Friday, January 23, 2015

Well, this certainly sucks

I am sorry to report that my foster boy, Duncan, has taken a nosedive. Duncan (AKA Dunk, Dunkie, Ho-Dunk-Po-Dunk, Ba-Dunk-a-Dunk) came into rescue as a stray. His right foreleg did not (and does not) work.  Other than that, he seemed to be okay. The challenge with a stray is that I don't know his true age and I don't know what his "normal" is. He's never been a big eater (at least not in the three weeks he's been with us). He's not terribly active. However, Duncan manages to get around pretty well and seems like a pretty happy guy. I've been very taken with him - his big googly eyes just make my heart go all gooey.  The young, healthy dogs are easy to place, easy to let go of. The broken ones . . . well, not so much. The more I have to invest of myself, the harder it is.

In the past few days, Duncan has not been himself, whatever "himself" is. He's been stumbling a lot and has been hesitant to get up and move around. He just picks a spot and stays there. He eats, but not much. His neuter appointment is scheduled for Tuesday so I just kept thinking, "We'll see how he does between now and then." I have been fostering dogs for 15 years so I am not one to panic unless there is blood involved.  However, today my husband called me at work and reported that when he went home for lunch, he opened Duncan's crate, and Dunkie stumbled out and went ass over teakettle. "I think he needs to be seen right away," my husband told me.

As luck would have it, Fat Gretchen already had a vet appointment for this afternoon. So, I called the clinic and begged them to let me bring Duncan in as well.  They did some juggling and asked me to get there as soon as I could.  So, I left work immediately, drove across town to pick up both dogs, and then high-tailed it to the clinic. One of the clinic employees saw me outside, with Duncan stumbling in the snow. Gretchen was being her typical useful self by pulling on her leash like some kind of freakin' sled dog.  Anyway, Laurie ran out and helped us into the building and put us in a room.

Dr. B came in and had a look at Duncan. Dr. B knows that I've been in the rescue biz for a long time and that I've seen a lot of bad stuff. So, there's not much point in coddling me or making things seem better than they are. He always shoots it to me straight.  He immediately deduced that whatever nerve damage caused the right leg to go kaput is now doing the same to the left leg. Once he said it, it seemed so obvious. That's why Dunk has been stumbling all around - the poor little dude cannot feel (or control) his forelegs. Dr. B grabbed some forceps and pinched the bejeebers out of both front paws. Almost no reaction on either side. The vet and the vet tech then took Duncan down the hall and ran x-rays and bloodwork.  The x-rays look okay and the bloodwork was fine.  However, a spinal cord injury would not show up on an x-ray.

So, Duncan is staying at the clinic for the weekend so that they can run more tests (including a myelogram) on Monday.  Frankly, it is not looking good and I don't have to tell you that my heart is breaking. I mean, I have to be pragmatic about these things. I can't throw thousands of dollars (of the rescue's money) into a hopeless situation.  However, we can run some tests and see if there is any small chance that there is something that can be done. Dr. B's initial theory is that the root of the issue is either a spinal tumor or a bulging disk. If it's a disk, it's been like this for a long time, so there's probably no way to fix it.

I guess I will just hold out some hope that maybe there is something that can be done. I do love that goofy little dog. Please keep him in your thoughts.

In other news, Gretchen did get a clean bill of health.  She and I got bored after two hours in an exam room and decided to take a selfie. And then one of us farted.

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