Hey everyone -
Just wanted to give up update on the little man. His surgery was on Friday. It was over 3 hours long and more complicated than normal. Where these syringomyelia dogs usually have fibrous connective tissue constricting their brain (cerebellum), Rory had very thickened, collagenous, shiney white cartilage-like tissue (like in your joints) which was adhered to his brain. So the neurosurgeon, Dr. Harrington, had to meticullously pick this tissue off while trying not to damage the brain. Apparently it was incredibly frustrating. I can only imagine. There was a great risk for permanent brain damage, but if he hadn't tried to remove the connective tissue, there would have been no point to the surgery, as his brain would have still been just as compressed. I'm really glad he went through with it and did such an awesome job. Afterwards, he said the brain looked good and Rory should definitely feel relief from all the compression.

So we were waiting to see how he did this morning when all the drugs wore off to see if there were any vestibular signs (balance issues) indicating the brain had been damaged.

Imagine my delight this morning when they brought him trotting out to me in the waiting room!! He looked great and had no signs of brain damage. He even balanced on one leg to pee on a couple bushes and ran up to meet the neurosurgeon's assistant's Cavalier, Daniel, who was coming in for work! I brought his food and he was quite excited about that. We fed him and then they gave him some more drugs and he fell asleep on my lap.

I called this afternoon for an update and they said he is having a great afternoon! Perky, alert, and doing very well! I was sooo happy to hear that! The vet who was working (not the neurosurgeon) said she couldn't be happier with his recovery and he was doing even better than they could have hoped for!!! yay, Rory!!! I am soooo glad I went to Harrington. I'm not sure that anyone else would have perservered and continued to work on that connective tisue that was stuck to his brain. It would have been just as understandable if he had decided it was too risky and backed out. And then we'd be back at square one.

My flight home isn't until Monday night and I can't get anything earlier (everything is sold out due to holiday travel) so he'll stay in the hospital until then. He was not too impressed with Lilo (my sister's 4.5 mo old Newfoundland puppy) so I'll just pick him up from the hospital and go straight to the airport to avoid stressing him out. They don't think there should be any problems flying post-op (I had asked them about this before deciding whether to drive or fly). It's a short 2 hour flight. And they said 4 - 6 weeks of recovery. The first two weeks more restricted, then he can gradually work up to normal activity level.

Thank you to everyone for the supportive thoughts and prayers. It means so much. My friends and family are being sooo supportive, too. It's great to know my other dog and cats are being well taken care of by my friends back home. I'm sure my lab won't even want to come home after her weekend with two beagles and a huge backyard!

Hope everyone is having a good Thanksgiving weekend! I couldn't be happier with Rory's progress.