I'm paraphrasing the Eagles song here because a week ago Friday, July 6, we had a bit of a scare with Tinker. Early in the day Tinker and Virginia had their every 5th week round of acupuncture and B-12 therapy. It went as it usually does - we struggle to keep them still so their needles will stay in and they lose their minds when they get their post-treatment snacks. They always manage to get extras from the staff, of course. .
Later that afternoon, C was at her Dad's house when Tinker started showing signs of being off his game. He laid down under the dining room table- it didn't seem to be because he was looking for a cool spot. This was a behavior he never exhibited before. Tinker repeated this (laying under the table) that evening while we were eating dinner at home. Tink has looked for "safe spots" during a thunderstorms, but this was something different. He began to get restless and began methodically moving around the room, laying down for 30 seconds, getting up and moving somewhere else. The behavior continued to repeat itself and had us scratching our heads. Finally, Tinker jumped up on the futon next to Virginia and nodded off.
He slept for about 30 minutes, but his restlessness had not gone away. During this time we remembered that he had snagged a piece of a chicken bone during his morning walk. We began to wonder if he had an obstruction of some kind that was making him uncomfortable. Ironically, just 2 days earlier we had been discussing what had transpired when he was injured in February, 2005 and how we would handle things differently. Specifically, we would make sure to get Tinker to the emergency hospital a lot faster if we saw something out of kilter with him. We took one look at each other and realized this was one of those times. We packed up the Beags and headed down to the AERC to have Tinker checked out.
When we arrived, our little Dude's behavior was noticeably different then when we had been there before. That first night in 2005 when Tinker had showed signs of an injury, when we got to the AERC he was walking around, exploring, being his usual "Hey, how ya doin'?" self. That wasn't the case this time. He didn't want to walk to the examining room and he trembled as the ER vet checked him out. Tinker NEVER shows fear at the vet's. Both of us were tense as we feared this was more than his stomach acting up. Virginia was tense too, and whined and whistled through her nose to prove it.
Dr. Coogan decided to take an Xray and we waited impatiently out in the reception area for 20-25 minutes. While disc issues can't generally be detected on an Xray, they would make sure to to include his spine in the Xray. Thankfully the Xray showed no obstruction. The Dr. gave Tinker a shot of Pepcid and gave us Sucralfate to give him at home to help coat his stomach.
We gave Tinker the Sucralfate on Saturday and Sunday, but by then we started to surmise that whatever was bothering him was not emanating from his stomach. Tinker loves to jump up and down, especially while food is being prepared, and also loves to jump up on the futon. We discourage this as much as possible, but sometimes you can't stop him. He was not displaying any desire to go on the futon and he was pretty sedentary, for him at least, while waiting for his food.
We decided that we would make an appointment with Dr. Hunt, the orthopedist who had performed Tinker's surgery at the AERC. By Tuesday afternoon, Tinker had shown marked improvement so we decided to cancel the appointment and would see how the remainder of the went. One of the biggest problems facing Dr. Hunt would be that he had not seen Tinker for over a year. So, he had not seen his progress to the point of full recovery, and really had no frame of reference. So how do you know when the patient has taken a step back as opposed to just doing really great (which is how Tinker would appear to anyone who had not seen him on a daily basis).
Friday afternoon came around and it was time for Tinker's underwater treadmill therapy. Tink's on about a 5 week "maintenance" schedule now. Tinker's rehab PT Tracy decided that Tinker should not go in the tank after hearing what had occurred. She felt the best course of action was to see Dr. Massicotte, Tink's neurologist. So we made an appointment for first thing Monday.
Over the weekend, though, Tinker went from 90% to 120% recovered. We had our boy back. He was back to his silly self, running around like a horse, losing his mind over dinner, leaping on the futon, and rough-housing with his sister. We still feel something occurred, though. What, we just don't know. We've speculated that maybe Tinker twisted or pulled a muscle, a joint, etc., or perhaps there was some scar tissue inhibiting him that then broke loose.
Needless to say, we are relieved that he is much better, but we have rescheduled our appointment with Dr. Massicotte for a week from tomorrow.
Tinker would like to send his love to everyone and thank you for your continued good wishes. Keep those cards and letters coming!
Oh, and Virginia would like to know if you have any spare food laying around. She hasn't eaten in the past 5 minutes.