So a few of you tweeted/messaged/facebooked me about Trouble. For those who follow me on Twitter or are friends with my on Facebook, you know we’ve had some weird problems with Trouble for the last 6 weeks. Right after we got back from China in May, Trouble starting having terrible outbursts. Like nothing I’ve ever heard/seen before. He would be completely normal and then BAM! He’d scream in pain for a full 30 seconds. I don’t mean yelp — he was quite literally making the exact same noise a dog would make if you were to cut his foot off with an axe. Absolute bloody murder type of scream. It was terrible.
Worst of all, when he’d have the episodes, he’d always run over to me as it was happening. His body would sort of seize up and he would scream in pain (you could easily hear him a block away, to give you an idea). The part that really hit me right in the heart is that he’d look right at me every time — knowing I’m the one that helps him with any other problems, so of course I can solve this one, right? It was extremely difficult to witness — but all I could do would be to coddle him as it was happening and see him through it. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
He was having an outburst every day for about a week solid. The vet had absolutely no idea what was wrong. We tried cleaning his insides out with a high fiber diet — as he eats EVERYTHING and the vet thought that maybe something was stuck in his stomach (we’ve found spiderman toy legs, full pieces of thick chalk, and tons of other things in his poop). He went about 5 days without an outburst so we were hopeful that we found the problem!
Then it started happening again. This was a few days before I left for Africa — so we were so happy that we decided on Lindsay staying home as there would be no way both of us would leave with Trouble having a problem like this. We had x-rays set up to check to see if it was his spine — and when it happened again, without me there, Lindsay couldn’t handle it (understandably — it’s really such a terrible, heart-wrenching thing to witness). She took him to the 24 animal hospital. The vet there did immediate x-rays and prescribed Trouble some pain meds — at least until I got home.
A couple days before I left for home, Lindsay called me in tears. Our vet told her that Trouble spine was the problem — and that surgery would be $5-10k. The vet (lovingly) sort of let her know that she wouldn’t be a bad pet owner if we decided to put him down — and that, along with Lindsay’s pregnancy hormones, sent her to emotional turmoil. She knows I would never put Trouble down if we didn’t have to, but with me not being there, and with the vet prepping her that it’s an option, she just was so terrified that that might be an option.
When I got home, that morning we met with the vet. We told him we’d absolutely do the surgery. He referred us to a specialist.
The specialist. Wow! This Vet was amazing. In the last year, he’s been published on issues of the spine more than any other Vet… ever. He gave us good news… and bad news. The good news was that his spine was great! Nothing wrong with it at all. We were thrilled with that. The bad news? No clue what was wrong. Trouble had something wrong with a wrist of his — so he assumed that that was it. But there was conflicting things so the vet was still quite confused. They did more x-rays and joint taps. Still nothing certain.
So the vet told us to just wait it out. Kennel Trouble so that he can’t do any exercise — for six weeks! This was terrible! But if it was necessary for Trouble, we’d do it. The vet said he’s 80% sure that if we do this, Trouble wouldn’t have another episode and we’d never see him again. Well, it’s been 4 weeks since his last episode! We’re not out of the woods yet — just hoping that Trouble doesn’t have one again for a few more weeks (we saw the specialist about 2 weeks ago — so 4 weeks to go).
Anyways, here’s the little money burner :)
I never thought I’d be THAT guy who will spend ridiculous amounts of money on his dog — but I totally am. I couldn’t imagine letting him go at 11 months of age! He’s just about the sweetest pup out there ;)