Our pretty princess is thriving. I say this as she lays under my desk, completely passed out, but let me tell you, she has shown no signs of Hemangiosarcoma since she had her surgery. The end of this week will be our 3 month anniversary of her splenectomy. We’ve been keeping our fingers crossed that her energy levels stay up, and they have. She’s still on a completely keto diet, packed with tons of fat, and a good amount of protein. Her last batch of food I added broccoli to, and holy hell it stinks, but the fiber is good for her. And she eats it, so win/win.
The only issue we’ve consistently had isn’t really related her HSA. We believe she injured her spine during her visit to the first vet we went to go see, the one who didn’t properly diagnose her, nor did he see the mass, or say she needed surgery. Thank God, because looking back, I wouldn’t have wanted her surgery done there. But.. my theory is that they wrangled her a little too much during the x-rays, causing her back to tweak. Even in her mopey state back then, she would not have wanted to be forced to lay down. Another clue to the injury happening there, was when we dropped her off, she was physically perfect on the outside, (no scrapes, cuts, etc) and when we picked her up later that day, she had a bloody scrape on the top of her paw, which I noticed right away but thought little of it. Later on, after seeing her walk around, I realized that the scrape on the top of her paw was caused by her dragging her foot.. the top of her foot.. on the ground. It was curling under and being dragged.
Fast forward, she had her surgery, she healed, but her leg didn’t get better. We noticed she was also really itchy on her back. Specifically her spine area. And we got her some little boots to wear so we could take them for walks and her little foot wouldn’t scrape. That finally healed, but man, why is she so itchy? We cancelled our lawn treatment service, I put her on a dosage of Benadryl, thinking it was allergies and something was aggravating it. It didn’t go away.
I started thinking beyond what we were seeing. It’s specifically her spine. Nowhere else is itchy. She was literally falling over when we touched her back. Her back legs physically collapsed underneath her, so I started researching canine dermatome charts. Which are few and far between on the internet – at least clear ones – and terrible to read. But… what I found was, exactly where she was “itching” is the same nerve that is connected to her back leg. Specifically the femoral nerve. When we so much as brush our fingers over her back in that spot, it sends her reeling. If we touch one side, she collapses on that side, the other side, same thing. It’s horrible and I feel terrible about it, and helpless.
Can’t I put her on an inversion table? She’s smart enough to understand, right? Is it just inflammation? Is it tweaked? Pinched? She can still walk, although she slides out around corners, and literally has no lateral control of her back legs. I put little traction things on her toenails, which help, but still, we have concrete and tile and laminate floors in our home and office. The carpet she can handle, and in the yard, she does her signature bunny hop when she wants to run. But complete immobility is not an option. Especially considering 3 months ago, the doctor she had roughly 3 months to live. What the fuck.
After talking to her vet, we decided to try some daily carprofen to see if it helped with any inflammation and/or pain. I feel like I can see a difference, especially when she doesn’t take it, so I keep giving her daily doses of it. I have an appointment with a canine chiropractic vet in a couple weeks to see if we have any other options. I just want to stretch her spine out and give her some relief. 🙁