardly slept thinking of all of the what ifs. 

Today is my birthday and I honestly don’t want anything for myself. On this birthday, my only wish is for my wonderful dog to get better without having to undergo surgery or anything quite so major. Please keep Tate in your thoughts and prayers today as we see the specialist. Thank you so much!

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about being a contributor on La Dolce Vita. I am still reading through all of your submissions and will get back to each of you shortly!

28 thoughts on “An Update on Tate

  1. You should look into dog/animal chiropractors (yes they exist!). My Cavalier King Charles goes to one in Pittsburgh and she’s amazing. He has lower back and hip issues and gets adjusted every few months. You can tell it helps him – as soon as he’s adjusted he falls right to sleep… no more pain. I highly recommend it! They offer non-invasive all natural treatment. Good luck!

  2. oh sweetie- sending good thoughts for tate! such a powerless feeling when our little ones are in pain and we can’t fix it for them. i hope you get some answers from the specialist and he feels better soon.

  3. I am so sorry about your baby Tate! He is so CUTE-I can relate as my dogs are my everything and know how much you love him as I am the same way with mine!
    One other thought I ran into a few months back (although I know you mentioned it’s his legs/back) but one of our dogs was in pain and acting very strange….stopped eating, etc and we were super worried about her. We took her to the vet and they couldn’t find anything wrong with her-it ended up being a sore/loose/infected tooth- After we had it pulled and her teeth all cleaned she was back to normal-
    Again, I’m sure your case is different but I’m always going to check my dogs teeth in the future if we can’t figure out what is wrong….
    Best of luck to you! Happy Birthday as well ūüôā

  4. I am a long time reader. I have two english cocker spaniels that are everything to me. It is really hard seeing them suffer, and very difficult running from vet to vet, trying to get an answer. Let’s hope it is something that just needs time, maybe physio and some TLC.
    My thoughts are with you and Tate.

  5. so sorry to hear that your pup is not feeling well.

    My 11-year old shih-tzu started having similar problems a year and a half ago. The dr determined that she has degenerative disc disease, common in smaller dogs. Her problems first manifested by her yelping in pain at random times- and for half a day I couldn’t figure out what was going on with her, or what was hurting. I took her to the vet, and it took him a few hours to diagnose her with the problem. Due to her size/ age, he determined that she wasn’t a good surgical candidate; however, we have been able to manage her pain with medication. At first she just required some pain medication and an anti-inflammatory. Then, we weaned her back to just the anti-inflammatory which helped for several months. Since then, she’s on daily doses of a muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, and pain pill (gabapentin for nerve pain).

    Her medications are a lot to manage, and they aren’t inexpensive; however she still has a great quality of life and is her happy and loving self 90% of the time. She has bad days every once in a while, but that’s to be expected with her age and condition.

    Just wanted to let you know that if he does have a disc problem, there are ways to treat it without surgery that can still make sure he has a great quality of life!

    Happy birthday & warm wishes for a Tate’s speedy recovery.

  6. My dog went through something similar. She is a 7 year old shitzu-poodle and twice from just regular activity (jumping off the bed, playing with my kids, etc.) she injured her back. The vet diagnosed her with degenerative disc disease. Basically each time he gave a crazy heavy duty shot of a pain killer and she took muscle relaxers for 7 days. Both times it took a good 5-7 days for her to heal and even a bit longer for her to be 100%. I was worried too that she wouldn’t be the same — and she totally is! It just takes time. My vet said it could happy again, but is basically like a human with back problems. Good luck and Happy Birthday!

  7. So sorry to read about your doggie! I thought my world was crashing down when my fur-baby had similar problems. Valium, pain killers, and major “doggie downers” supporting weeks of crate rest all really helped him to get back to his old self. I hope the outcome for poor Tate is similar!

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about Tate!

    The same thing happened to my little Bichon Frise, from jumping on and off the beds, couches, etc.

    Turns out, she tore her ACL! We were fortunate enough to catch it because our vet had seen it before in Bichons. Torn ligaments typically won’t show up on an x-ray but do come up on an MRI. Just in case, explore that possibility too.

    My dog ended up tearing her ACL in her other leg a year later. It requires surgery and a lot of TLC, but they can be back to normal with treatment!

  9. Thinking about you guys and Tate today… as some of the other commenters have noted, there are some options in treating disc issues. Our family dog was actually treated surgically. It was a bit of a marathon post op– but mostly to keep him from jumping on furniture and moving around too much and disrupting any healing. Crating helped to keep him safe and comfortable while he healed. But he was up and walking almost immediately after. Hoping for some good options for you at the Neurologist today and a swift recovery for Tate.

  10. Hey, I am SO sorry to hear about your Tate. I have been through this and much worse with two dogs, and have one overwhelming suggestion for you- look into an animal acupuncturist. Our vet suggested one saying that it “couldn’t hurt” with our old St Bernard who had several slipped discs in his neck and back and could barely walk without severe pain. He also had such severe food and environmental allergies. We were faced with putting down a 4 year old dog, so I went for it. The acupuncture literally fixed EVERYTHING. He was a different dog and went on to live to 9 (old for that breed). Be open minded. Surgery is not the end of the world, but there are a lot of other options. Best of luck and Happy Birthday.

  11. Acupuncture has greatly helped manage our dog’s pain (from injuries he sustained before we got him). Maybe it could help Tate?

  12. Thank you for the kind words, everyone! I really appreciate you sharing your own experiences. After our visit with the neurologist, we still don’t have a finite diagnosis. After examining Tate, the doctor does not believe he has any neurological issues, which is great news. However, we reviewed his x-rays quite thoroughly and the congenital disc deformation is a definite abnormality and is likely the cause of what is going on. The doctor thinks it could have possibly ruptured, but recommended that we take the conservative route of treatment meaning a new steroidal pain reliever and crating for two weeks. Tate really did not want to go into the crate last night, but he was a good boy and made it through the night like a champ. I hate to see him confined, but I know that it is for his own good. Because it would be virtually impossible to put a dog in a back brace, the doctor said the best thing is to limit his physical activity by keeping him in the crate.

    We have a follow up appointment in two weeks. Hopefully, we will see some positive progress by then. If not, we will proceed with an MRI to fully pinpoint the issue (although there are things that still don’t show up on an MRI) and discuss surgery if necessary. I pray that we don’t have to take the surgery route because it sounds pretty major– a huge incision along his back, 2-3 days in the hospital, then 14 days of crate rest while he recovers. Thank you again for keeping Tate in your thoughts and prayers! We really appreciate it. XO

  13. Happy Birthday! It is my mom’s birthday too. I hope you get to the bottom of what is ailing Tate. We have had health issues with both of our dogs. Our Golden Retriever had a tumor removed from beneath his eye when he was two-years-old. We call him the pirate dog because he has only one eye. ūüėČ He is now 7 and happy as ever! Good wishes for Tate!!!

  14. So sorry to hear that your pooch is still in pain! It is so hard when they can’t explain the pain. I hope you can resolve this without the surgery. Try to enjoy your birthday. Sending good thoughts your way.
    Jennifer

  15. Our dog had this issue. It was a ligament in his leg. I live in San Francisco where we have a very excellent hospital. If you haven’t gone to a full service animal hospital, you should. It will cost thousands in the end (our treatment with scans was $3500) but they diagnosed him immediately as they see these types of injuries all the time, unlike a regular vet. It’s the difference between your pc and a specialist. It’s amazing what they can do with pets now. My dog almost gets better care than I do!

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