I'm sure going without breakfast and taking a trip to the neurologist was not how Ian wanted to spend his third birthday, but that's what he did this morning. And can I just say, the practice's building is unbelievable. Vaulted foyer, fireplace with granite mantle and hearth, nice tile floors, leather furniture -- the GOOD leather -- I'm pretty sure they charge just for driving into the parking lot. Apparently specialty practice is a very lucrative business. My checkbook may have peed a little and passed out as we walked through the door.
But anyway, the doctor looked at the x-rays I brought with me, then had me walk Ian around the exam room for a bit so he could watch him. There wasn't a ton of room, but we did what we could. I also had Ian back up for him; I wasn't sure if he would be able to with his rear still a little wobbly, but he did just fine. Then the doc had me put him on the table so he could examine him. He turned his neck this way and that, felt all along the spine, examined his eyes for dilation, etc. Ian showed no sign of pain at any of the neck manipulation or at the spinal palpation. He does show some mild ataxia in the rear; it seems to take a few extra seconds for his brain to realize where his hind feet are. So there was definitely some nerve involvement somewhere along the way, but he was unable to locate exactly where with no sign of pain and based on the symptoms alone.
Because there was no indication of pain, and because his symptoms are quite mild, Dr. Potthoff said there were basically two approaches we can take: 1) Do some diagnostic work (which will involved anesthesia and perhaps a spinal tap if they do myelogram vs. MRI); or 2) Take a conservative approach and see if the situation can be managed with a course of Prednisone and rest. Because Ian has improved a lot on crate rest and the NSAID, he advised that we take the latter course. He did say to give him a few short walks each day (which is basically what he gets when he goes out to potty), because the brain and the muscles need to re-establish good communication (retraining the nerve pathways).
Tomorrow he starts on Prednisone. I've upgraded him from the crate to an ex-pen so he can stand up and move a little, but not run around and raise hell, which is what he would really like to do. He obviously feels like himself -- bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to FRAP at a moment's notice. What a far cry from a week ago!!
So, one McDonald's hamburger (no onions) and a new fleecy toy later, Ian is resting comfortably in his ex-pen. Happy birthday, my sweet boy. Here's to many, many more!
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