guys ... I've had a good cry, now I'm trying to shake my brains into
some useful order. Dr. Richardson called this evening with a diagnosis
for Nick, having received and viewed the X-rays. (Which I forgot to
bring with me on my visit, last week!)
He's saying Cauda
Equina. He's saying surgery. What he saw in the X-rays *did* show the
sacrum pressing on places it should not.
Guys, I'm devastated.
Nick is everything to me, my first open-quality border collie and the
vehicle for so many dreams. More, he's my best friend, my partner and my
pal. He is my heart dog, in every sense of the term. I look in those
big golden eyes and see so much love. He gives me everything, every
ounce of his strength and every beat of his sweet, gallant heart.
But my Nick is not sound. He's not even 4 years old, his trialing career has barely begun, and he faces a debilitating problem.
Oh, there WILL be surgery. At some point in the fairly near future.
He's not in dire shape - heck, right now, you'd never know there was a
thing wrong with him! I've been able to work him and trial him with
never a mis-step. But if he overdoes it, there's pain.
now we manage our finances and plan for that surgery within the year.
Meanwhile, I try to wrap my mind around the fact that my beloved Nick
will have to go under the knife. :(
Dr. Richardson did seem to
think Nick's prognosis would be good, with surgery. (He mentioned
Spondylosis, but then went to the Cauda Equina thing. Not sure how that
What he would do, Dr. Richardson said, is go in
and remove just a wee bit of bone, no more than a thumbnail, to remove
pressure on those nerves. He said he's done this same surgery for this
same condition on working K-9s, particularly Malinois police dogs, and
they are able to return to service. And ... that's encouraging.
But I'm not easy about this. My first border collie turned out to have
severe hip dysplasia and a vet advised a Femoral Head Ostectomy. This
was done, but she was never really sound, again. By age 6, she was
pretty much retired. Thus, the idea of someone whittling on my dog's
*spine* scares me to death!
I'm hoping that Nick's youth and
the apparent intermittent nature of his condition means it's not as dire
a case - (yet!) - as it could be, and that his outlook will thus be
good. But it's still scary. And I still wish it wasn't so.
I'm gonna go hug Nick and then eat some chocolate chip cookies. I
already cleaned the house today, so baking is the only stress relief
I've got ....