We met with the vet today to discuss Coulee's x-rays on her spine and neck. She has 5 discs in total that look like they are squishing out as well as areas of Spondylosis.
I'm not sure what I feel. Helpless for one. There doesn't seem to be anything we can do to make it better. It was a "here are the facts" type visit, not a "here is what we can do to make it better" type of visit.
What I do know (and am writing here so I won't forget):
- After an "episode" (which I think just means when she shows signs of pain) she should be on 8 weeks of reduced activity. The first week she is allowed a daily 5 minute walk, the next week a 10 minute walk, then 15 minutes and so on. After 8 weeks she can go back to life as normal.
- If we aren't sure if her back is bothering her, we can look for signs of pain by pushing along her spine.
- No more jumping - over things, on things, etc.
- Keep her in good shape but don't be a weekend warrior - i.e. she can swim only if we do it regularly or build up to it.
- The crossing of her back legs when she walks may or may not be related to the back problems - it is usually a sign of weakness, not disk disease, at least not in the areas of her spine that we found the problems in, although there could be more problems lower down in areas that we didn't x-ray. I've just recently noticed this so I'd be surprised if it isn't related somehow.
- Walking her on a collar or harness is fine - it doesn't matter which we choose
- No more backpacking (mainly because it is a weekend warrior activity - if she carried a pack every day that would be fine)
- Do not play tug
- It will never get better - only stay the same or get worse.