Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ziggy the Cardigan Corgi - IVDD Days 1-3

Now that I've had time to process a bit, I wanted to provide a little more info on Ziggy.

Day 1:  Thursday night - Friday

This was a very harrowing time for me and Ziggy.  It was really hard for me not knowing what was going on with Ziggy.  The Husband was also out of town on a business trip, which meant all of this landed on my shoulders.  Due to the late night/early morning timing of it all, The Husband didn't know anything until Z was already headed into surgery.  Better that than me on a business trip and The Husband dealing with it on his own, I guess...

Since Ziggy passed the neuro tests at the emergency vet we started to look for other things. Ziggy was standing in a way that could be interpreted as having stomach pain or trouble going to the bathroom, (and we all know that Cardis are prone to eat non-food items) so we decided to do an x-ray to rule out obstruction in the stomach.  Nothing showed up on the x-rays.  The vet didn't know what was happening, but thought maybe it was a severe soft tissue injury.

I can't tell you another time I'd wished more that a dog could talk.  Ziggy was obviously in pain, but we had no idea where it was coming from.

When he started to lose use of his hind end at 3am - I called our regular vet clinic to see what time they opened.  I knew the vet who would do the surgery is at our clinic, so I decided not to take Z back to the emergency vet, but keep him quiet at home instead.

It was just awful seeing Ziggy's expression.  I've mentioned before that he has a very expressive face, and seeing that face express that much confusion and pain was just gutting.

Day 1:  Surgery and afternoon

The decision to do surgery was made much easier for me after having attended the IVDD seminar at the National Specialty in April (thanks again to those who planned it!).  Even thought I didn't remember verbatim what was said at the seminar, what I did remember helped me greatly, as my vet was saying the same things.  I was quite upset and having context for the conversation made it all much easier to understand.

When the vet inspected Ziggy he had response to moderate pain on his left side, and some response to deep pain on this right side.  Given his reactions, the vet is hopeful that we got to him in time.  If the dog can feel deep pain, they regain use of their hind end approximately 85% of the time.

The vet found the site of the ruptured disc before surgery.  While doing the surgery, he found that 4 other vertebrae needed to be "cleaned up" as well, since blood clots had formed.  This means that Ziggy has giant incision on his back.

The incision is about 10" long.
He also has a pain patch on his back (bottom right).

Days 2-3:  Saturday and Sunday

On Friday night we transported Ziggy to the Emergency Vet, where he is spending the weekend.  We put all the seats down in the mini-van, and put crate pads + a large blanket in the back.  The surgical vet helped us load Z in the back, and The Husband sat with him in the back of the van so Ziggy wouldn't move around.

Saturday we were quite keen to visit Ziggy, so The Husband, The Child, and I all went to the emergency clinic.  I brought Z's regular food, some of his favorite soft treats, and a greenie.  Ziggy ate them ALL.  Good boy.

When The Child saw Ziggy's back, his eyes got very wide and he said "OUCH!"  Indeed.

Do you think The Husband was happy to see Ziggy?

Ziggy is doing as well as can be expected.  He is eating a lot apparently - probably happy to have more than his usual "keep the Cardi lean" rations that I give him.  Today they put him on antibiotics due to blood in his urine.

Ziggy has a somewhat crazed expression thanks to the pain meds.
It's a little weird to see...

Yesterday evening I took 2 days worth of Z's regular food down to the clinic, and gave him some "goodnight" pets.  We didn't go see Ziggy today, as he got really agitated when we left yesterday evening.  Since a big goal right now is to keep him as quiet and still as possible, we thought it might not be a good idea.

Tomorrow morning we pick Ziggy up from the emergency vet, and take him back to our regular clinic.  He'll stay there a few more days, or until he's able to urinate on his own.  I plan to ask the vet all of the questions I forgot to ask on Friday.


  1. The picture of your husband hugging him brought a tear to my eye. Glad to see the Zigster is doing well, we're all pulling for him to make a full and speedy recovery! Love to all of you.

  2. Sounds like you are doing everything right and have great vet care available to you. When it comes time for rehabbing him, I would suggest asking for a consult with Debbie Gross Saunders at Wizard of Paws. She has LOTS of experience with Cardis and is terrific. Her website is I know she is in CT but I'm pretty sure she does phone consults too.
    Still thinking good thoughts for all of you.

  3. Glad the news is positive. Woofs to Ziggy from the three stooges here.

  4. What a BIG ZIPPER for Ziggy. Poor boy. I'm holding out hope for a complete recovery. The fact that he had pain response in the rear on both sides was a good sign.

    I'm really sorry that anybody has to go through this.

    The hunched-over-acting-like-he-ate-something symptom sounds much like Denzil's sister Penny. Which is why she did not have surgery; the vet also thought that she had eaten something. It's a stance that I will watch for in the future.

  5. Oh, Lani. I am so glad you got Ziggy into surgery so quickly. I am continuing to send lots of + and healing energy to Mr. Ziggy.

  6. Plan for a full recovery. The prognosis is good because he received treatment so quickly. Hugs to all of you.


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