Forgive me if I get a little sappy here. I'm exhausted from the last 24 hours. Today I was faced with a dilema that I had been hoping to avoid. While I spending time with my family, Little Bianka ruptured a disc in her back and within a matter of five hours or so, she went from acting like she was just a little sore to not moving her back legs at all.
I've been in this situation before. Growing up my family has always had dachshunds. I know that they are predisposed to back problems. My dad says "They're half a dog high and two dogs long", what do you expect? We've had two dogs go through this before. The first didn't receive treatment soon enough and had to be euthanized. With the second we decided to try surgery. We were given a 50% chance of full recovery. The surgery was expensive and emotionally draining, but it worked. Unfortunately, the dog re-injured himself a year later. We decided we couldn't go through the whole ordeal again. Oddly, the dog came out of it on his own, which is unheard of. Sure he walked a little funny, but he went on to be a part of our family for ten more, happy years.
So at 4am this morning, I am faced with this same question. Do I opt for surgery? The cost is now three to four times what was the last time we went through this fifteen years ago. But then, my other options are do nothing and leave dog to suffer in pain or have her euthanized. Neither of those I really consider "options." Besides that, I had just spent the last 4 hours taking her to an emergency vet, just to turn around and drive her to Columbus to Ohio State's Animal Hospital. Essentially my decision had really already been made.
There is no way I could say no to this face. Even when she's hurt, she's still cute.
So I agreed to have the surgery performed. The surgeon gave me the good news that Bianka show signs of "motor" and deep pain in her back legs which means she has not suffered paralysis, and there is a very good chance she will make a full recovery. Still I have to keep in mind that she has about a 15% chance of becoming a "cart dog." I've come to grips with that, and I'm okay if this is the outcome. Just as long as she's not in any pain.
So with a heavy heart I had to leave my little dog, which was just as hard if not harder than making the decision to do surgery at all, but I felt like I had made the right decision.
This is me about 12 hour ago when I had to leave her.
Bianka had her surgery later this morning. So far things look good, but it's still early. I think she'll have to spend the week at OSU. After that she'll still have weeks of recovery and therapy.
It may seem silly to go through all of this for a dog. I really hate it when people say, "pets are people too" or "our dogs are our children," but when it boils down to it, that's how I feel about this little one. The little house feels a little empty without the little dog in it. Already, I miss her sitting at my feet while I work at the computer or better yet her fussing at me when she thinks it's time that I should be going to bed. In that respect she's almost more like a nagging mother than a child.
Deep down I know that she's a dog and eventually the day will come when I'll have to say good bye to the little dog, but I'm just not ready to do that.
Meanwhile I'll keep you posted how she progresses.