February of 2010 brought disaster to Sydney. On a Friday afternoon I came home from work, opened up the garage door and they all came charging out like they do every day when I come home. As they were running around the yard, suddenly Syd was sliding along on the grass like an airplane landing with no wheels. After she stopped sliding, she started rolling (sideways like a pipe) down the slight incline in our front yard. I zoomed over to her and scooped her up and ran her inside...she had no movement of any of her legs (and she was freaking out), only the tail was still working. I plopped her on the couch, finished running all the groceries inside the house, left Jeannie a note and took off to the Vet. It wasn't long before I got a call from Jeannie and I told her what happened, and she was there at the Vet with me soon after. We waited as they did what they could, but this was beyond them. They suggested we get her down to Ventura (about 90 miles) to the awesome Veterinary Medical Surgical Group (VMSG), which is basically a VERY high-end emergency room/hospital for pets.
So, we loaded up Syd and took off, getting down there about 9pm. Our Vet had called ahead and they literally came running out with a gurney and took her inside, just like a people emergency room. After getting all our information, the night-duty Vet's preliminary assessment was they needed a Cat Scan (they have their own machine) the following morning to confirm what they suspected, which was a burst neck disk, causing the paralysis. If this was they case, she would already be sedated and they would be ready for immediate surgery to remove the pressure on the spinal cord. We said it sounds good, and being as there was nothing further we could do, came home to await the phone call. Early the next morning we got the call, their prognosis was confirmed and she was prepped and ready, just needing our go-ahead which we gave. We now anxiously waited, knowing she was in a rather complex surgery to remove debris and relieve stress on her spinal cord. A few hours later we got the call that she had come out of surgery and was doing well in recovery. She was expected to be in their ICU for about a week before we could bring her home. She still had no motion in any of her legs, but her tail was spinning like a propeller whenever anybody came near her.
My niece Vicki kindly went to visit Syd while she was in the hospital (it was a 75 mile drive for us, so weekday visits were pretty much out of question so she offered to go sit with her for a bit...here is Syd outside in the grass on a blanket. She has a large bandage on her neck covering the cut and also stabilizing her entire neck (which also skrunches up her neck and head-skin and makes her face seem very serious, which it's not...she's actually super-cheerful). The surgery went in from the front, to do that they moved aside all the important stuff (like her throat, and her aorta and such) to get to the spinal cord where they removed the debris from the burst disc (leaving what was left of the disc in place, it wasn't all gone), and then they 'dremeled' out an area around the spinal cord where it was damaged to relieve the pressure from swelling, which should result in a good recovery of motion in time.
I'm off to Sunnyvale for a month of work tomorrow. It's Monday, Memorial day as I type and post. Hopefully the holiday has given you time to reflect on our lives, and how very fortunate we are to live here in the good ol' USA, and the price that was paid by our soldiers throughout our country's history for us to enjoy the freedoms that we do.
Happy Memorial Day and THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to all the fallen and wounded soldiers and their families!