Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ziggy the Cardigan Corgi IVDD: Weeks 18-20 - Up, then down

I just realized tonight that I've been labeling my weeks wrong.  Tomorrow is 21 weeks since Z's surgery.

Weeks 18-20 have been interesting.  I mentioned in an earlier post that on Ziggy's last trip to the Iowa State University vet school rehab program, they felt his progress was a little lackluster.  There WAS progress, though, so we figured he was just continuing on his slow progress trend.  We hadn't seen any major breakthroughs, but he was standing a bit better, was moving his right hind more, etc.

Last week we felt he had an uptick in his progress.  He seemed much stronger when standing, and he even stood on his own when The Husband took his picture!  Our local rehab vet, who does his acupuncture and helps us stay on track with physical therapy, felt Z had the biggest week-on-week improvement in recent months.  We were feeling pretty good about our boy.

Ziggy finally got wheels!
We're all still getting used to them, 
but hope it gives him a bit of freedom each day.

Photographic proof!  
Ziggy is able to hold himself up on his own 
-- for a short while (a couple of mins) at least.

This week Ziggy was back at ISU for four days of rehab.  I got calls on Mon & Tues, and they felt he had made more progress this time then they had seen last time.  Then yesterday on the call (I was in a meeting, so they left a message) - they said he was doing well, but there was something they needed to talk to me about.  (Maybe that's what prompted me to publish yesterday's blog post - which I had written a while ago but hadn't posted?)

Today I called them during my lunch hour.  The rehab specialist said that she still had a feeling that, though Ziggy continued to make progress, she wasn't seeing what she'd really like to see this far past the surgery.  Since experts are close to hand at a University vet school, she decided to call in a neurologist to check Ziggy out.  

The neurologist had the same feeling the rehab specialist did - that we'd really expect to see more progress by now. 

The neurologist recommends that we have an MRI done on Ziggy.  This will help us  understand if more disc material might be on the spinal cord, or if there is some scarring, or if another disc has ruptured, etc.  It will also help us understand if there is damage to the spinal cord that we don't know about.  If there is more disc material, another surgery is recommended.

I called the vet who did our surgery and talked with him today.  He sees Ziggy every couple of weeks when Ziggy goes in for "daycare" and said that he got the same impression lately - progress, but not great.  He is in agreement than an MRI is a good next step, as it will give us a lot of information about what's going on in there.  He also liked the idea of having it done at ISU, as a neurologist, radiologist, and surgeon are all at hand to evaluate the MRI and provide guidance.

Since an MRI is really not cheap (think montly-mortgage-payment), and surgery is even more expensive, we now have a lot to think about.


  1. oh dear, I am sorry. I hope you find comfort in whichever choice you make. ((hug))

  2. Oh goodness - you guys are in my thoughts.... :(

  3. I am so sorry to read this. I send the very best thoughts for you and Ziggy

  4. I feel for you. At this point I've seen it all: dogs who recovered almost fully, dog who was permanently in a cart, dog who died not long post-surgery. Most were "grandpups" though the dog-in-cart was of course Juneau.

    Do what you can, but don't feel guilty if you can't do more. There is no guarantee that another MRI or even more surgery will help Ziggy regain full use. Sometimes there is just too much nerve damage and they don't. If he isn't in pain, and can adjust to the cart, that might be enough for him. Juneau had a happy life in his cart for 2.5 years, though I have doubted that I would want to go through it again.

  5. Crap, I am sorry you got this news. Have you considered appealing to CorgiPals for help. Unlike CorgiAid, it's not just for rescues. I know she has a lot of campaigns going on, but maybe she could help you as well. I know I would be happy to contribute to a "Get Ziggy Walking" chip-in.

  6. I'd lower the rear of the cart, it might encourage him to use his rear some.

    1. Thanks for the note, Mandy. We're actually having some trouble getting him evenly seated in the cart. In this photo, though his left hind his up, his right hind is well down. The folks at ISU couldn't even get it straight, so now we're working with the manufacturer to see what we can do, or return it. Nothing is easy..


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