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I am looking for some advice regarding my 11 year old beagle/chihuahua mix.

Six days ago, over the weekend he suddenly was barely able to walk, had very little control over his right legs, especially the front leg, and was very hunched over. This was the first time this had ever happened and I took him to our vet the following morning.

The vet thought it was probably a herniated cervical disc. The two options she gave me were to take him to a specialist immediately and have a $1,500 myelogram or immediately start an anti-inflammatory and laser treatment. Due to my limited budget at the moment, I opted to start the laser treatment.

He stayed at his regular vet all week getting laser treatments every other day, while I researched and made an appointment with a specialist. Five days later he was remarkably better. He is able to walk and acting like his normal self. He still has weakness and is stiff.

Yesterday we saw the specialist for an exam. She was pleased at how much better he is doing considering how bad he was before, and believed it to be mild. She did not do any x-rays or and MRI because she didn't feel surgery was needed at this point.

The specialist advised crate rest for at least four weeks, with a follow up in two weeks and then again at four weeks. She advised that 50% of the time this reoccurs and that we must be very careful. No jumping, stairs, or toys.

She recommended a rehab treatment and the soonest they could see us was in two weeks. He is also on a combo or muscle relaxers and anti-imflammatory.

I was a little overwhelmed at the time and since the visit have had questions. I will call her on Monday, but am hoping to get some other perspectives or advice.

Here are my questions/concerns:

-If he needs at least 4-6 weeks of crate rest, are we moving too soon to the rehab?

-Should he be receiving acupuncture in addition to the laser treatment? The facility she referred me to doesn't have acupuncture yet, but is planning to next month. There is another rehab facility my regular vet suggested. They do laser and acupuncture, but is farther away. They can see us this week and start laser and acupuncture.

-How can my dog possibly live a normal life after this? Before this, aside from kidney stones requiring surgery this summer, he is healthy, active, vibrant, and playful. He has been jumping on and off furniture his entire life, and I'm not sure how to stop this completely, short of crating him the majority of the time (which would depress him).

-The specialist said the surgery including the MRI is $4,500. I'm not sure how to afford this, but would try my best. His age is my main concern with this.

-Between my vet and the specialist, my bill is almost $1,000. With more specialist visits, rehab, and laser treatments coming up, it is quickly adding up.

If anyone has any advice to share, I would really appreciate it!
 
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