There’s so little out there to find

Hannah’s accident was so freakish. As far as I can tell, this sort of thing happens to small dogs, to daschunds mostly, and it seems like an accident but it’s really a degenerative disc disease that finally manifests.

Almost all the dogs with this kind of paralysis are small. And almost all of them require surgery to relieve compression. A bruised spinal cord (also known as a contusion, which took me a while to figure out) is weird. A bruised spinal cord that involves total paralysis and loss of deep pain perception is not something I can find any documentation of, at least in layman’s terms. The medical papers are in gibberish.

So, hey, I might as well keep documenting this.

We have to express her bladder. We tried it. We got a few dribbles, and weren’t even sure what we pressed to get those. It took two people. Now, she had a good solid expression before she left, at around 7:00. And she’s never been a big urinator. But bad bladder management can be fatal. As you can imagine, I’m nervous about doing it right. We’ll see how tomorrow morning goes. But while I knew already caring for Hannah would be a big task, I have a much more visceral sense of it now. She’s not a small dog.

I’m angry. I’m furious. I’m enraged that my dog ended up hurt in such an unusual, random way. I’m angry that her symptoms are so bizarrely extreme– loss of deep pain perception? (That’s when the dog doesn’t whine or bite in reaction to the skin between their toes being pressed on hard.) The recovery rate for that is incredibly low, after surgery. (But there is a recovery rate.) But surgery won’t help Hannah because what’s pressing on her spinal cord isn’t external. So what’s her recovery rate? Was it an insta-press-and-release that she’s now healing from? Or is it still pressing? What happened to her deep pain perception?

I gave her the prescribed medication, and I did it wrong. She may not have gotten part of the anti-inflammatory medication. Hell, she’s a dog. She may have the entire packet cached in her mouth.

Actually, the recovery rate thing above is a simplification. The recovery rates are based on how quickly a dog has surgery after losing deep pain perception. And that’s another reason I’m angry– if it’s fast, the recovery rate is very high. If it’s not, it’s low. But still possible. If her deep pain sense returns in two weeks or so, the recovery rate is higher. If not, it’s very low. But has happened. (I suppose that’s why the vet tech said 8 weeks…) But I’m angry because we did things right. We brought her in right away. We committed to the surgery right away. And yet–  surgery wouldn’t help! And if she had deep pain perception, the vet would have been pretty positive in his prognosis. And yet she doesn’t.

I’m so angry. My mother died due to complications from a cancer mostly contracted by old black men. Right now, I just want hope that my dog will be able to pee again on her own someday.

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2 thoughts on “There’s so little out there to find”

  1. That’s awful, Soula. I don’t blame you for being angry. I think freakish things like that are particularly hard to accept because it seems like they didn’t have to happen.

    *big hugs* You and Hannah are definitely in our thoughts. I hope she is one of the ones who recover.

  2. I wish there was something I could say to “make it better.” But there isn’t and that’s hard to accept. Hannah is lucky to have someone who loves her taking care of her.

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