Terrible, Rotten, No-Good Day

Monday, August 20th, 2012 was probably the worst day of my life to date.

Where to begin...

Jake's family came to visit to meet the most beautiful and adorable baby in the world. And I'm so glad they did. I don't know how things would have worked out if they hadn't.

We spent the majority of their trip showing them around the city, our favorite places to eat, shop, and play, playing with the baby and just genuinely enjoying each other.

On Friday evening after a day of shopping (FYI, H&M has cheap and adorable baby clothes), we came home to my dog Scout acting weird. He was a little hunched over and when we took him on a walk, even though he was still just being a dog and wanted to sniff everything that was in his path, he was also wanting to sit down every few steps. This is very unusual behavior for my dog. My first baby. Especially since we had taken him on a potty-walk earlier that day and he was his normal self.

I continued to watch him throughout the night and decided that he either had a really intense bladder infection, or was passing giant kidney stones. Either way, he was more than uncomfortable.

I called the vet the next day and was able to get him an appointment at 9am. The vet concluded that he wasn't entirely sure what was wrong, but that Scout was definitely in pain and prescribed him some pain meds. The doc threw it out there that the problem may be in his spine since his behavior is typical with dogs who have some sort of spinal issue.

He gave us the meds and a strict bed rest order (except for potty breaks).

I took Scout home, gave him the meds, and took him potty but really limited his activity outside. He seemed to do great the rest of the day - even though he spent the majority of it in his kennel.

Then things progressed insanely fast.

When I took him out the next day to go potty, he was rolling on top of his left leg and dragging his toes underneath him. Within an hour of that, he had lost all function of his left leg. Within an hour of that, he'd lost all function in his right leg. The rest is a blur but for the rest of the night, my dog refused to eat, drink, potty, or move.

I kept pinching his toes and legs to make sure he could feel. After Jack woke up in the middle of the night to eat, I checked on Scout again. The poor dog was just laying on his side with his eyes wide open and he was shivering. I hand fed him some chicken and cheese, but he refused to drink anything. Even when I brought him chicken broth. I was panicking.

I continued to pinch his toes and legs which seemed to bother him. The last time I remember doing that was around midnight. Although, I may have done it after one of Jack's feedings but I have a hard time remembering what I do in the middle of the night.

I called the vet on Monday morning and the earliest appointment they had was 12:30pm. This is where Jake's family saves the day.

Baby Jack was scheduled to get his two month shots at 2:00pm. Because of the location of the vet vs Jack's pediatrician's office, there is no way we could have done this without two vehicles (Jake and I share a car). Thankfully, Jake was able to go with his dad and brother to take Scout to the vet and I was able to take Jack to his appointment.

Now onto Jack's shots. My sister in law was with me, thank goodness, because I had to leave the room. I already knew that I'd be doing that even before I was stressed out about my dog. Coincidentally, I cried when Scout got his shots. His doggy scream was more than I could handle. I knew that if I cried when Scout got his shots, that I'd definitely bawl my eyes out when Jack got his. Thank you, SIL, for saving the day.

After Jack's shots, he ate, then fell asleep in the car.

Back to Scout. I get a call from Jake: "Hey, Babe...bad news." (Erin takes deep breath as her throat starts to hurt from holding back tears). "The vet isn't sure if it's a disc in his back, or a tumor. But either way, Scout has no 'deep pain sensation' in his legs. He's probably paralyzed."

Now, although I was sad my dog may be paralyzed, I was really concerned about the word "tumor." I'm pretty sure that if a tumor is on the spine, there's nothing you can do. My mind began to race about putting my 3 1/2 year old, spunky, hilarious dog down. I was sick.

He then let me know that the vet referred him to a surgical specialist and that they needed to rush Scout there right away.

I'll let you know now that it was NOT a tumor (thank GAWD!!!!!) I don't really think it's fair to leave you hanging like that. Because, lemme tell ya, I was hanging before we knew the diagnosis, and I was a mess.

The diagnosis was a compressed disc. The bad news: the swelling spanned across six vertebra and in the spinal cord. They reduced what swelling they could around the vertebra, but unfortunately, there's nothing they can do about spinal cord swelling. The doc basically said, "It's up to Scout now."

Sick to my stomach.

Back to Jack. He was happy and great when we brought him home. He wanted to nap but he was mostly smiles and farts. I'll take it.

But then around 6pm...he started to act weird. I have never in my life heard a baby groan in pain...let alone my own kid. He woke up groan-crying. Again, I have never heard anything like it. My sweet little man had a low grade fever, a tummy ache from the rotavirus vaccine, and sore legs from the shots.

If you moved him at all, he'd scream. So you had to keep him in the same position while lightly bouncing him. This would keep the cry at a low-groan...even in his sleep.

I don't even know how to explain the stress I was feeling. Here, I'm holding the saddest little boy in the world while worried about my possibly paralyzed dog.

On top of that, the surgery is costing about 3 grand (or so they quoted to us...) and he will have to get physical therapy.

It's just money - and I'd pay as much as I had to for either of my dogs - but that's a ton of money.

Monday deserves a hard kick to the shins.

It is now Wednesday and I'm happy to report that Jack is feeling much better. He's still sleepy, but he's happy.

Scout...we're still unclear. We went and visited him yesterday and he looks bright and alert with perky, happy ears...but he still has no "deep pain sensation." The doctor is giving him 8 weeks to get it back, or else our dog is paralyzed.

I will definitely post updates about Scout. I have high hopes.


Vajra said...

I can't even imagine the stress and worry you are experiencing. Having dealt with a pet with serious health issues, most recently our beloved flamepoint Siamese who had cardiomyopathy, I know the heartbreak when one has to make hard decisions. But also have a sick little baby along with it must be horrible. I wish I could do something to help you but all I can do is say I hear you.

Erin said...

Vajra, honestly, your comment is enough. Just to know that someone "gets it" makes me feel good. Thank you for your comment :) And I'm so so so sorry to hear about your Siamese. Like you said, I wish there was something I could do. Any kind of pain (or worse...) from your baby (whether pet-baby or human-baby) is terrible.

Kat said...

omg I can't believe you had to deal with all this all happening at the same time. I know I'm the same way when I had dogs and they were in pain, I would freeze and panic and completely break down. I'm happy to hear that baby Jack is feeling better and definitely hoping to hear good news about Scout. Hang in there and Good Luck!!

Erin said...

Thank you!! I will definitely keep everyone posted!

Jessica said...

Oh man I'm so sorry Erin. :( That's pretty much the worst combination of things to happen at the same time. I tried to call on Sunday. I wanted to catch up with you but I had no idea all of the horrible things that were going on. Poor Scout. :( Thank goodness your family was there to help out. And shots are stressful. I know it seemed like every time the boys got shots they would get exactly the way you described: didn't want to be moved, sore, tired, fussy. It usually only lasted about a day and then they were back to normal again. I hope things get better soon for your little family! You'll be in our thoughts.

Jess n' Blake said...

Oh man, that is a bad day!! I am so sorry. Glad to hear Jack is over the worst of it. I hope Scout will be okay! Those doggy wheel chairs are pretty snazzy though if he ends up needing one. Which I hope he doesn't.... Good luck!!!

Erin said...

Jessica, I have been meaning to call you back! Your intuition must be spot on to call in the middle of all that :) You must have known I needed a listening ear. I'll be calling you in the next few days.

And Jess, I'm just SOOO glad it wasn't a tumor. I can deal with a doggy wheelchair as long as Scout adjusts well and is happy.