Gloria Atwater Posted January 20, 2012 Report Share Posted January 20, 2012 Well, alrighty, then. 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. So ... 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 relates...?) 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! So, I guess what I'm looking for, here, is feedback from anyone who has had a dog go through this, or has known dogs who have. What have people seen? Do dogs generally recover from this and return to full functionality? Or should I expect Nick to have some limitations, throughout his life? How long is the recovery period? (I'm thinking 2 months?) What sort of after-care should I look into? 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 I'm interested in any thoughts or input or advice folks here may have, regarding surgery for Cauda Equina. If you have anything to say, please speak up. At this point, information is my new best friend. Now 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 .... With thanks, Gloria Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.