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...