Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Zane visits NC State Vet School

Zane had a rare treat on Friday. He made a guest appearance at a seminar on prostethics and orthotics for a class of up and coming vet students at NC State Vet School in Raleigh. He loved all the attention from the students. He enjoyed trotting around the lecture hall, up and down the stairs, and in and out of the rows of seats. Jeff Collins, of Canada, makes all types of prosthetics to help dogs with disabilities live the best life possible. He demonstrated his equipment to the students and used Zane to model a neck brace for dogs with spinal problems. He took measurements of Zane and consulted with 3 neurosurgeons and an orthopedic surgeon to get input on the angling of the brace. Zane seemed unaffected wearing the brace. He appeared to be more comfortable in it than his traditional cotton and tape wrapped brace. Now that Jeff is back in Canada, he is busy building the brace that will hopefully further stabilize Zane.

Meanwhile, the prednisone seems to have helped Zane greatly. He is still taking 20mg once daily. I believe that we are to start cutting that back to a half dose very soon. Since we needed to cut off Zane's brace for the fitting on Friday, I decided to try the towel wrap brace. I tri-folded a thick towel and tightly wrapped it around Zane's neck. I used 2 very large and wide buckle style dog collars to hold it in place. On Monday, a friend of mine sewed down the folds of the towel and attached velcro for ease in removal. I have been letting Zane sleep at night without the wrap. Daizy Lu, our foster Rottie, loves the velcro and tries unwrapping Zane all the time. I don't feel that this towel wrap provides as much stability as the wrap that Dr. Durkes puts on the dogs post implants. We should have our new brace this weekend and I will post pictures for the curious.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Riding the rollercoaster

The week has moved on and Zane seems to be doing better with the help of the Prednisone and his neck brace. He is moving a little easier although not nearly as well as he did in the month following the implants. He is back to climbing up on the furniture and getting into trouble in other ways! His rear legs are not in sync with his front so he is back to sideways running and kangaroo hopping.
The prednisone has helped Zane get his appetite back. He lost 3 pounds during his backsliding and wasn't very interested in eating...well at least not his food. He doesn't really love the Science Diet that we feed him to comply with Dr. Durkes advice to keep the calcium down to limit Zane' growth until he turns two. He prefers the Canidae that he used to eat and that Zeke still does eat. I have made a compromise and add about a third of a cup of the Canidae on top of the Science Diet to get Zane started. He is also drinking like crazy and several times this week we have made potty trips outside in the middle of the night. This is not much fun with Zane as he never comes right back in. He likes to go exploring in the dark!

Monday, November 12, 2007

7 Weeks Post Surgery...and backsliding

I haven't been the best blogger lately. I like to write when I have good news to share. I don't like to write about my worries. I've been worrying a lot wonderful sense of intuition has been dead on once again. When I sense doom, I prefer to ignore my intuition and not act on it, hoping that things will pass and maybe this time I will be wrong.
For the past 2 weeks I have been watching Zane and noticing his movements seemed off...just little things about the way his back right leg would jerk out to the side at times, other times he would be slow to rise and appear very stiff. Last weekend, Greg threw me a surprise party for my big 4-0 and I noticed that night how tired Zane appeared. He tried hard to work the crowd but he was tripping and falling again. As the week progressed, Zane started becoming more and more unsteady.
On Thursday, Zane's friend Luke from the rescue came to visit for the weekend. His foster Mom was going out of town so we offered to watch our buddy. Luke came to the rescue as a stray with a severely damaged rear leg/hip. We raised the funds to allow him a second FHO surgery and follow up rehab in an attempt to save his leg. It worked beautifully and now that Dane runs like the wind. He can out run all of my healthy, able bodied dogs any day. Luke was a good distraction for our foster dog, Daizy Lu, as it gave her someone to wrestle with other than Zane. Zane did his best to join in on all the fun and it seemed to wear him down even more.
Friday afternoon I phoned Dr. Durkes to address my concerns. He recommended that we put a neck brace back on Zane and call him Monday morning with a status report. We could not find the neck brace supplies anywhere in and out of town. We tried all the specialty stores and finally settled on using leg wraps made for horses. We created a brace for Zane but knew it was only temporary. He continued to become more unstable. By Sunday evening, he looked worse than before his surgery.
This morning, I called Dr. Durkes at 7:45 (he's an early bird) and he recommended we get Zane on some Prednisone to help reduce the spinal swelling. Thank goodness I have my own pharmacy of vet meds...always a little of this and that on hand. I also called my regular vet to have him help rewrap Zane's neck. By lunchtime, we had Zane back in his fashionable neck brace. He gave him a shot of steroids to help jump start his system. Now we just sit back, wait, and pray that this helps Zane come back around again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

4 Weeks Post Surgery

Zane continues to progress nicely. He really enjoys romping in the backyard. He no longer tires the way he did prior to the surgery. We followed up with Dr. Durkes and will continue to heed his advice regarding Zane's activity level. We are advised to always be careful of activities that could strain Zane's neck. The new tissue growth there will never be as strong as the "original equipment." No more games of tug... guess we won't be giving Zane that 4 foot long rope toy that we had stashed for Christmas. We thought it was so cool since it was Zane size!

Our new foster Daizy Lu has come down with an upper respiratory infection and pneumonia. She is not doing well. It's a challenge to get her to eat, but she does seem to enjoy being spoon fed the good canned food. We use Merrick and Eagle Pack canned foods and all the dogz just go nuts when I open a can. They don't normally get canned food so they are enjoying their spoonfuls whenever Daizy gets fed. Zane actually jumps up and down like a kangaroo when he sees me open a can!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

3 weeks Post Surgery

Great News! On Monday, I phoned Dr. Durkes for our 3 week follow up call. He felt that Zane was stable enough for us to remove his neck brace. He was pleased to hear that Zane was doing things we had never seen him do before and that his gait has continued to improve. I thought that Zane would be running around like a nut case once I took it off but he opted for a nap instead. It must have felt odd to him.

By the afternoon, Zane was back to stirring up trouble. He has really taken to our new foster dog, Daizy Lu, the Rottweiler. She loves him too and can often be seen licking his mouth and grooming his ears. We try to keep a close eye on their playtime as we don't want Zane to overuse his neck muscles while they continue to heal. I can't help but wonder whether or not Zane is actually aware that he has more control of his body now. He seems to just go about his day business as usual!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2 weeks and then some....

I've fallen a little behind on the updates because my schedule has been so busy lately. So here is a run down on what's been going on this past week.


Zane had his first public showing since his Gold Bead Implant Surgery. We had an adoption event at our local Petco and Zane came out to greet the visitors and tell them about Rescue. I think he enjoyed his time for the first hour but then was ready to go. Like Mom, he has limited patience for social events. We hung in there together and vowed never to stay so long in the future. While Zane loves to greet people of all ages, he clearly gets tired of all the commotion. At times, he would just charge towards the door to make a break- a-way for the van. It was fun to see his Dane friend Luke who has stayed at our home in the past. We helped raise money for Luke to have hip surgery #2 to repair a bad break from his running-as-a-stray days. Soon they will both be able to play together. Zane also enjoyed hanging with his Dane friend Itsy from the Rescue. They chatted about old times and marveled at how much taller Zane is now and how much wider Itsy is now. Once Zane made it home, he crashed on my bed for a good long nap.


Zane stayed home today while I headed to the Rescue to help with Open House. It was another super hot day out in the blazing sun. Where is Fall? Many people came out to visit with the Danes and their friends. Their applications will be reviewed and hopefully more dogs will be finding new homes by the next open house. Several of our rescue dogs left for their new furever homes. Always a blessing to see them get new homes!


Impromptu road trip to Augusta, Georgia. My rescue friend Renee joined me on a journey to the Dog Pound to check out a Dane mix in need of rescue. The dog turned out to not be Dane. We selected six dogs to bring back to the rescue. This shelter has an 80% euthanasia rate. That means that for every 10 dogs that walk in to the shelter, only 2 actually get to walk back out. They haul a truckload of dead dogs and cats to the landfill every day. Horrifying. We chose dogs that would have been euthed the following morning. Not a single dog that we brought back was a Great Dane but each one is still precious.


A day of recovery! The whole pack enjoyed a lazy day together. We played ball, drank from the communal water bucket, and caught up on snuggle time.


Another road trip! This time it's to Mountain City, Tn. A young Dane had been owner dropped off at a rural animal shelter, along with two other dogs. One of the dogs was put to sleep the day before for food aggression (like that's not fixable?). The Rottie would be next as he was limping. Tough decision here...all time high number of dogs at the Rescue (with 6 new ones that were not Danes) and Rescue owners reluctant to take a Rott....what to do? Can you leave a dog's companion behind when you know it will surely die? I took the Rottie for a walk to see how friendly it was. It walked by my van and hopped in. Easy enough. I got the Dane next (he has cherry eye) and we headed back to NC. The Rottie was clearly in pain so I dropped her at my vet's to be boarded for the night so he could xray her in the morning. I also needed to buy some time to figure out what to do next.


Yet another road trip! I stayed within the state today as I headed out for a 2+ hour drive. Turned out to be a waste of time as one of the animal control officers released the 2 danes to a different Rescue yesterday. They were holding the dogs for me to pick up and failed to communicate this information to each other. I am frustrated at the waste of time but happy that the dogs are rescued. Spoke to the vet regarding Daizy Lu's limping. Turns out that her paws are all torn up and raw. Every step is painful for her. She will need a month of healing. I brought her home so she could have a soft surface to walk on while I try to place her in a Rottie Rescue. She is getting along well with the rest of the pack. Zane has tried playing with her but I shoo him away because I know she is in so much pain. He actually seems to understand. She is even sleeping on his bed tonight!

Friday, October 5, 2007

11 Days Post Surgery

Zane continues to do well. His ability to keep up with the other two dogs is amazing. The greatest improvement that we still see, is how well Zane can run now. He twists and turns his body and keeps on running. Occasionally, I still see him take a tumble when he is wrestling with Zeke but is it really out of the ordinary? Zeke does somersaults and flying leaps from the top of the furniture and cannonballs into Zane so I think that would take just about any dog off his feet.

He also continues to impress and annoy us with his new found ability to stand up on his back legs to reach things that were formerly out of his reach. He's just getting into all kinds of trouble now! I swear that dog laughs at me anytime I give him a hollering for misbehaving.

Zane is a 120lb puppy, no more no less. Zeke stayed puppyish for a long time when he first came to us. I think he was well over 2 before he stopped getting into things on a regular basis. He still enjoys chewing up a Croc every now and then. Zoe, on the other hand, was an angel from the get go. She was always sweet. We never had any trouble with her chewing up things while we were gone. Even when she was out of commission for her ACL surgeries (2 within a year), she would sweetly chew a bone until she drifted off to sleep.

Not Zane. Chewing bones gets Zane excited to chew other things. We have more chew toys in our house than you could imagine. There are bones lying on the floor of every room. Nothing like flying out of bed in the middle of the night to get a vomiting dog outside and landing on one of those bones. Or there is always the good toe jab you get from inadvertently kicking one as you head back to bed in the dark, after cleaning up the vomit mess because you just weren't quick enough this time.

Many people have recommended Kongs. We've got them too. We have to buy the largest and heaviest because power chewer Zeke blasts through the traditional red ones. Nobody likes the hard black ones. Hand a dog one of those 5 pounders and they give you the fake out. It looks like they are taking it ...until they let it roll out of their mouths and onto your foot!

Chewies are still my best friends. Give a dog a rawhide and you can have 5-7 minutes of blissful peace. Unless you are Zane and your Chewie runs out before your brothers. Then you must get within 12 inches of his face and bark relentlessly until Mom gives you another Chewie. Works every time!

Monday, October 1, 2007

1 Week Milestone

Today marks one week since Zane had his surgery. At the one and three week marks, we check in with Dr. Durkes via phone. He is pleased to hear that Zane is running well and that his back legs are no longer flying out to the side. Zane can also turn around in tight spaces now and doesn't always need to back out of areas like hallways. He can make turns as he is running without having his feet slide out from under him. I haven't seen him fall in days while out in the backyard playing. Zane still tires easily but that is expected to improve over the next couple of weeks.

While we were in Indiana, the Dr. explained to us how to loosen the neck brace if it becomes too tight and causes Zane to have trouble breathing. It has appeared as though the brace has been impeding his airflow so we did cut into it a bit to loosen it. We then retaped the whole thing. At least the brace is all shiny white again...for the night anyways!

Zane was getting into more trouble again today. He took a bunch of boxes from off the dining room table and shredded them all over the living room. Our table is much higher than a standard table; it's counter height. What Zane is doing is actually pretty amazing. He is standing his front legs up on the table to grab the stuff that's piled in the middle to keep it out of his reach. He has enough leg control now to stand up that way. He has always been a counter surfer with just his head but now he's even putting his front feet on the kitchen counter. He thinks it's pretty amusing. For today, so do we! Now tomorrow will be a different story.

I was out of the house quite a bit today. I figured the pack would sleep well as we were over run by teenagers most of yesterday for Jordan's 15th birthday. They had a marathon session of eight player Halo 3 running for most of the day. The dogz didn't think a whole lot of all the noise and seemed a little stressed by the end of the day. They crashed even before I left the house this morning to go on a rescue run down in SC. Apparently it was Brindle Day as I had the honor of pulling not one but two beautiful female brindle Great Danes out of animal controls in both North and South Carolina. Tonight, I just got word that we will be taking in another female brindle Great Dane that is being owner surrendered to the Rescue. We don't often see brindles at the Rescue but when we do, they always come in threes! Two in one day seems to be a first. Zane was part of a round of three brindles that were surrendered to the rescue last spring. Lately we have had such a run on black Danes that it's nice to get a little color variety in for fall! I love being able to help these sweet dogs get placed into new homes. Here's a link to the website for the Rescue. I will add pictures of the new girls on Tuesday. Their names are Sara and Lady and they will be on pages 6 and 7 of the adoptable dogs.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Day 5 Post Surgery

Zane is clearly feeling much better today. We know this because he is driving everybody crazy again with his "insane Zane" antics. Apparently, he needs to make up for lost time and seems to be in over-drive today. My Crape Myrtle took another Dane hit today. Zane greeted me with yet another leafy branch that he had stripped from my favorite tree. He has also been taunting poor Zoe all afternoon...I think she had been enjoying her respite from his constant play attacks.
Zane started the morning out early by getting up with the other two in time for breakfast (6am). As per Dr. Durkes suggestion, we have switched Zane's food. He needs to be on a very low calcium food with low to moderate protein for the next year while his body continues to grow. Too much calcium in his food will allow a build up in his spinal column that could impinge the free movement of his spinal cord. All the dogs have been eating a very high quality holistic food for the past six months. Unfortunately, I have had to switch them to a lower quality food to meet these new requirements.
Zoe also has been gaining weight on the super premium food and we need to get her on a better weight control regimine. She has had two ACL surgeries and is just not fond of running around like the boys. It's really important that we keep her weight in check to not over burden her now arthritic knees.
Hopefully we have seen an end to Zane's fever. He appears to be responding to the change in antibiotic. He still tires very easily and we are encouraging him to not over do it too soon!

*** Editor's Note: Please be certain to breeze through the blog to get an idea as to how Zane has progressed. Gold Bead Implants were not successful in treating Zane's symptoms and we pursued surgical options with very good results. ***

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Day 3 Post Surgery

Zane is definitely not himself today. He has difficulty getting up and moving. He felt very warm, so I took his temperature and he is running a fever. I sent out a quick email to Dr. Durkes and he suggested that we change Zane's antibiotic and monitor him. According to Dr. Durkes, this is not normal to be so lethargic and listless. I already switched his antibiotic and will be making a stop in at our regular vets office later this morning.

Zeke decided to get Zane moving and initiated a game of chase in the house. Up and over the furniture Zeke went until Zane got into the game. Then they took it outside, crashing through the screen door and out onto the deck. Zane even chased Zoe through the yard. One thing was sure hard to miss, Zane is running much better! He could run faster and smoother and caught Zoe off guard when she couldn't out run him!

Later today...

Zane had a visit with his regular vet, Dr DeQuick of Lakewood Veterinary Hospital. He gave Zane sub-cutaneous fluids and we saw an immediate improvement. I also came home with ice packs for him to lay on to help bring his fever down. Zane was on Baytril (an antibiotic) which has a generic equivalent called Cipro. In the past, when Zane had an upper respiratory infection, he did not do well on Cipro and needed to use a different antibiotic called SMZ. I hadn't connected that the two drugs were nearly the same. Hopefully this switch to SMZ will have him feeling better in no time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 2 Post Surgery

Zane has been very sleepy today. He is not his usual self. I am concerned that he seems depressed.
He has alternated between laying on his mattress out on the deck and inside on the couch. Every now and then he gets a little energy and trots around the backyard. He seems to be moving more smoothly already.

Zane will only eat if I add canned food to his dry. He just isn't very interested in food right now. He hasn't even tried swiping anything off the counters all day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day 1 Post Surgery

Zane was pretty groggy for most of the evening after his surgery. He took a walk around the outside of the hotel and then settled down for another long nap. He woke up hungry and gobbled down a small bowl of food.
Getting up from a lying down position is a real challenge for Zane. He needs to shift his weight differently now as a result of the neck brace. If we try to help him, he just gives up and puts his head back down. We find it's best to just let him figure it out on his own.

This morning he was eager to head outside for a walk and even trotted for a bit. He ate his usual amount of dry food. I also gave him some canned food to get him started. I could tell he was feeling more like himself when I caught him swiping Greg's donut off the table. He didn't get too much of it, just some frosting, so I saved it for DH (dear husband)to eat later. Anything at nose height is fair game to Zane!
Yesterday, we made arrangements with Dr. Durkes to stop by this morning before heading out of town. We paid him a quick early morning visit. Zane was happy to see him and gave him the usual leans that Great Danes are so famous for. Dr. Durkes seems to think Zane is off to a good start and is pleased with his good disposition.

We all survived the grueling 11 hour drive back home. At times, Zane was clearly uncomfortable. I propped him up with pillows whenever possible. I even sat in the back of the van sometimes to hold his head up. Zoe and Zeke were good sports about letting him have the back seat for most of the ride. Once home, Zane enjoyed pooping to his hearts content all over the backyard...must have been such a relief! Zeke was happy to be reunited with his favorite tennis ball. Zoe was just happy to eat dinner...she's such a good girl!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Zane's Big Day

Zoe's tummy timer, the one that says it's time to eat now, went off a little early this morning. She greeted us in bed with her usual onsalught of kisses and got us all moving after a very restless night.

Zane needs to be at Dr. Durkes by 8 am and with an empty tummy. He has not done his business yet as he hates to potty while on a leash. As you can imagine, this creates a problem for us when we are traveling. Make mental note to forewarn Dr. Durkes that Zane is rather full.

Dr. Durkes spent plenty of time explaining the procedure while examining Zane. He answered all our questions and the ones we didn't think to ask.

We left the office and went off to explore the little town of Marion, Indiana. We found a great pet store and stocked up on treats, bones, and toys for the pack. Zeke even got a new jacket...he hates to get wet but will gladly take a walk in the rain if he is wearing a jacket.

We noticed that wherever we went, people knew about Dr. Durkes! Just mentioning that we were only in town for the day was enough of a tip off for people to question us and ask if we were here to see Dr. Durkes. He is clearly a big fish in a small pond (make that a very small pond).

We arrived back at the office just before 1pm. Zane walked right into the room on his own. His wild happy tail let us know that he was glad we were back for him!

Here's the scoop:

  • Zane came out of the procedure and anesthesia very well. Upon waking, he stood up on his own. This is a positive sign as Dr. Durkes said that only half the dogs willingly get up on their own.
  • Zane's neck is wrapped from just behind his ears to where his neck meets his shoulders.
  • The neck brace is very firm but is crucial to good healing after the implants.
  • We were instructed in how to loosen the brace should it become too tight.
  • Don't get it wet! Did I mention how much Zane loves water?
  • We could see plenty of holes where the beads were implanted.
  • Zane has over 300 of these pinhead - sized gold beads in his neck.
  • Normal exercise is fine. No excessive jumping. No playing that involves twisting of the head or neck. No rough housing with the other dogs....Zeke, that means you.
  • Antibiotic for 12 days to protect against any bacteria.
  • Watch for the improvements.

Dr. Durkes feels that Zane has the potential to make good progress. Zane is one of the youngest Danes that he has treated. He feels that we have caught this early enough that Zane should lead a long healthy life. Heavy sigh

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Road trip

Today we set off on our 11 hour journey to Indiana. One wrong turn by Greg (dh) set us back an hour and a half, making the total trip time 12 1/2 hours! We are so lucky to have dogs that travel well. The entire Z pack came along... Zoe, a 3 year old Chocolate Lab and Zeke, a 3 year old German Shorthaired Pointer.

Comfort Suites offers a special rate for out of towners coming to see Dr. Durkes. They welcome dogs and don't charge extra fees. We had a beautiful room with 2 beds and a couch. As usual, we covered all the furniture with sheets to minimize dog hair being left behind. Zoe was happy to sleep on the couch and the boys took over the beds.

We drove the pack over to a beautiful park just up the street. Everybody burned off some excess energy on the walking trails. Then back to the hotel to get some sleep before the big day.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Zane's MRI showed clearly that he has Wobbler's Syndrome. I wondered whether it was a necessary expense to diagnose Wobbler's in Zane. When I sent Zane's spinal xrays out to Dr. Durkes, the specialist in Gold Bead Implants, he wrote back that the xrays were inconclusive. This was a first for him, he can almost always diagnose Wobbler's by viewing xrays and looking for certain changes in the vertebrae. Not my dog, however.

I scheduled an MRI immediately to put the issue to rest. The staff at the Iams Imaging Center in Raleigh, NC (at NC State vet school) were awesome! They let me stay with Zane and keep him comfortable while he received his anesthesia. They called exactly an hour later for me to come into the recovery room while he woke back up. The doctor treated Zane as though he were my valued child and for that I am so greatful.

The test cost $1600 and my neurologist had the results the very next morning. I would definitely recommend going this route if there is any doubt as to the diagnosis.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What is Wobbler's Syndrome anyway?

Wobbler's Syndrome is a neurological disorder that affects primarily Great Danes and Dobermans. Other breeds can be affected by it but it predominantly shows up in Danes and Dobies. Signs of Wobbler's often show in the early "growing" years with Danes and in the middle years with Dobies.

Clinical definitions and the textbook signs to look for didn't always measure up with the symptoms that Zane was exhibiting.

In Zane, here's what Wobbler's looks like:

  • Walks with his head down....generally in line with his back, doesn't carry his head high and proud.

  • Rear legs don't move in sync with his front legs and looks very clumsy. When running, it looks like his back legs aren't keeping up with the front legs. He will use a jumping motion with the back legs to keep up with the front.

  • Tips over easily. Poor center of gravity. Loses balance while running and falls flat on his side.

  • Knuckling over with paws on any of his legs.

  • Difficulty coordinating his motions when tired. Has trouble getting in the van once he is tired. It's as if he doesn't know which foot to move next.

  • Incomplete head shakes. He does an abbreviated form of head and body shaking. He doesn't get a full ear flop going. He can't shake the water off after a bath or dip in the doggie pool.

  • Ineffective scratching....just can't get his leg to connect with that itch.

  • Holds head at a tilt.

  • Toenails are angled outward and worn down from dragging on the ground when he is knuckling over. They are hardly ever long enough to trim.

In the midst of all the symptoms, Zane still runs around and plays like any other dog. He gets into mischief, by digging up my plants and trees. He loves to dig holes under the deck and lay in the fresh wet clay. He will play chase the Pointer with the ball and terrorize the Lab looking for bunnies in the woods. Counter surfing is Zane's specialty and he always knows when we have, by accident, left something within his reach. His favorite grab was a huge apple pie that flipped over on the way down to the floor. Bad dog!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


This is not the beginning of my journey with Zane towards those ever so elusive Gold Bead Implants. We have been on this journey since last April when I first researched treatment options for dogs with Wobbler's Syndrome.
I met Zane back in the middle of April. He was a tall handsome fellow with a beautiful dark face and the most expressive eyes that I have ever seen. I found his unusual way of walking me while holding my hand in his mouth rather endearing.
Zane is a beautiful Great Dane puppy that suffered from some unfortunate circumstances in life that landed him at Great Dane Rescue of the Carolinas at a mere seven months of age. I started volunteering there in April, just eight weeks after his arrival. I knew something was not right about this dog as he could not walk but a few steps without looking as though he might tip over. I began researching possible reasons for his problems. Everything pointed to Wobbler's Syndrome. The treatment options and the long term outcome for dogs affected by this disease are not great. Traditional surgery to correct the spinal problems can cost anywhere from $3000- $5000 and up depending on the severity. The risks that accompany the surgery are also high...paralysis being the most frightening.
As I searched the internet, I came upon stories of other dogs that had Gold Bead Implant surgery to slow the progression of Wobbler's. I saw hope for this sweet dog.
The GBI surgery also comes with a high price tag, one that the Rescue can not easily afford. By Mother's Day, I knew what I needed to do. Zane would just have to come home with me while I raised the money and pursued the medical treatments necessary to make him healthy again. Zane became our first foster just two days after Mother's Day.
We spent the summer undergoing acupuncture treatments, fighting a nasty bout of dog flu, spinal xrays, and testing for a variety of other diseases. Although everything pointed to Wobbler's, we didn't have anything definitive to prove it. Most recently we met with a neurologist who also saw clear signs of Wobbler's. The only way to know for sure, however, would be to do a MRI. So we drove out to NC State for this ever so expensive test ($1600).
We now have our answers...