Help Rico Walk Again

This is Rico! He is a 6 year old daschund. Anyone who knows him knows he's pretty awesome. He is very energetic and loving, always needing to be cuddling under a blanket with me and my partner. Rico really saved my life when I adopted him 2 years ago. I was in a dark place dealing with anxiety and depression. He stepped in my life and changed everything for me. Since the 2 years I've had him, I've conquered every hurdle that crippled me for a decade, with the ultimate goal of flying on an airplane again without having to stop it on the tarmac. Whether you're religious or not, Rico was a blessing sent to me, and I a blessing for him. We have made our lives together amazing. A few days ago, I noticed he started crying when I would pick him up and he stopped jumping on the couch. He wasn't interested in playing or moving around much and seemed to be in quite a bit of pain.  He was hunched slightly, but still kept good spirits. After the 2nd day, he really started getting worse. I took him to the vet to see what we could do for the little guy, sadness wasn't really his thing. He got diagnosed with IVDD which is somewhat common for long backed dogs. It's a degenerative disease that affects their discs in their spine and put pressure on their spinal cord, making it very painful and sometimes results in temporary or permanent paralysis of their back legs. He was still pretty chipper and had good feeling and movement in his back legs, we have been keeping him in his crate as per the vets orders, minimizing his movement when he goes outside and hes been pretty good. Until today. Hes started to lose his ability to walk with his back legs. Hes shaking and upset, refusing to move around. I called the vet and they told me to bring him in. Unfortunately, I'm in my own precarious position of health as I had reconstructive knee surgery that ended up being a failure and I'm still off work, waiting for a 2nd surgery (which my surgeon has postponed even a consult for the last 4 weeks multiple times). Rico needs back surgery to alleviate the pressure on his spinal cord, and to stave off paralysis. Unfortunately the only place to have this surgery done is a 9 hour drive away in Saskatoon. The imaging alone is thousands of dollars, let alone the surgery. But the prognosis of the surgery is a 95% success rate for his stage of IVDD. Which is a much better chance than 50%. I, myself, have never had the issue of having to make hard choices with an animal. I dont believe an animal should suffer, but given the fact I cant even afford a vet bill right now, i dont know what to do. My family has already helped me out more then I can ask for. Rico, Kyra and myself are pleading for help. At 6 years old, he has too many more walks to have, birds to chase and squirrels to bark at. Rico saved my life. I need help so I can return him the favor and save his. Thank you so much for listening and anything helps. Words of encouragement, anything. Warmest regards and prayers for help, Todd
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Todd Friesen 
Winnipeg, MB

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