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Janet, Rikky's Mom
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I haven't posted here in a long while. We have undergone a move this year and in January our Havanese Rikky started having problems which just esculated. My husband has encouraged me to post about our experience with Rikky. Prayerfully, noone will ever have to go through this.

Rikky was a very active little guy until January at the age of one year. He started holding up and limping on his right front leg. We immediately took him to the vet. Xrays and bloodwork were done and a patella check. Nothing was found and he didn't seem to experience pain. We were given antibiotics. The problem got worse. He finally stopped running, jumping, etc. The vet continued with medications. In March we moved and continued Rikky's care with a new vet. New xrays were taken. Again, nothing was found on exam and Rikky didn't experience any pain. By this time, he could hardly walk on his front leg and then his back left leg started to give out on him. He was diagnosed with "growing pains" and given pain meds. He would have some intermittent good days but was never back to his "young self". In May, he started experiencing pain and would cry out when anyone came around him or would lift him. Back to the vet for more xrays. Still nothing was found. On June 10th Rikky was so bad that he could hardly stand on his back legs and would cry in pain until I gave him pain meds. These even stopped working by that Sunday when we checked him in at Carolina Vet. Specialists as an emergency patient. Our regular vet finally gave a referral for him when she saw what condition he was in. It was also suggested that if we didn't want to proceed, we could have him put down. There was no way my husband or I would have done this without giving him all the chances that were available. Monday through Tuesday of last week Rikky underwent a spinal tap, MRI and surgery to remove a mass which at that time he thought was an abcess. After the surgery, the neurologist feared it was cancer. After having the longest week of my life, the results came back yesterday and the results were negative for cancer. Rikky, however, had a bone malformation which also could have been caused by an infection. The report called it hypertrophy of one of the short ligaments of the vertebral column which caused compression on his spinal cord and spinal nerves. However, they said it was very rare to see this occur where it did in a young dog and suggested the underlying cause could have been an infection. I still have alot of questions for the neurologist when we see him next to fully understand how this can happen.

We were able to bring Rikky home yesterday after a week in the hospital. The neurologist feels good about the chances of complete recovery but he is a very sick havanese at this time. The surgery was very invasive and it will take a long while for his spinal column and muscles to heal. He is on 4 different meds and sleeps most of the time. He will be on very restricted activity for at least 4 weeks and may have to have physical therapy. He can barely stand on his back legs. I carry him out for potty breaks.

I wish now that we had insisted on a referral to a specialist before he became so ill. He would have still had to under the tests and surgery, but his condition wouldn't have progressed to all the pain he had to endure. I don't know if he will ever get back to his normal self. Right now, I just pray for his healing and thank God he is still with us. His condition is fragile but he is at home where he feels more comfortable and his his loved ones around.
 

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I don't know what to say, except that I will pray for your little one and feel for what you are going through. Keep us posted on his progress.

Lucile
 

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Dave T
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10,876 Posts
Janet, my prayers are with you. This is really sad. Hope this turns around for all of you. Hugs and woofs Dave and Molly.
 

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How scary. Thank goodness you found out what it was. Keeping you and Rikky in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us posted on how he does.
 

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Oh my - that sweet boy. so Sad that he had to go thru all of that - but so lucky to have you guys who are trying your best got get him well. I wish you guys luck!! Give that sweet boy a kiss from us!!
 

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Teresita
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1,534 Posts
Ohh my... I am so sorry. I hope he recovers nicely. We will pray for him. Please, keep us posted on his progress. Good luck. :)
 

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I'm sitting here crying for you and for your little boy. How frustrating it has to have been for you to get misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. I will not only send prayers out on your and Rikky's behalf. I will send him healing later tonight when I have time to really concentrate on it. God bless you all in this terrible time.

Please stay with us and share how he is doing.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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26,658 Posts
I'm so sorry for both Rikky and you! I hope this is the end, and his recovery is as quick and uneventful as possible. What an ordeal you have all been through!
 

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I'm so sorry that poor Ricky is going thru this. He's so licky to have you to nurse him back to health. I know how scary these things can be. I'm praying for his contiuned recovery.
 

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Janet,

What an ordeal this has been and now we just pray and hope he will recover more quickly than you expect. You'll have many prayers sent your way.

Shirley
 

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Julie
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1,441 Posts
I'm so sorry for Rikky and your family. I'm glad it was finally figured out and will pray for his complete recovery.

He's lucky to have you taking such good care of him.
 

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Linda
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5,409 Posts
Ricky is so blessed to have both you and your dh. I know you must be relieved to finally have a reason for all of Ricky's pain. The healing begins for your family. I hope Ricky starts to feel better soon.
 

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LINDA
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6,496 Posts
Janet,
I am so sorry to hear about Rikky. He has been through way too much his first year. I can only pray, life will get a bit easier for him...Kisses and hugs from his furpals.
 

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The poor little guy. My heart breaks for him. Here's hoping for a quick and uneventful recovery and hopefully he'll be back to his old self real soon.
 

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Stuey and Sadie
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216 Posts
Janet, thank you for sharing your pain with us so that we can learn from it. I have so appreciated that on this forum. I will most certainly pray that the God of all healing will heal Rikki. He has answered so many prayers for Sadie.
 

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Janet, Rikky's Mom
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. Rikky has been sleeping most of the day but has managed to lay over on his side for a belly rub when I come into the room. They had to shave his back and most of the hair on his sides. What was left was all knotted so I trimmed the knots out this evening. he seemed to like that. He has always liked to be groomed. No one could give me an answer as to how long it would take for his spine to heal or if he'll get full use of his back legs. It is just hard for me to believe that a limp in his front leg would lead to all of this.
 

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Kathy
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126 Posts
So sorry to hear about Ricky and all you have been through with him. I'd be upset the vet didn't refer him to a specialist sooner. You had no idea of what could be wrong but they should have. Being a physical therapist myself I know how much good it can do and would ask for a referral for Ricky. Maybe when his incisions are fully healed they can start him out in water therapy. Sending prayers your way.
 

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Lumi
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432 Posts
I'm so sorry your both going through all of this. Rickky certainly ended up in a loving home where you did not give up. I cannot believe the vet recommended just having him put to sleep!! Glad you did not give in and I know he will fight this pain!! I'm sending prayers and healing thoughts to you both :hug:
 

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Janet,

With all that Rikki and you and your husband have gone through, it is amazing that you are able to share this terrible nightmare with us. Thank you for doing that. I am praying for a speedy recovery for Rikki and a life free of pain for him. You all deserve it.
 
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