Friday, 19 October 2012

Riley's Roller Coaster

Riley had his MRI yesterday and the results were mixed.  The good news is that he does not have Wobblers disease and his discs are actually in pretty good shape.  The "not quite sure what it means" news is he has a cyst in his neck/cervical area that is pressing on the right side of his spinal cord.  That pressure is what is causing his symptoms.  This is an unusual situation and the neurologist is reviewing the results, making measurements to figure out exact location and implications of removal and researching similar situations in other dogs.   He will be getting back to me in the next few days with a plan.  I told him that I was going to take this as good news and he agreed and seemed confident that the situation could be dealt with.  I suspect this probably means surgery but I would anticipate that the recovery would be much easier than having surgery for any spinal disc problems or malformations.  The roller-coaster ride continues so stay tuned for more news!

It should be noted that he does not appear to be in any pain although some of his symptoms are worsening.  He seems to be losing more limb awareness and coordination but that has not dampened his enthusiasm one bit.  He went running across some wet grass the other day and tried to corner and slipped and then had quite a spectacular crash because he couldn't recover properly.  Luckily he seemed no worse for wear. 

The morning of his MRI I had to drop him off early in the morning so I left Stella at home and took just him.  They wanted him "emptied" so we headed off for a short walk to the local park.  The look on Riley's face when we left the driveway and headed off for a walk just the two of us was pure happiness.  He was bouncing and soliciting play with me for almost the entire time we walked and had me laughing like crazy.  It also broke me heart just a bit because it made me realize that he obviously misses our "one-on-one" training times as much as I do.  We still have cuddle sessions with just "us" but since this journey started back in early June I have discontinued our training sessions so I wasn't stressing his body any more than necessary.   I need to make sure my wonderful boy gets more time where he is the focus and perhaps look at doing some easy shaping type training until we sort all this out.  I am hopeful that we can get him functioning better again and that there are lots of new training goals and fun times together in our future. 

As you can see here in this short clip back in may my monster wants to be the one working with me :).


  1. I am so happy to hear that my friend's issues are not from DM or Wobblers or even bad discs(those Frisbees have minds of their own sometimes). I hope the vet-peoples can remove the cyst without much issue and he can get back to working with you again like he so obviously wants to. BTW - I love interrupting my peoples training sessions with the girls too. Is it a boy thing? Or a Lab thing?

  2. Hehe, cute video.
    Much luck to Riley with whatever they decide to do for him. It does sound like much better news than you were imagining!