Monday, May 23, 2011
The Solsey Pouch renamed to The Luna Bag
As you open today’s OBP news, you may be asking, "Why is Luna in the Solsey pouch?!" Well, it is a long story, so readers, brace yourselves.
This photo was taken on the same day that Benny was in the Solsey Mobile. Last Monday night Benjamin dislocated his shoulder and we went to the emergency vet that night. Well, Tuesday was a pre-planned visit for Luna to go to AVS (Affiliated Veterinary Specialists) in Maitland about 50 miles from our home.
Luna has been in need of what they affectionately call the “nose package” which is the same surgery that Benjamin had done about a year or so ago. It is when they remove some soft tissue from the back of the throat, widen the nasal passages, and remove the air satchels all in the efforts to assist with breathing and respiratory challenges.
Additionally, over the last year, we have been noticing some other small but recently increasing concerns with Luna’s gait. During breaks on walks (like while waiting for her brothers to go potty) she stands still but her rear leg or legs will tremble. She is no longer confident jumping up on the sofa or bed and she has simply just fallen over for no apparent reason twice.
When her legs first started to twitch or shake we didn’t really think much of it. In the beginning, as it would usually happen towards the end of long walks we figured she was just tired (like a marathon runner whose legs are like cooked spaghetti noodles at the end of a race). Since she has to take about 3-4 steps for every human step and a step or 2 for each of her brothers then her pace was always quicker in relation to her body size. Well, when we realized that Luna was hesitant to eat we knew there was a major issue. We sort of put the whole thing together when offering her food closer to her face she would gobble it down as usual. Luna was apparently hurting so badly when bending her neck to get to her food dish that she would just rather not eat than to have to put herself in that position to eat.
So, we took her to our usual vet and he put her on an anti-inflammatory medication in order to see if that would help by reduce any back/neck swelling. It is also a pain reducer (its like doggy Tylenol). This was a 2 week dose. And while it helped some, it did not work considerably well.
Over time, we worked on managing the problem in other ways, too. We created a raised food dish for her so that she doesn’t have to bend over so far to eat. That has seemed to help tremendously in the area of eating. We shortened her walks so that the condition wouldn’t continue to be exacerbated. And when all of these things were not correcting the problem sufficiently, we took her back to our vet who recommended x-rays and warned that while that was a good start, a CT scan and/or MRI would likely be necessary to see what the problem was truly.
So, you can fast forward (or rewind-depending on how you look at it) to Tuesday. Tuesday was the day that she had the appointment with the specialist to decide how to move forward with the nose package and the neck/back issues. The appointment was for 10 AM. This means leaving the house around 8:30 AM (and Luna had to fast for this appointment since at the specialist’s office they never know if they will have to sedate the patients to do testing). So, out we went.
We got to the specialist’s office and the internal medicine doctor consulted with the neurologist. X-rays were performed on a mildly sedated Luna. They showed a "lesion" on her vertebrae in her neck. We were reassured that it was not a tumor or cancer but more like an area of swelling or a slipped disc. In discussing the options for treating Luna, between us, the specialists and our own vet, we are all on the same page with the upcoming events. That is: today, Luna will go under the knife to get her nose package done. While under, they will perform the CT scan. If the CT scan shows something that needs to be surgically repaired, then they will do that surgery tomorrow. The specialists shared that two short episodes of anesthesia is better than one long episode. And hopefully, she will not need the second go ‘round. Hopefully, whatever the CT scan shows will be able to be treated some other way.
So, getting back to why is Luna in the Solsey pouch? Well, the specialists tell us to keep her "on bed rest" for 6 weeks (regardless of surgery or not but if neurosurgery could be even longer). This is no small feat! She is a wiggly, feisty, willful little alpha female pug that won’t be stopped! So, we are doing our darnedest to keep her still. This is why last night we took Benny out in the Solsey Mobile and Luna out in the Solsey pouch. Henry actually had to walk. Benny is on rest until the end of the week and Luna for 6 weeks.
We are definitely not sure how exactly we will accomplish all of this but we will make it work. Somehow we always do. And somehow the pugs always get with the program, too.
So, we will keep you posted with the details of today's surgery and what the C/T scan reveals about Luna's back.