I woke up as usual this morning and went to the bathroom, while my Miniature Schnauzer Cola stayed in bed, like she always does until she can hear me get out of the shower.
When I got out of the shower I could hear that she did not land properly on her legs when she jumped out of bed, and as I stopped to listen I could hear that she did not walk normally. I hurried out to see what was wrong, and found her on the floor trying to crawl, not able to move her hind legs properly. She was very confused and sad. My heart must have skipped a beat at this point!
The fact that she had not made a sound as she jumped of the bed worried me, as a broken/dislocated leg or discus prolapse would hurt a lot. In my experience these problems are pretty straight forward, and fixable. Not to make these diagnosis seem like a walk in the park, but I was worried a neurological problem might be more difficult to fix.
I immediately examined her to see if she was in any pain, but she was not. I was relieved to know that she was not hurting, but it made me very worried as well.
Luckily I work in an animal hospital about 15 minutes drive from my home, so I rushed to work and had a couple of colleagues examine Cola. They found it to be a bit of a mystery, as she did not have any pain, but had no use of her right hind leg, and was week in her left hind leg. She could not stand up, and collapsed like a rag doll when not supported.
They suspected FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Embolism) or a herniated/prolapsed disc, even though she did not show any signs of pain, but then agin she has an extremely high pain tolerance, and could be in some pain without saying anything. We decided to give it a few hours as she might simply be numb after having sleeping in a position that put pressure on one some nerves.
About one and a half hour after getting to the hospital I took Cola out of her cage to check on her and found that she now had lost use of her right front leg as well. At this point the “numbness after sleeping in a wrong position”- theory was out of the question, and FCE or a herniated disc was the vet’s best bet. Therefore it was decided to put her into the CT scanner first thing next morning, when the surgeon responsible for the scanner got to work. The CT scanning will be able to show us if she has a herniated disc, or if something else is putting pressure on her spinal cord.
Before I went home this afternoon we emptied Colas bladder, as she was not able to do this herself.
Terrible as it sounds I find myself hoping for a herniated disc. I’d like for it to be something we can “just” remove!