Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Our Feet

Well, after a long day, and some semi-panicked phone calls in the evening to the vet in order to find out if my dog "was even still living,"  Miss Maisy is up and in as fine form as ever (minus a patch of hair above her tail, she's so embarrassed..)


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).
No wonder she walks like a walrus!!!

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.
 She's going to be so disappointed, especially because frolicking in Christmas wrapping is among her favorite annual joys...

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 P
Friday is my first (gasp) Dressage lesson in what feels like forever.
And Sunday is a trip to see that big black mare!  
All very fun and exciting things...


  1. Aw, my fingers are crosed that the rest does the trick. Poor baby!

  2. Poor Maisy. Your vet was probably shocked to find a client this knowledgeable about lameness and wobblers. ;)

    I'm totally excited for the lessons and pony shopping. You need to ride more. You know, in all that free time you have on your hands right now.

  3. Poor Maisy. I'm glad she came through the anesthesia like a champ. :) The one thing that I'm wondering about is the steroids . . . if it is cancer don't steroids make it worse? Maybe I'm thinking of something totally different, but I thought I heard that somewhere (probably a blog lol). I hope it's just an injury and that she will heal up just fine. Please let us know about the spinal fluid analysis.

    Looking forward to hearing all about your horse activities coming up. :)


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