Nico, Our Little Bundle of Joy

\"\"Nico is my 3 yr old champagne, golden color cocker spaniel born on April 29, 2009. Nico is our little bundle of Joy! He loves to play with his favorite squeaky toys, his best bud aka brother Tsember the German Shepherd, loves all the yummy treats he can get and can get super hyper with excitement; especially when you come home or when his bud Tsember comes over to play. Days before April 4 2013, my family and I not only endured, but also experienced the most painful and daunting event to occur with one of the two pets we have. Nico, on March 28-29th, at 2am started experiencing severe pain that prevented him from having the ability of siting or jumping and unable to find a comfortable position; while constantly squealing and crying. We rushed him to the emergency room after 20 mins they informed us that he needed rest and was just having back pains; gave him meds and sent him on his way. Needless, to say we did as told Nico rested minimal movement and on March 30th his symptoms began to worsen, so we rushed him to his Vet. There they did an X-ray and said that Nico is either experiencing pains from a shifted disc or inflamed tissue; given more meds and ordered no movement. We than crated the little fella for 3 days and I would sleep by his side watching him in tears as he was in much discomfort trying to fixate himself. Seemingly, I was unable to do anything for him I felt helpless it is the most horrible feeling in the world! If I only knew that horrible feeling would turn into a nightmare on April 3 2013, the day Nico’s condition began to deteriorate by the hour; he began to present symptoms of drunk walking, unable to sit or stand without wobbling. Once again, we rushed him to his Vet by than Nico could no longer stand on his own. Vet informed us that he was now showing symptoms of what we call paralysis and that he needed to see a neurologist/ neurosurgeon. In addition, we advised, to leave Nico over night with them so they can put him on meds. The whole night I was a nervous wreck wondering what will happen and how is this going to help his situation? Nevertheless, April 4, 2013, around 11am the Vet calls and says you need to get Nico his condition has worsened since yesterday. He was now paralyzed unable to move from his waist down, unable to neither urinate nor do #2. We were told by the Vet to take him to a specialty hospital in Brooklyn and have a Neurosurgeon evaluate him. Needless, to say we arrived around noon to see the doctor. We did not get to see the doctor until 4pm, where he evaluated Nico and through another doctor informed us that Nico did not have any deep pain sensation and there was nothing that he could do for him other than put him down. I was appalled, in shock and a nervous wreck, this Neurosurgeon did not even come out and see us. We asked what were Nico’s chances they said we were lucky if he even had 5% and that is even too much. The next thing that happened will forever taunt me they brought Nico out to us and said we had to decide. Everyone was an emotional basket case tears and heartache consumed that room. Many may call it being selfish, but we just could not put him down it was unthinkable. As the tears engulfed my eyes and drops came rolling down my cheeks I kept looking at him and seeing his face and how he was starring at each of us with such innocent eyes and breathing heavily; I kept thinking to myself his expression says please help me, save me! I remember turning to the doctor and telling her “how can you put him down, he is still breathing, there has to be something that can be done for him!” She again said, “He has no chance!” At this time my mom walked out to call his Vet, my sis walked out the room in tears notifying our brother and at the same time, I walked out of the room demanding to speak to the neurosurgeon. Nico, with all his might on his behind dragged himself out of the room to follow us; we all 3 turned in shock, as I yelled at the doctor telling her “after that you still want me to put him down?” Apparently, the Vet had informed my mom that the specialist had told the Vet he had 10% of recovery and that he did show some signs of deep pain sensation. I was disgusted, by the fact that we were told he had no chance and needed to be put down. I told my sister get Nico bundle him were going to AMC (The Animal Medical center) for a second opinion. We were so afraid all this time wasted which meant everything to Nico’s condition. In a rush, we dashed out to AMC. En-route to AMC I began to notice Nico titlting his head back as I was told later that meant inflammation was spreading making the his paralysis at a greater risk for permanency. We arrived at AMC around 5:40pm, a wonderful nurse came out in a matter of seconds triaged Nico took all info needed and took him to the back so the neurology team can look at him. In 20 mins, Dr. Thornton came out to us and began assessing Nico’s condition and what his prognosis will be. The Neurology team of AMC evaluated Nico and said that he did have some deep pain sensation leaving him at a 50% recovery chance. They said Nico needed emergency back surgery; and it needed to be done now. We agreed and within 20 mins Dr. Riggs, the Neurosurgeon came out to us explained to us the procedure and what his prognosis will be. While speaking with Dr. Riggs, Nico was being prep’d for a MRI and to go into surgery that evening. Dr. Riggs is an outstanding doctor and warm-hearted person, she kept us informed of his status after MRI, prior to surgery, after surgery and through out his stay at AMC. Everyday we received at least two calls a day with an update and Nico’s prognosis. Days after Nico’s surgery Dr. Riggs informed us that he began to feel his hind legs and she was proud of his prognosis. Thereafter, a few days after, she informed us that Nico began to wag his tail and that he is a little fighter! On April, 10 Nico was discharged from AMC and was able to walk with the assistance of a hind brace. Nico proved that all he needed was a second chance and his expression that very day was indeed please help me, save me! I cannot thank AMC enough for all that you have done to save Nico and give this cutie a second chance at life! Thank you Dr. Riggs for all that you have done your hands are of gold God Bless you and we hope that you prosper and continue you outstanding work in giving the proper care and aid in saving the lives of many other pets that come through your doors! April 21, 2013, Nico had his stitches removed today and Dr. Riggs is very pleased with Nico’s prognosis. It is now two weeks and three days after Nico’s back surgery; Nico is now able to walk on his own, urinate and do #2. Slowly, but surely Nico will get better and we owe it all to Dr. Riggs and AMC! We are grateful to have Nico back home with us and even more so, Tsember his best bud aka brother is ecstatic to have him back home! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, The Magali Family ☺


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