Jabber Update

September 17, 2001 – Jabber went to the vet on Tuesday. Blood was drawn and everything is apparently normal. A cystocentesis was also performed. We are waiting for the lab report, but we expect it to be negative for E. coli. Jabber is still passing blood now and then. He is stronger than he was a week ago, but his rear quarters lack coordination and strength. Our veterinarian feels the problem is neurological, as opposed to orthopedic. Indeed, Jabber's awkward movement is similar to what you might see with
Wobblers Syndrome (Spondololithesis).

On Friday Jabber will be examined by an orthopedic specialist. Dr. Keller evaluated Jabber three times last year in an effort to determine what was going wrong with his back legs. At that time it was unclear whether Jabber's problem was orthopedic or neurological. Whatever the problem was, it was at an early stage. After Jabber's cruciate failed, we felt we had our answer. Now I have to wonder whether the cruciate failure simply masked an underlying problem. Ironically, Dr. Keller did not recommend TPLO surgery because he was unconvinced TPLO is the best method of cruciate repair. He offered to do a traditional cruciate repair. Instead I took Jabber out of town to have TPLO surgery, which I felt was a more advanced procedure. It was a decision I will regret for the rest of my life.

At present Jabber is feeling well again. He is frustrated by his lack or coordination and mobility. He slips and falls now and then, but he is still getting around. If he deteriorates further we will probably have to put him down. Once he reaches a point where he is uncomfortable or we can no longer manage him due to his size, we will have to let him go. Our vet commented that he is completely sound from the waist up and he has a good attitude. Like us, she feels he is not ready to go yet.

We've decided, when the time comes, that our vet will come out to the house. We will put Jabber to sleep under his favorite tree right by the pond. He deserves to go gently. His body will be removed for autopsy. I hope this will give us some definitive answers. Jabber will be cremated and then he will come home for the last time.

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