The neurologist was super friendly, informative and very straight forward. Maisy apparently has a HUGE amount of fluid around a couple vertebrae that is causing more of a compression on her spine than Miss P has.
|(dog - internal view).|
The good news is that apparently Maisy doesn't display the typical conformation deficiencies that most frenchies do, so that's nice to know.
What we leaned is that the ataxia is being caused by the fluid, but we haven't determined is what exactly is causing the fluid to gather... Our options are basically one of the following:
1) Trauma (a thwack, smack, or severe twisting of the spine)
2) Infection (meningitis or something similar)
3) Cancer (wah).
In order to rule out #2, I authorized a spinal tap to analyze the fluid, which we should hear back on today or tomorrow.
#3 is unlikely, (and expesive to diagnose) so we're moving forward with treatment for #1 and will circle back to #3 if we don't see any improvement in the rather near term.
So Miss Maisy is on some low dose steroids and seriously restricted movement. No playing, no running, no stairs, no jumping onto the couch, NOTHING. She's to be carried to her lawn, peed, and returned to her bed for the next two weeks.
|Enjoying a brief moment of freedom for breakfast, and a chilly back.|
The one thing that I still don't have a lot of clarity on is how this explains both the long-term proprioceptic deficiencies (toe pointing, leg dragging) and the more recent hind end lameness. The fact that she's always pointed her toes and dragged herself around like a walrus would indicate to me that this fluid has nearly always been there.. but it doesn't indicate why it would now show itself with the progressive lameness in her left hind.
Dr. Neurologist didn't really have an answer for that, though I refer back to P's initial vet who said, "well, if you couldn't tell where your legs were, you'd probably twist your ankle or tweak your back eventually too."
So, until I get more info, I'm not going to worry about it too much. The one possibility that Dr. Neuro suggested was that the lameness was being caused by increased pressure on the cord (from an increase in the fluid) which is something we would like to be able to eventually explain.
But for now, one step at a time as we isolate the variables and a big sigh of relief for an easy round of anesthesia.
On the Horizon? a few horsey packed days:
Tomorrow is a much needed visit to PAll very fun and exciting things...
Friday is my first (gasp) Dressage lesson in what feels like forever.
And Sunday is a trip to see that big black mare!