Summary- good news!
Since Monday afternoon Lance has been on the strictest of crate rest. Either in a crate, in my arms being carried to his next location, or on a 3 foot leash radius outside for a 60 second bathroom break. Pretty much zero walking allowed. One day of carrying him from the house to car to work to car to the club to car to home plus potty breaks just about killed me. 24lbs is apparently very very heavy. So on day two I gave him a throne on wheels.
Lance wasn't too happy with his throne but he's a good dog so he listened and didn't jump off during travel time.
No real improvement in his ability to walk, as judged by potty breaks, was seen Tuesday or Wednesday. I wasn't really worried by this as it had only been a few days, but since I really need my nice normal dog back I wanted to make sure that the rest route vs surgery was the best choice for his recovery. I absolutely don't want to do 6 weeks of crate rest to be followed by needing surgery after all and then doing many more weeks of crate rest and rehab work.
So I decided on Wednesday night to consult with a neurologist and get an MRI so we could see exactly where his injury was and how bad it looks. Lance had several xrays taken on Monday but it's difficult to diagnose spinal injuries from just an xray. On Thursday we were able to be squeezed in for a visit at the specialist. Lance was a total ham. He LOVES vet offices as people always have cookies and squee over the fact that he's not a sausage on stumps. Lance even tried to pretend there was nothing wrong with him as he walked for the vet and looked lovingly into her eyes, pleading for food! Of course his back legs did give out a few times and turning was the hardest, but Lance was looking much, much improved over just the day before. Almost so much improved that I'm pretty sure he made me look like an idiot for requesting the consult and MRI. Thanks buddy.
The vet was impressed that I was actually doing full crate rest, vs what is apparently most dog owner's interpretation of crate rest. We did not do an MRI due to his improvement! And then my wallet thanked her profusely! Basically she thought that the odds of Lance improving to normal pet life in 6wks was high and roughly the same odds as doing the surgery. As long as he continues to slowly improve we can start doing 5 minute walks twice a day in about two more weeks and build from there. It still remains to be seen if he will be able to go back fully to dog sports so we just wait and see. The AKC wouldn't give us back our money for the National Obedience Championships since we were 4 days past the 1st round closing date. So if there is a gigantic miracle maybe we will be there after all.
In the meantime I have been stuffing lots and lots of kongs with his meals and am ordering lots and lots of bones. I am guessing that Lance will no longer be 24lbs when the rest is over!