What's the Dog-nosis?

Recently, Lucky, Shih Tzu Dad and I took a trip to visit my sister. Lucky enjoyed having a brand new yard to sniff and pee on and also having more people to give him belly wubs and treats. It wasn't until the last day before we were scheduled to leave that Lucky started feeling bad.

It started around lunchtime. Shih Tzu Dad was petting Lucky's back when Lucky let out a yelp. Shih Tzu Dad carefully ran his hand along his spine again and when he got to Lucky's neck/shoulder area, he yelped again. At first I thought he might be sore, we had done a fair amount of walking at a farm the day before. We made sure he rested the remainder of the day. He walked around a little slower than usual and didn't eat as much but you could pick him up without any problems.

The next morning, when we were set to head home, it was worse. You couldn't touch him let alone pick him up. When he tried to walk, he yelped. Even if he was sitting still, and you walked by him and moved the floor, he yelped. I called the vet immediately to make an appointment for as soon as possible. We managed to get him in his travel crate and carried him around in there instead of trying to pick him up again.

When we got to the vet, they examined him and said that it seemed as though he had a slipped or ruptured disc in his spine. I went over and over in my head when that could have happened. Did he jump off the couch and land wrong? Trip in a hole or on a rock at the farm? The vet referred us immediately to a surgeon who was able to see us on an emergency status in between appointments.

When we got to the surgeon, they confirmed what the vet had said, they thought it was a ruptured disc as well. We scheduled the surgery for that day and we left our little buddy in very capable hands.

The surgeon called not long after I got home. He said when they did the pre-surgery dye test to find which disc it was, they didn't find anything wrong with any disc anywhere in his neck or spine. He said there was another explanation for hypersensitivity and pain in the spine. It could be meningitis and that they had ordered the test and blood work to confirm. Lucky would need to stay overnight in the hospital until they got the results.

We heard the next day that it was in fact meningitis. They were not sure what caused it, as there are many possible sources, ranging from an ear infection (which are common in floppy eared dogs) to a tick bite. They sent off more blood work to test for the cause. They had a series of medications to give Lucky so he had to stay in the hospital one more night.

We were able to pick him up the next afternoon. They brought him out to us and he was very drowsy from all the medication and had many shaved spots where our poor baby had to have all his medications and tests done. The veterinary assistant who had looked after Lucky said he was doing better from yesterday and that he had even eaten part of her turkey sandwich. She claimed she hadn't wanted it all anyway but we all know what happened. Even loopy from drugs, Lucky can still charm poultry away from any one with that adorable face!

They sent us home with a barrage of medicines to give him over the next two weeks; the end of which he will need to go back for a check-up.

We haven't heard back yet on the possible cause of the meningitis but over the past few days Lucky is looking and acting more and more like himself. He's been a bit wobbly and is learning to walk all over again. His appetite is back and his tail is wagging! Hopefully he continues to improve and we get a good report from the vet on his check-up day.


  1. You poor thing! We are sending you POTP and hope that you make a full recovery and start feeling better soon.
    Wallace and Samuel

  2. Hope Lucky continues to improve and make a FULL recovery.

  3. What a great vet. So glad you are ok and on the med we hug u and send wuv. Hug.