After a long day of vets and lifting Indi in and out of cars, we know what is going on. There is good news and bad news.
First the good news: It is not cancer. Four months post-diagnosis Indi has NO lung mets and no osteosarcoma legions/ masts on her spine or in her belly. She is still virtually cancer free.
The bad news is it is not ACL tears, it is neurological. She has lost the use of her back legs because a piece of cartilage has lodged its self in her spinal column and is pressing on the nerves between her L2 and L4 vertebrae. Fibro Cartilagenous Embolis, the technical name for a piece of runaway ruptured cartilage in the spinal cord, is not directly related to cancer. It is most likely the result of a shift in her posture/ spine since her amputation. We don’t know what exactly caused it other than general tripawd pressure on a big dog.
It is curable. She can heal from this with physical therapy and time– an estimated 6 to 8 weeks. In the mean time she has lost her bowel control and her ability to urinate. We now have to expel her bladder for her 2 to 4 times a day so it doesn’t rupture. And even in 6 to 8 weeks when the cartilage dissolves, the nerve damage could be permanent. We just don’t know.
She can’t stand up. She can’t wag her tail. She can’t go to the bathroom on her own. Maggie’s mom Tracy, and Fortis’ dad Brett put it best: sometimes SHIT just happens.
Thank you for all the love and kindness in your comments. It means the world to me to know I am not alone. I don’t know what is going to happen in the coming weeks. My plan is to take it one day at a time.
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