The neurologist wants him to be kept immobilized as much as possible, to give the vertebra fracture time to heal and form a callous around it. Tugger's vertebra has to be stabilized in order to use a wheelchair. The hard part right now is his frustration with not being able to move his back legs, along with keeping him clean and dry to prevent bed sores. It is like having a newborn again. But as I keep telling Tugger, we will figure it out and we will get through it. He is a very sweet and gentle dog, and super smart. In just two days, he figured out that when I say "Sit up Tugger" - it means I need his help in getting him cleaned up and his bedding changed. He sits himself up as best as he can, and gets himself into the position that he has realized is most helpful for me to help him.
UPDATE FROM 8/30: A certain dog whose name begins with "T" apparently is starting to feel better - his horns were out this morning, and he showed his moxy this afternoon. I was out running errands, and when I got home, he had chewed a hole in his "cone of shame" and had one of his front legs through it (apparently was trying to get it off, lol) and had the foam cushion folded in half and pushed up to the front of the crate and was hanging out on it. I guess maybe he had a tantrum while I was gone. I won't even tell you what it was like this morning when I was trying to help him - but his horns were definitely out! LOL. I won the battle in the morning, but he definitely won the war in the afternoon. He was propped up on the folded up cushion with such a look of "I'm done with this stuff." It was nice seeing this spunk, actually.
I have raised the goal a bit, as some people would still like to donate. Tugger has a long road ahead as far as therapy and medications needed. I am not sure if once the goal is met, people will be unable to donate.
And I cannot thank you enough for your kindness, concern, and support of Tugger! I could not have done this for him without each and every one of you!
Tugger will be coming home today. He has a tough road ahead - I have to try to keep him immoblized in a crate for at least 6 weeks to allow the vertebra with the fracture to heal. The neurologist would like the fracture to form a callous so that it is stable prior to Tugger learning to use a wheel chair. I am going to keep him near a window so he can enjoy the sunshine and get some fresh air while he recuperates. I am going to figure out how to create a page on Facebook just for him so you can follow his progress/recovery. Once he is out of the woods, I would like to plan an event so that each of you can come meet him in person. Maybe in time for the holidays! Keep your fingers, toes, and eyes crossed, and say a prayer for him!
Looks like Tugger will be coming home tomorrow! The neurologist wants to observe him one more night.
Tugger update! I visited him last night. He seems to not be as frightened. He ate some kibble from my hand, licked my arm, and gave me a kiss as I was saying good bye. He is so confused with everything going on. I am hoping and praying that he regains some degree of feeling in his back quarters. The doctor's concern right now is with Tugger's degree of bladder control (the doctor is concerned over the potential for bed sores to develop while the fracture is healing, etc.) They have him catheterized right now, so they cannot tell. But the concern is for when he is sent home, and will no longer be catheterized. Please say a prayer for him! I am waiting to hear if he may be able to come home tonight or tomorrow. As soon as I hear anything, I will let you know. I know I am a broken record, but I cannot thank each one of you enough for your help and support. I could not have done it without you! And I apologize I have not yet responded to posts and messages from over the weekend. I will try to get back to everyone over the course of today.
Many thanks to the donors who contributed direct donations at the local vet hospital ($40.00) and to the specialist's office ($100). As they continue to come in, I will post updates.
Tugger update! Some good news this time - the neurologist examined him again this morning, and he is confident that it is not the ascending/descending myelomalacia. Tugger will remain at the specialists over the next few days for monitoring, examination, and just continuing to recover from his injuries. I cannot thank each of you enough for the outpouring of support in the form of donations, messages, offers of help, etc. I could not have done this without each of you. My next step is to start thinking about his life going forward with a disability - he will most likely remain paralyzed in the rear part of his body - but he still has a happy, full life ahead of him.
Someone asked a good and fair question about the fundraising efforts for Tugger. I paid a $2,500 deposit today toward his total balance at the specialists. But there is still a balance, and there will be additional expenses added over the next few days. I am hoping and praying it is not the myelomalacia. If it is not the myelomalacia, he will need to spend his life in a wheelchair, and he will have a long road ahead as far as treatment/medical expenses related to that. The neurologist said he will need to have the fracture stabilized before he can even begin to use a wheelchair, which may require surgery. Then there is the cost of the wheelchair itself (I will look into getting one donated possibly); physical therapy/rehabilitation, med costs, recheck costs, etc. He will have a long road to recovery ahead, and your donations will be put to good use. So many thanks again to each of you! And hugs from Tugger.