When I first noticed that her back legs seemed a little lame, I initially blamed it on the rain. She was having trouble getting up the stairs and I assumed that because her feet were wet she was scared of slipping on the steps.
Wrong! The next day she was worse so I tried to recall my years working at the vet emergency clinic. There are questions you learn to ask depending on the situation when people call in, and I tried desperately to remember what they were. Getting into vet tech mode, I did the following:
1) Checked gum color. Nice and pink. Good.
2) Is she vomiting or having diarrhea? No. Good.
3) Is she eating and drinking? Not eating her own food, but will eat human food when offered. Drinks very little water.
4) Is she dehydrated? Lifted skin up between shoulder blades like a tent and the skin flattened back out instantly. Gums are not tacky. Good.
5) Is she eliminating normally? Yes. Good.
Exhausting my minimal knowledge, I knew it was time to call P-bird. Over the years I have come to rely on my dear vet tech friend. She has been such a calming presence during my many dog crises. She understands how quickly a mama can lose all perspective when it's one of her own.
P-bird had me press on Izzy's abdomen and run two fingers down her spine which resulted in no adverse reactions. I was instructed to keep her comfortable and as still as possible and get her to our vet first thing in the morning.
Dr. Fred diagnosed her with Prolapsed Invertebral Disc Disease. Basically, a disc ruptured which pushed the liquid from the disc onto her spine. This created pressure and caused her pain. She received a shot of Dexamethasone (steroid) and some oral Dex. Today she looks MUCH better. Now our problem will be keeping her still for one week.