I hate being away from wmtc for so long! Between Tala and my mom's visit, it's been quite the week.
Yesterday we went back to the OVC in Guelph for a consult with a neurologist. He feels the most likely diagnosis is degenerative disc disease, which secondarily is causing compression on spinal nerves.
This confirms the earlier diagnosis from the orthopedist, and adds information. The specialists always caution that a completely accurate diagnosis is impossible without an MRI, but this is where everything is pointing. They did some x-rays and it turns out there is already some deterioration in Tala's spine. The condition has been building silently, likely for years. (I believe a wmtc reader, also a member of the JoS community, has a dog with the same condition.)
We haven't made any decisions yet about surgery. If the risks were lower and the results higher, we wouldn't let the $6,000 (!) price tag stop us. After all, what are retirement savings for? But the surgery isn't a cure. Surgery might produce great results for a few years, then the condition would return. Or, horribly, surgery might make it worse, through a build-up of scar tissue. The surgery is risky and recovery is massive: six months in a crate, only being brought outside for bathroom needs.
For now we're going to try medical management, with drugs that target nerve pain, and a very gradual increase in her activity - meaning, from none to a few minutes a day, tiny steps, over a long period of time.
I'm very sad about this, and still reeling inside. It's hard to believe my little girl, so full of energy and sparkle, will be subdued and restrained for the rest of her life.
* * * *
Other than that... my mom's stay has been great. Her surprise birthday present was a day trip to Stratford. We had lunch with our friends Eric and Kelly of Across the Bridge B&B, walked around the town and by the river a bit, and saw "The Merry Wives of Windsor". (That was the only possibility for a matinee on the day we wanted.) The production was all right, not awful but not great, the weakest we've seen at Stratford so far. Janet Wright of "Corner Gas" fame plays Mistress Quickly. She's also playing Ma Joad in an adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath this season. #MostImportantThing: My mother had an amazing time and was thrilled with the whole day. That's what I was going for!
Monday, Guelph. Tuesday, Mom arrives. Wednesday, Stratford. Thursday, Guelph. My mom leaves this morning; Allan will drop her at the airport on his way to work. At least I get a day off before my work weekend. Whew.