Friday, March 31, 2006

Itemized Expenses

Here's a report for expenses incurred during our trip:

Veterinary Expenses


Baytril Chew Tablets

Office Visit-Comprehensive70.00
Anestesia - Gen Inhalant75.00
Anestesia - Extended210.00
Gold Implant - Spondylosis550.00
Gold Implant - Wobblers750.00
GOLD Hospital50.00

Travel Expenses

*Gas, 1.5 tanks @ $2.80/gal

*Misc trips for snacks and supplies100.00

* Approximate costs

This will be updated as I remember new things, I am sure that I am forgetting something.

Home Again

We're finally home from our journey. The first thing the boys and I did was to lay down and take a two hour nap! :)

Mickey is resting comfortably on his spot on the couch.

Mickey is happy to be home!

Mickey is still showing much more steadiness on his feet then before his procedure. He hasn't pooped yet, I wish he would, I think he may be a little uncomfortable with the neck wrap.

He's barking at noises from the wind outside, so he must be feeling OK.

I'll post more with news on his recovery and any changes I see that would be related to the Gold Beads. Thanks again to all who have been following Mick's story.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mickey's friends Deco and Lance send get-well wishes too! (We love you guys, thank you!!!)

Mickey and his get-well ducky from Tracymom

How is he NOW?

I cannot believe how well Mickey is doing. There is some minor swelling on his back below his neck, but other then that everything looks good. We were given some Baytril (sp?) to keep infection at bay since he did bleed so much during the procedure.

Already he seems to have better footing, he's able to go up and down curbs and get off the bed with little if no help.

Right now he's passed out on the floor, I think the bed is a little too mushy for him right now.

Java's been a great big brother, he's been along for the whole thing. DH and I took Java over to visit his breeder during Mick's procedure, she lives in the next town over. He got to visit with his Mom, Sister and half sister. I can tell you, he was in heaven with all those girls around!

Java and his Mommy

Java's sister Noel - yes, the jowles do run in the family!

Surgery and After

My little boy pulled through like a trooper! What an exhausting day we have had.

To summarize the day, we got to the hospital at 8:00, they had us in a room by 8:30. Micky has been really wobbly since we got to Marion, and fell about three times before we got him in the building. It's easy to know you're doing the right thing when that happens, I knew he could not go on for much longer down that path.

I expected Mickey to instantly dislike Dr. Durkes like he does with most male vets, but amazingly he was calm and tolerant of his touches. Dr. Durkes felt up and down his neck and spine while feeling the pulse in his own temple. Unfortunately, they don't allow people to view the procedure anymore, Dr. Durkes felt like too many dogs were having to come back for another treatment, I think it interferes with his concentration.

They wheeled a hydrolic table into the room and DH and I lifted Mickey onto it, he was given a sedative and within 10 seconds was already falling to sleep. I begrudgingly let my baby go and turned him over to the very competent hands of Dr. Durkes and his staff.

Western Ave Animal Hospital

Finally at 1:00 we went back to pick Mickey up, literally, we had to pick him up. He decided that he wasn't going to use his legs. In order to get him to the car we had to put him back on the hydrolic table and wheel him out, I had no idea how we were going to get him from the car to the hotel room, but I was prepared to sleep in the car with him until he was ready!

It was quite a shock to see Mickey, he had been shaved from the back of his head to the base of his tail. Micky has spondylitis in addition to wobblers, so Dr. Durkes did the procedures for both conditions. Based on the amount and color of the blood, Dr. Durkes assessed that 60% of the problems Mickey had with movement are due to his back, not the wobblers. According to the doctor, we should expect to see improvement with the back issues in a week, and improvements with the wobblers in about three. :)

I would love to give more information to anyone who wants it, so if there are any questions out there please leave them in the comments section and I will answer as best I can.

A very groggy Mickerson

Implant sites on shoulders - each one of those dots is where the needle was inserted to inject the beads.

Mickey's back - I haven't counted the dots, but I am sure there were literally hundreds of injections.

The neck wrap

THE morning

Well, it's here, THE morning. I am nervous as all heck! Breakfast is raisin bran, coffee and OJ, I don't feel like eating a bite, but I know I will need it.

Last night was resless, even Mickey who normally sleeps like a rock was up and down all night. I finally got him to settle down by holding him close to me and massaging him to sleep. I know it may be a little melodramatic, but I find myself wondering if this is the last time I'll be able to do that. Kiss that cute little spot on his temple, take him for a walk, wipe that impossibly long "hanger" from his jowles... :) I LOVE all those things.

One thing I do know is that if Mickey has a chance to a long productive life, Dr. Durkes and his team are the key to that. I am anxious for the months ahead to see Mickey gain his confidence back.

Think strong thoughts for my Mickerson today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Marion, Indiana

Well, here we are, safely to our destination, Marion, IN. I have to tell you, I LOVE living in the Midwest. BUT, driving anywhere in Illinois or Indiana has got to be the most boring thing to do ever. If you like looking at farm, after farm, after farm, AFTER FARM, you'll love this drive. Otherwise make sure you have some good tunes and a driving partner to keep you focused.

Of course the boys knew something was up as soon as I got up and dressed. I had packed most stuff in the car last night, and while throwing in some last minute things I was greeted with this sight:

Come on Mom, we're ready to go!

At about 6 PM checked into the Comfort Suites in Marion, they give a discount to people going to see Dr. Durkes. Our room is pretty nice (see below), it's roomy. Be aware, they give smoking rooms for people with dogs.

Comfort Suites

There's a nice grassy area behind the hotel and we're on the first floor so no tangling with stairs or elevators.

Dinner was steaks from the Icehouse restaurant, they were pretty good.

Comfort Suites serves breakfast so at least we won't have to worry about running around first thing in the AM. Our room also has a coffee maker, microwave and mini-fridge.

The blog entry tonight is courtesy Comfort Suites internet and DH who so kindly brought the wireless router so we could both sit here and surf the net. :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My hansome boy

The Adventure Begins

Mickey is my 2.5 year old Harlequin Great Dane. Mickey has been diagnosed with Wobbler Syndrome, or Cervical Vertebral Instability. On Thursday, March 30, Mickey will be visiting with Dr. Terry Durkes, DVM to have the Gold Bead Implant procedure done.

A nice summary of what Wobbler Syndrome is:

The Gold Bead procedure involves implanting gold plated magnets under the skin with a special needle. The procedure is based on the ancient art of Chinese acupuncture which follows the philosophy that certain points on the body can be stimulated to restore balance to the body's energy force, Qi or Chi(pronounced Chee).

From "The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Imagine rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts. Acupuncture works to “re-program” and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Chi energy".

Here is some information on Gold Bead Implants, including a paper written by Dr. Durkes:

Another good summary on Gold Beads:

And here is my favorite Wobblers success story about a Doberman named Sylvia who with Gold Bead Therapy was able to compete in agility once again:

So this is just the beginning of our adventure. I will take as many pictures as I can, and give daily updates once surgery day is near.