So I'm just one of those guys with no human kids. Instead, I've got this incredible German Shepherd by the name of Kona. He has been my boy and focus of attention for the last 8 years. I've had him since he was 6 weeks old and he's been the most devoted, loyal, loving, and exciting piece of my life. There truly isn't a life I love more than him. He's been by my side from day one. Whether it's a simple trip to the grocery store, sitting in the car for a couple hours patiently waiting, going on our regular running adventures, or seeking out our next outdoor exploration, he's always been there.
Recently he was playing at the dog park as any other usual day. He was running across a field chasing a yellow lab when all of the sudden his hind end gave out from underneath him. He got up and just kind of sat there in his own disbelief, but charged on as he always does. I let him go on with playing for a few more minutes, only to witness the same thing again. At this point I realized something was terribly wrong. I took him home, and on our short walk home he continued to drag his right leg to the point he wore his nails down raw to the point of bleeding. I immediately contacted my veterinarian and was seen the next day. He was put on prednisone and referred to a neurologist. I drove 3 hours to the closest neurologist where they performed a neurological exam and then an MRI, costing me $3200. The MRI revealed Kona has 5 slipped discs in his back. He suffers from IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) The doctor was astonished that Kona is even walking at all with his condition. But given the great shape and health he is in, may be a large portion in why he is still able to walk.
The link below describes the details of IVDD.
Because his condition is so severe we are looking at two to three spinal surgeries at $6000-7000 per surgery. Totaling to potentially $21,000 and at a minimum of $12,000. I have sold some personal items and taken a loan for a portion to continue to try and push forward with what is necessary for Kona. He is solely my own, as I have no other parties involved and no help. The neurologist (Dr. Carrie Jurney), whom has been amazing, strongly believes Kona will make a great recovery if the surgeries are pefomed, relieving the pressure off his nerves in his spinal cord and making him capable of living out the rest of his life. As of now he is on strict rest and only taken out to go to the bathroom. This isn't just a pet, or a dog, he is the foundation of my life. He brings more joy to me than any human friend or family member I have. He is not only my child, but my best friend!
Here is the most recent pic 6/6/17 on our way home from the Neurologist. He was still pretty sedated after doing the MRI