Oy, what a week. Where do I even begin? My absence the last two days on the blog might not have felt too strange given my recent lighter posting schedule, but boy, was there a lot happening behind the scenes over here. Tuesday morning, I took Lucy out for our usual romp around Central Park, and snapped the picture above as we took a break from running around and ‘squirrel hunting.’ Little did I know what would happen just a few hours later.
On Tuesday night, Lucy suddenly developed a slipped disc in her spine, causing immediate paralysis in her front legs and near total paralysis in her back legs. Her scream and reaction when it happened were absolutely terrifying; at first, we thought she was having a seizure based on how stiff she became and how badly she was shaking (probably from how intense the pain was). This sounds dramatic, but believe me when I say I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way she screamed…it was really awful.
We rushed her off to the emergency room, at the time not knowing what the cause of her paralysis was. Because it was late enough at night, they didn’t have a team in place to do an MRI to confirm that it was a slipped disc, or where it was in her back. We had to leave her at the vet hospital’s ICU on Tuesday night, paralyzed and extremely scared — cue me sobbing the entire walk home. We were honestly terrified she might not make it through the night. The vet had warned us that because of where the suspected slipped disc was and the severity of her paralysis, they knew it was also in an area of the spinal cord that controlled breathing, so they were afraid she might lose her ability to breathe overnight as swelling increased. We didn’t slip a wink, and were dreading a call in the middle of the night.
The next morning, the neurology team arrived early and evaluated her, and recommended she go in for an immediate MRI, and pending the results of that, surgery. We went into meet with the lead surgeon late Wednesday morning, review her MRI results, and give permission for them to operate on her. The procedure involved removing all of the herniated disc material, and while they were in there, they could check and make sure her spinal cord hadn’t been damaged (which would cause permanent paralysis). The surgery started around 11am, and didn’t finish til nearly 5pm — it was a long day for everyone.
Luckily, the surgery went very well and it appears that Lucy won’t have any lasting paralysis. We got to spend time with her at the hospital yesterday in both the morning and evening. She’s pretty exhausted and a little down, but we’re super proud of her — she didn’t seem overly stressed and was mostly just glad to see us and snuggle (though her chill vibe might’ve been her pain meds!). The best news is that she has regained the ability to move all of her limbs, though for now, she can’t stand up on her own and will need a little time and care before she can walk again. Last night during our visit she was trying so, so hard to stand up, and I’m sure she’s very frustrated, but we’re not going to rush her and I take the fact that she’s trying so hard so soon after such an invasive surgery as a positive sign. We’re hoping to bring her home in the next couple of days (we’ll see how she’s doing and what the doctors say), after which she’s going to need a month of “bed rest” before ever so slowly going back to a normal routine. She’ll need some lifestyle changes too — no more stairs, and no more jumping onto or off of things, and she might not be able to rough house with other dogs quite as aggressively. This will help to prevent her from having to undergo another surgery in the future.
The highs have been really high and the lows really low this week. I was absolutely terrified for my girl (she’s my bestie, my love bug!). But seeing how she has gone through all this trauma with such grace and bravery has made me one proud mama. In any case, I wanted to share a little bit about what had been going on with all of you, because it felt really weird to just post Friday links and pretend like it was a normal week — trust me when I say, it was anything but. I’ll post some additional updates about Lucy’s condition on social media as she improves and comes home.
Hope all you have a restful, peaceful weekend, and be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug!