This is the Archive for the ‘Cauda Equina’ Category. It contains all blog posts related to Cauda Equina.

Cory’s Big Walk

April 28th, 2010 1 comment

Yesterday marked the 4th week since Cory’s surgery.  Over these past 4 weeks I have taken him for “little” walks which have not amounted to more than about 50 steps beyond the top of our driveway, just to keep his muscles moving.  But on Sunday Cory and I went for our first real walk through the neighborhood, probably about a mile.  Cory did very well!  He did not lose his balance even once.  Although he still walks on his hind knuckles occasionally, that has improved.  The vet’s assistant says that the knuckle walking is the last thing to go on the road to recovery from this kind of operation, so we are not concerned about it.  Cory drew a crowd of wide-eyed children on our walk, who were fascinated with his shaved back and healing scar.  I let them touch the scar and rub the peach-fuzz that is growing back.  Cory loved the attention, and the kids loved the experience.   We start Cory in hydro-therapy tomorrow afternoon, and are looking forward to his further recovery!

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Video of Cory 3 weeks after Cauda Equina Surgery

April 20th, 2010 2 comments

Here’s the video I promised. It shows Cory moving around and doing some tricks 3 weeks after surgery on his spine for cauda equina syndrome.


Pictures of Cory 3 weeks after Cauda Equina surgery

April 19th, 2010 4 comments

These pictures are of Cory 3 weeks after Cauda Equina surgery. His back was shaved for the surgery and his hair is slowly growing back. But it seems to be growing back very slowly.

cauda equina surgery

cauda equina surgery

cauda equina surgery

cauda equina surgery 2

cauda equina surgery

cauda equina surgery 3

cauda equina surgery

cauda equina surgery 4

Hooray for St. John’s Wort!

April 16th, 2010 1 comment

Cory was depressed and even hesitated for a few moments before deciding to eat his chow Wednesday morning and so I decided to see if St. John’s Wort could help.  I bought it in pill form, 300 mgs per pill.  I gave him his first pill with his Wednesday evening meal, and within 30 minutes I could see that he had his sparkle back.  He brought a toy to me and wanted to play.  Since then, I have been giving him one pill in the morning and one in the evening, and to my delight it is continuing to help him.  When I got home last night I took him outside to walk around in our yard.  He was slow but willing, bless his heart.  I have a call in to the lady that runs the hydrotherapy spa to request that if she gets any cancellations between now and April 29th, (Cory’s first scheduled session), to call me so I can get him in sooner.  I am concerned because he doesn’t seem to move about during the day (when we are at work), and his hind-end muscles are getting weak to the point of shaking while he is standing.   A heartfelt thank you to all of Cory’s fans for your prayers and good wishes!  I have made a commitment to myself (and to you!) to get the writing part of the book done by the end of this month, so as to get it to the people who have so graciously agreed to read and edit it by the first part of May.

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Quick check-in and some pictures of Cory

April 14th, 2010 3 comments

Hi everyone! I spoke with Sandy today, who told me that Cory got his stitches out yesterday, but that he’s having some unusual symptoms which may or may not be related to the surgery. She said that he wasn’t very excited about breakfast this morning, and even thought about it for a while before actually eating. This is very unlike Cory. Fortunately, once he decided to eat, he gobbled it up just like always.

She described his mood thereafter as somber and seemingly wanting to be left alone. He has been napping in the guest bedroom recently, which is rare for him, considering that he usually loves to be wherever everyone else is. I suggested that his brain chemistry may be a little off (he may be feeling symptoms of depression) due to all the stress he’s been going through, so I wondered aloud if there is a “happy pill” for dogs.

A light bulb went on in Sandy’s head and she went to the store and bought some St. John’s Wort, which purportedly is best known for it’s antianxiety effects, but can also be used as a pain reliever in conditions such as intervertebral disk disease. We’ll do a test run with it and keep you all informed on whether or not it works.

Now, just for fun, here are some more pictures from Cory’s glory days =)

Cory swimming

Cory swimming

Cory Swimming 2

Cory Swimming at Lake Roesiger

Cory is showing improvement

April 9th, 2010 4 comments

Since I don’t live at home with Cory, I rely on updates from Jay and Sandy for how he’s doing post-surgery. Sandy told me that she has begun taking Cory on mini-walks to help strengthen the muscles in his hind end. She sounded absolutely thrilled over the phone as she explained to me how she took Cory up a rather steep hill and back down several times, as well as had him take a single step up and down, and he was able to do it all without any apparent pain or difficulty.

Though his front shoulder arthritis is not related to the surgery, Sandy told me that he didn’t have any apparent pain in his front shoulder during the exercise. We hope that his pain medications are starting to kick in for him so he can enjoy being pain-free =)

Sandy did mention that today she had him performing some exercises taking steps one at a time, and on one of his attempts, he lost his balance. So, progress is going to be slow, as expected, but nonetheless he is showing great progress.

More soon!

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Video of Cory after spine surgery caused by Cauda Equina Syndrome

April 6th, 2010 4 comments

Here’s that video I promised. It shows Cory on his first day back home after spine surgery for a herniated disc caused by Cauda Equina Syndrome.

You can see him limping on his front legs, which is caused by arthritis and is unrelated to the surgery. Before the surgery, Cory was losing control of his hind legs due to the herniated disc pinching off the nerve in his spine. His hind end is still a little wobbly, as you’ll see in this video, but it’s a vast improvement over what it used to be. Furthermore, the doctor says that it’ll take 4 weeks for the benefits of the surgery to really kick in, since there is still a ton of swelling in his spine from the surgery.

The really big wow factor about this video is that just 24 hours earlier, we visited Cory at the hospital, and he was unable to move any part of his body except his eyes. We were all horrified by that experience, and expecting the worst when we picked him up from the hospital. You can imagine our surprise and delight when Cory was bright-eyed, cheerful, and mobile when we picked him up.


There’s No Place Like Home

April 5th, 2010 1 comment

The bare place on his back makes Cory get cold easily, so I keep him comfortable with this blanket.  The kitty likes to share it with Cory.

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Pictures from Cory’s return home

April 2nd, 2010 4 comments

I don’t even know where to begin… Cory’s return home last night was nothing short of shocking for myself, Jay, and Sandy. Cory wasn’t the vegetable that we had all experienced in the previous two days… his turnaround was seemingly miraculous to us all.

He was Cory. Our Cory.

Perky, excited, happy, engaging, and alive.

That’s how he was. How he went from being unable to even move his body to back to his old self completely blew us away. We knew he was a fighter, but his recovery was absolutely amazing.

We brought him home with a pair of support “shorts” that the doctor gave us to support his hind end while he recovers from surgery. He isn’t supposed to be allowed to walk on non-carpeted surfaces because he might slip and fall, which could reinjure his spine while it recovers from surgery.

Here are some pictures of the shorts:

Cory in shorts

Cory in shorts

Cory in shorts

Cory's shorts

Cory in shorts

Another shot

After about 10 minutes, we took his shorts off and allowed him to walk freely (as he was obviously becoming quite annoyed by the fact that we had to support him wherever he wanted to go). We got him onto the carpet and watched him as he took a few wobbly steps.

We took turns sitting at either side of the room and calling him to us, rewarding him with treats when he reached us. This was exactly how we trained him to come when called as a puppy.

Of course, he loved the game, and after a few rounds he noticeably improved his coordination. He had trouble turning around and backing up, but the doctor told us that the benefits of the surgery should become quite apparent after 4 weeks, when the swelling and inflamation in his spine has disappeared.

After a while, he wanted to lay down, but this posed quite a problem for him. He tried to lay down, but was obviously feeling a little unwieldy in his hind end, so he would stop and just stand back up. We watched him eagerly as he tried a few more times to lay down, being unsuccessful. Sandy tried to help him physically, but that only confused him and made him less willing to try.

After a few more attempts, he got a great idea: he leaned up against the couch while he lowered himself down to the laying position. We thought that was quite smart of him =)

Here’s our happy boy enjoying his first relaxing moments back home. Doesn’t he look happy?

Cory grinning

Cory grinning

home at last

Home at last

I also shot a video of Cory so you can see his movement. I’ll post it later… all for now!

Cory to be released from the hospital today!

April 1st, 2010 1 comment

Great news! I just heard from Sandy, who just heard from the hospital that Cory’s doctor has evaluated him and cleared him for release from the hospital today. We plan to pick him up after work and bring him home tonight.

We are expecting that he’ll need a lot of extra-special care and attention while he heals from surgery, and we are ready to give him whatever he needs. Amelia (Cory’s nurse) has said that he’s eating his food now with a ravenous appetite, gobbling food up “in less than 2 seconds.” That’s a far cry from what any of us witnessed during our visits with him at the hospital, but it sure sounds like our Cory. That news has greatly heartened us all and we can’t wait to bring him back home.

I’ll have pictures and more news later, after we bring him home.

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