Several years ago, when Deke was 10, he started to limp on one of his back legs. Being an active, older golden, he would get sore from time to time, therefore we took a wait-and-see approach for a few days.
Needless to say, Deke did not improve. Our regular vet could find no mechanical injury and suggested we rest him and treat him with aspirin. (As you'll see below, this was not a good decision.)
A few days later, my wife brought him into a different vet and the news was not good: Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)--his blood was so thin he was on death's door. She recommended we immediately bring him into the VMC at the "U".
The VMC vets and students prepared us for the worst. Dekes low platelet count was likely due to cancer and he would probably die in the next few days. Although the VMC vets wanted us to leave him overnight for observation, we decided to bring Deke home and scheduled a follow-up ultra sound in hopes of detecting the cancer.
In the next few days, Deke improved. (Steroid medication got his immune system back on track.) He spent a day at the VMC and his ultrasounds came up clean with no detectable cancer. After a few weeks and appointments he was given a clean bill of health and his blood work was back to normal! The VMC staff seemed to fall in love with old Deke too-- and why not? (He carried his stuffed lion with him EVERYWHERE while being led from room to room at the VMC.)
Deke lived another 5 years and had a happy, long life filled with love. We credit the University of Minnesota's Veterinary Medical Center for the gift of those "extra" 5 years.
If your dog is sick and you've lost hope, bring him to the VMC. You just might experience a miracle like we did.
Sean, Heather, & Zachary