My special boy, Al, has declined rapidly in the last two weeks. We had him to the emergency clinic where my daughter used to work yesterday. We both wanted the doctor on staff to be the one to look at him. She's very, very good and she's also a veterinary chiropractor. After imaging we have no definitive answers. The xrays were all clear, so there's no cancer elsewhere, but the area around the C4 vertebrae showed some pitting and other worrisome things. Her first thought was Multiple Myeloma or degenerative disc disease. Also possible degenerative myelopathy. Or any combo of the above, including all of them. Further neurological imaging would be necessary to make a definitive diagnosis. There is no definitive diagnosis of DM, that's just a process of elimination. The only way to tell that is by analyzing the spinal cord after death. He definitely has the symptoms of DM, but the sudden onset would not be the norm. Of course Al's never been normal, lol. So this was my question to her: If we do the neurological testing and the results show cancer or disc disease, is it treatable. The answer is to a point. Multiple Myeloma is very receptive to chemotherapy. Disc disease would require surgery and a lengthy and painful (so she said) recovery and there are risks involved with the surgery itself. Given his age and his history of severe generalized anxiety, neither of us feel that any of those treatments would help his quality of life. Her recommendation was trying a very high dose of Prednisone and Gabapentin for pain. If I don't see an improvement with the Pred in about three or four days, we'll start tapering him off. She told my daughter in a private text that she didn't expect it to work, but it was worth a try. Today he's got two doses of Pred under his belt as well as two doses of pain medication. I don't see any improvement in his ataxia (wobbliness/lack of coordination), but I see a huge difference in his body stance and his general behavior. Clearly he's been in a significant amount of pain and the meds definitely seem to be helping that. He's still a very happy boy. He thinks he can run an jump and it just looks like his legs are made of rubber. It's hard to watch. He needs to be supported when he poops and pees and he's also having difficulty holding it now. Al turns 9 on September 24th. I expected to have him longer and I'm more than sad because I know that what we're dong is just pallative care. Like I said though, he's still very happy and now I'm going to feel free to spoil him rotten. Unfortunately he can no longer run in the back yard. It's not safe for him. He also can still wear a collar, but we can't use it. I'm using my Front Range harness and it doubles as a lifting harness for now. I'm also going to get him some grippy socks because we have hardwood floors. I'll include some videos and pictures in another post. Just in case any of his symptoms can help someone else. For now, please enjoy this picture of him in the exam room yesterday. They put a blanket down so he didn't slip on the floor.