On Saturday Buster jumped onto the couch next to me and stood on my belly with his front paws. I tried to shift him, and he screamed in pain. He spent the rest of the weekend moving somewhat tenatively, avoiding jumping up on anything, and taking the stairs very slowly.

I couldn’t get a vet appointment until yesterday afternoon, but by that point I wasn’t really worried anymore because he was back his normal self, zooming around and jumping up on things and playing with his toys again.

But the vet just called me with the results of his x-rays, and she said he has intervertebral disc disease. Apparently this is fairly common with small dogs with long bodies — basically several of the discs in his spine have been damaged, and the problem is going to keep getting worse. She said I need to keep him on bed rest for the next two weeks, and he needs to avoid running, jumping and stairs for the rest of his life.

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And just to add a cherry to this crap sundae, his liver values have gone up significantly despite the medication and supplement he’s on, and the pain medication and anti-inflammatories that are common treatment for the disease are hard on the liver.

So I am freaking the hell out. I don’t know how I’m going to keep him on bed rest — he isn’t crate trained, and if I make him stay in a cage all the time all at once he’s going to freak (and at least when I’m not home, bark nonstop). He jumps up on the couch and the bed all the time, he jumps up on me when he’s excited, he zooms around the apartment when he’s playing with his toys. And the bed rest is minor in comparison to the fact that I’m supposed to keep him from doing everything he loves for the rest of his life.

I don’t what I’m going to do, and I’m so scared for him.