As Izzie has posted on her own blog, she has had a difficult time recently. Over the last few days she really struggled going up stairs and got half way down and wouldn't move any further. So I carried her down. Then she whimpered whenever I picked her up. We've been sleeping on the futon in the study since Sunday evening. I increased the medication she was taking for joint pain and swelling to the original dose, and although it helps, wasn't doing the trick. I also noticed that her left rear leg would splay out when I set her on the ground. But, once she got herself steady, she seemed to walk ok, if stiffly.
Yesterday she saw her vet again. The vet thinks that a disk in her back is causing the problem. She had an x-ray taken of her spine while we were still in Rangeley, and although at the time it wasn't really obvious, the vet here said she saw that one of the disks was not like the others. She warned me that Izzie could get paralyzed if it broke. Our vet thinks it's early enough to do something about it and give Izzie a few more good years. Izzie is now off her NSAID and on pain killers (she will probably need diagnostic procedures like an angiogram) and has an appointment this morning with a specialist.
Please pray for her and for me. Izzie has been my partner in ministry. She breaks the ice in a new parish and keeps vestries from taking themselves too seriously. If people go on and on, she lets out a VERY loud snore which always gets a laugh. She has also been known to snore in the middle of my sermons. Which keeps me from taking myself too seriously.
I will update the blog when we (I) return from Scarborough. When I posted this, the ad on the side was for "herniated discs." Weird!
UPDATE: 2 pm (Thursday, 19 November) I just returned from the vet and the news is not good. Even though the disk is quite repairable and Izzie would likely come through that just fine, they discovered a tumor behind her tongue. The vet said it looked like squamous cell carcinoma, although a biopsy is needed to be sure. The vet said she would hate to do surgery on a dog that might live just 6 months or so and I agree. I will pick her up in the morning and she will get medication for pain for her spine and other meds and I will just wait and watch. I'm devastated and need to rest a bit.
UPDATE: 4 pm (Friday November 20) Izzie is snoozing on the couch. She's on pretty strong pain meds. I am not to let her jump on furniture or go up and down stairs for the next four or five days and she has to be confined when I'm not around. The only procedure she had was the injection of contrast media to look at her spine and a biopsy of the tumor. They found the tumor when they were prepping her for surgery. She seems to be her stoic, cheerful self, although very sleepy. She shared my lunch (bits of turkey and ham from a chef's salad and ate a few treats when we got home. She'll be on soft food for a while (a bit cheer from Izzie, since she detests kibble anyway). I've decided to pamper her (even more) for as long as I can. When she gets to the point where she can't eat properly or her back legs really go, then I'll have her put down. I pray that is months off.
Feast of Cecilia, Martyr
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