This weekend was a difficult one for our family. I was traveling on business in Washington, D.C. last week and while I was away, my husband, Fabian mentioned that our dog, Tate was not acting like himself. By Friday morning, he wasn’t able to fully control his hind legs, so Fabian took him to the vet at 8:00 am. Our vet ran a battery of tests along with an X-ray and believed Tate had sprained something and recommended crate rest along with several medications. Of course, being on the other side of the country, I was super anxious, but wasn’t able to get on an earlier flight. By the time I got home on Friday night around 10:00 pm, Tate was in his crate and in spite of his great effort, he wasn’t able to get up to greet me. His hind legs seemed to be completely paralyzed.
We hardly slept that night and decided the vet’s recommendation of crate rest just did not feel right. We went through something similar with Tate a couple of years ago, but this time was much worse. He wasn’t eating or drinking; he could not walk, and had become incontinent. We called our vet and asked for a referral to the neurologist right away and were able to get him in on Saturday morning. They ran an MRI and found Tate had a herniated disc which caused a pretty bad contusion and some hemorrhaging when it ruptured, causing severe swelling of the spinal cord. He underwent surgery that evening and is currently recovering at the hospital. Had we not trusted our instincts and taken him in when we did, he would have likely been completely paralyzed.
The good news is that his neurosurgeon is happy with the way things went with surgery and feels that he has a very good chance of a full recovery. It has been a rough few days for us because Tate is truly like our child and it is terrible seeing him in pain. We are not allowed to see him yet because a lot of dogs will have a rush of adrenaline when they see their families, become excited, and can further injure themselves. It is hard being away from him and wondering if he is lucid enough on his medications to realize that his mom and dad are not by his side. I worry that he’ll feel scared or abandoned. I look around our home and see his things or his favorite places to nap and miss him like crazy. The tears start to fill my eyes and then I remember that we got him the help he needed in time and that God willing, he will have a smooth and full recovery. Thank you to everyone who has sent their well wishes, prayers, and good thoughts for Tate. It means the world to us!