If you already follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you already know about this (and if you don’t already, why the hell not?!), but I have news to report about Egon.
He’s currently spending the night at the university veterinary school’s animal hospital where he just had emergency surgery for a ruptured disc in his spine. This is not an uncommon problem for dachshunds, but it’s one that I hoped would never affect my little dude. He’s very lean and, now that he’s almost 6 years old, not terribly rambunctious (the two risk factors are being overweight or jumping a lot). Nonetheless, he managed to injure his spine.
I’m not sure what happened, but I took him to the vet for a suspected UTI on Monday, which he tested positive for. The vet also determined that he had a strain in his back, so he was prescribed antibiotics for the UTI, anti-inflammatories for the strain, and tons of rest.
At some point Tuesday night, while I was out, he managed to hurt himself. He’d been feeling better and had been okay with staying voluntarily in his crate (crate door unlocked) in my bedroom, where there’s no tall furniture for him to jump on. It seemed safe enough to me, especially since he used to panic a lot when I’d crate him with the door locked. With the crate plus his favorite blankets on the floor, he hadn’t even tried to climb on the (low, platform) bed all day. I would have noticed the little dents he leaves in the down comforter, so I know he never went up there. What I found after the fact was that he’d apparently gone in my closet, climbed into the laundry basket, peed in it, and climbed out. He’d had some incontinence issues from the UTI, and I think he didn’t want to pee on the floor. Poor guy. That must’ve been when he really hurt his back.
I came home to find him hiding under the blanket on the floor (his usual burrowing M.O.), and when I lifted up the blanket to peek at him he yelped in pain and tried to move, but he wasn’t able to use his back legs at all and was dragging them behind him. In about 14 seconds I had called the emergency vet at the university and was on my way there, with W. (who was in bed and nearly asleep at the late hour) awake and arranged to meet us.
They kept him last night and the neurologist saw him today, confirming after tests that he did have a ruptured disc. He underwent surgery for it today, but I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet. It sounds like he went home without remembering to call me (MOTHEREFFER), but the front desk tells me Egon is out of surgery and in the neurology ICU. Hopefully I will get to talk to the doc tomorrow and possibly even come in to see Egon.
The financial aspect of all this is a whole other matter and is almost equally as stressfull. The estimate was for between $3000-5000, and I had to put down half of the high end before they would take him (which I was — barely– able to do). In order to give them the go-ahead for surgery I had to make sure I could come up with the rest, and I did manage to get financing for that after begging my dad to cosign for it. I may be 33 years old with a nice middle-cass job, but I am only a few years out of grad school with student loans and credit card debt (It was almost paid off until today, but now I’ve more than doubled it!) and I guess I wasn’t a good enough candidate for the stupid financing on my own. Anyway, I’m more than covered, now. Oof. Many thanks to my unfailingly kind and generous father.
And this is all the news I have at the moment. I will update with more when I can, but I wanted to post something here for all my friends who don’t follow my every move in 140-character bursts. Thanks so much to everyone who has gotten in touch with me to offer words of support — you are very much appreciated.