I never imagined I would be sending this update on Sully's recent condition but I am afraid the injury to her neck has not improved, in fact it is much worse and the cost of surgery is prohibitive, especially considering the chance of its being helpful is not as promising as I would expect for a six-year-old dog. She is comfortable at least, which she was not when I rushe to the hospital the third time in the past couple of weeks. This time a change to stronger medications seems to be tackling her pain. That is not a long term solution of course and I have to make a very hard decision at some point very soon. She was barely able to more on her own since Monday morning and had to be repositioned on a pillow every four hours which hurt her. Today she is able to get up, stand a little and move a it on her own without pain, but I am not sure f she is just in less pain, or if the spinal cord is actually less swollen. For now I am trying to keep her down and resting as much as possible and following the doctor's advice to have her just use the doggy training pads rather than trying to walk or ride a cart all the way outside. Hoping for a miracle, but trying to be realistic to be sure Sully does not suffer needlessly. Sorry for the gloomy post. I don't need or expect any solutions to a problem I know is beyond solving But I wanted to send an update ahead of any really tough changes. It is a very hard new world just waking up without this little dog bringing me her leash and my boots to go out for a walk.

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Holly....my heart breaks for you.  It is never easy but the loss of one so young is the hardest. No matter how long we have them it is never long enough.  She knows how much she is loved and as hard as this is it is the purest form of love...to give her freedom from pain.  Prayers of strength, peace and comfort.

Prayers and good thought also for your surgery.  Please let us know how you are doing.

Love is important and she does know...I swear my rescues "know" or at least are able to enjoy not having to endure what they did in the past...you gave her the best and you should be proud that you were able to be there for her...and unfortunately that means being able to let go even when you would like to keep her longer...sometimes life doesn't seem fair ...

I agree with Anna's post.  That you just work with your vet to try and help with the pain.  Perhaps if you can do that, adjustments might be made as to pain medication dose, etc. her pain will lessen to where she can have a good quality of life..  Sometimes it is a matter of "tweaking" the prescription or trying another medication.  I would defer to what my vet thinks is best.  If your vet thinks that perhaps the medication is not going to help in the long run and that it would be better to not let her suffer, then that would be the advice I would take.  If your vet thinks that there will be slow improvement each and every day, give it a little time.  However, what I think is an opinion being made without seeing Sully.  I hope you and your vet can make the right decision for Sully and I am very sorry you both are having to go through this.

My wife and I were in rescue for over 45 years. We have had similar issues from time to time. We discovered the incredible folks at Amber Technologies. They produce many homeopathic treatments for dogs and cats. It is a family run business and they have bent over backwards to help us on occasion. 

My neighbor had a rottweiler who suddenly became paralyzed in his hind quarters. The vet said the spinal cord was swollen and nothing could be done and the dog would be better off euthanized. My neighbor was extremely distressed to say the least. I asked her to give me 24 hours to try something before making a final decision. I started Caesar on AmberTech's Adizone (a natural anti-inflammatory) and 50mg of Tramadol for any pain. The following morning Caesar was up and walking on his own. Another two days and he could move at a near normal gait. Caesar lived another two years and suffered no further loss of motion. He died peacefully at 9 years in his sleep.

Vets are incredible people but they have limitations. Like human doctors they are reluctant to use "non-standard" treatments. My vet fortunately does not suffer from such tunnel vision. Please consider trying this product before making an irreversible decision.  At six years of age she has many more years of happy life. Give her this chance and look outside of the box. Adizone will not hurt her and it just may bring her back from the unthinkable. I have done business with the folks at AmberTech for over 20 years. They can be trusted. I have also managed to save many a parvo puppy from certain death using their Parvaid products and natural antibiotics. 

Afterthought:

If your  baby is still with you I will be happy to talk with you about possible beneficial therapies. E-mail at barbarian2328@gmail.com. I will give you my phone number. I am so sorry I didn't see you plea sooner. This breaks my heart.

Thanks for your comments Carl. Unfortunately time was not on our side. I would have waited and considered other options but Sully was in excruciating pain and of course had no idea why. I was also scheduled for surgery at the same time and I felt as though I needed to be sure the pain was gone first, above all else, if I decided to try further options. Her vet mentioned laser treatments and I know she would have supported any other avenue I might persued but I had to consider costs and location as well, due to my disability and Sully's new injury being almost the same level of disability. Knowing the level of pain involved I could not let Sully cry and shake in pain for an hour more than necessary and it was becoming too hard to make her comfortable with medication and constant care at home. I had to have her put down the day before my surgery so she would be free of pain and not feel abandoned in her hour of need. I wish things hadn't gotten so bad so FAST! I doubt I will ever meet another dog for whom I have more respect than Sully. Amazing beyond words.

Oh dear.

I hesitate to create false hope... But my best friend in grad school had a cockapoo, about the size of a corgi, whose back went out. Vet said it was a cervical disk. She couldn't afford surgery either, and the vet was pretty iffy about whether it would do any good anyway.

Eventually the vet said to her that occasionally a disintegrating disk will...uhm, I'm not sure I remember this accurately, but the gist of what I recall was that the disk would eventually crumble away and the dog would be left with little or no pain. It was just a matter of waiting it out, but watching the dog suffer in the meantime would not be easy.

Well, Barbara was nothing if not up for a challenge. She medicated to dull the pain as best as possible and did everything she could to keep the dog marginally comfortable, and lo!...weeks and weeks later, the dog slowly recovered. I don't know if anyone in her right mind would want to go through that, or put her dog through it, but it might be worth asking the vet if there's any chance the dog could recover mobility and comfort eventually. The dog lived many years after that and seemed normal and active.

As normal as that crazy little animal got, anyway. :-D

I can't imagine letting her scream in pain for weeks but I am glad it worked for some people. Sully was hungry in the end from the steroids and she screamed every time she moved her jaw to chew even soft foods. I didn't have the fortitude to let her suck it up through the pain since I had no guarantee it would end up successfully so I had to do what I thought was best for us and what I truly believed she would have wanted. At this point there is no point in second guessing my decision as it will only tear me apart and will not bring Sully back. I have learned that as a pet owner I am not good at watching an animal suffer in any way. I also know that I must be prepared to take my budget into account and consider quality of life over expense at times. Tough lessons, but for rescue dogs, not that bad a trade off maybe.

You did the right thing Holly! Sully was able to spend time with you and have a good life. In the end we need to do what is best for our beloved 4 legged friends. I had to do this with 2 elderly cats last fall and it came down to their quality of life. I ended up taking my one in after hours because I couldn't see him suffer anymore.

I hope you are doing OK! Take Care!!!!!!

Thanks Jane. That means a lot! I was so strict! In my effort to keep Sully alive as long as possible The poor pup never even got to taste people food until the last few days of life. Had I known how short her life would have been I would have let her eat all kinds of treats. That last week she had ice cream every day and she loved it! I could have given her so many special treats if only I knew! She loved mashed potatoes and watermelon ice even if I had to hand feed her a bite at a time. At least she had a few good moments! Three years was ridiculously short, but we did pack so much family and friend time into that short time so I think it was worth it to all concerned, even for such a brief rescue life.

You gave her a life and experiences that were good for her. I often think of my Teddy who was a puppy mill rescue, he has tears all over his ears from fights but is the sweetest Corgi there is. He got to experience life without fear and for that I am happy!!! We do what we can and we don't know how long we have with our loved ones. My job includes helping people who also chose not to take extraordinary measures to stay alive and I understand that too. To make them suffer longer is not always looking at their best interest but our own. I once had a cat that we treated and had I known what the last few hours would be(horrible pain I believe) I NEVER would have tried to save him. I would hope that if I were to ever be in really bad shape that the people would not try to prolong my life either...

Ah. I didn't realize you'd already done the deed.

It sounds like you made the right decision. There's no way of knowing whether she would have recovered, and even if she had, it would have been a long and painful path.

When my friend elected to try a wait-and-see strategy with her dog, I privately thought it was a bad idea at the time. The dog was suffering a lot. The meds may or may not have done much to take the edge off -- whether they did or not, it was clear the pain was there. Personally, I don't think I would have put one of my pets through that much suffering just to see if maybe the dog would get over it. There's a point where a strategy like that becomes a kind of ego trip, not an effort to do what's right for the animal.

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