I would like to share with you yet another health concern encountered with Casey. By now you must be thinking "what a sickly dog"! Actually, this is quite the opposite. Casey is a very healthy dog and has been all his life. We are just very observant and pick up on these unusual behaviors that were symptoms of something easily overlooked. What I am referring to is spinal disk disorders.
One day, as I am spending some quiet time with Casey and just petting him I noticed that he was guarding as I petted his neck. I thought this was odd, however continued to stroke his coat as I know he enjoys this very much. The following day, as I am brushing his coat around his neck area he lets out this blood-curdling yelp. Startled and very concerned I examine Casey for any obvious injury. I cannot find a thing wrong. I repeat the same maneuver to test if this was indeed the same area of discomfort and it is. As he is walking away from me, I do notice a slight gait difference between his left and right side. I now try to recall what might have caused this particular discomfort to Casey. I remembered that the neighbors cat had crawled over the fence and into our yard and Casey took exception to its presence in his yard. He leaped off our low deck that is only 18 inches off the ground, to pursue the cat. That is all it took to cause the injury. Well, as you might have already guessed this meant another trip to see the veterinarian. After taking some x-rays is was determined that Casey had a protruding neck disk. This was not a life-threatening injury, however it was a painful one for Casey to endure. The treatment was strict kennel rest, muscle relaxants, and steroids. This was going to be a challenge! A wire-fox terrier on bed rest, this would be impossible at best. The veterinarian assured us that with this treatment the bulging would recede and Casey would resume normal function once again, and he did!
The veterinarian also told us that almost all active dogs at some point in their lifetime will experience this type of disk problem. The most common problem is that it is often overlooked by the owner. The point that I am trying to make here is knowing your dogs normal behavior. Anything that veers from that normal behavior can be a symptom of bigger problems not understood by their owners.
Casey is once again very active and this problem disk has never given him any more trouble. I do often wonder what might have happen if we were not so familiar with his usual behaviors and sought professional help.