When I went downstairs this morning to start the coffee, Sam jumped up from his pad in order to ask to go outside for his morning constitutional. Something was terribly wrong though. He collapsed in a heap on the floor. When he tried to stand up again his legs were wobbly. I walked outside with him and helped him down the stairs off the deck to the backyard. He could urinate, but was unable to squat to defecate. His rear legs wouldn't support him.
Sam has been my constant companion and best friend for nine and a half years. He has climbed 52 of the 54 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado under his own power. In 2001 he got lost in the South San Juan Wilderness for 35 days, surviving on his wits and the occasional rabbit or whatever he could manage to catch. I am in despair.
I took him the local Colorado Springs vet, but finally this afternoon when he was not getting better I took him to Denver to the Emergency Vet Center in Englewood. They have one of the only 100 neurological veterinarians in the world, Dr Stephen Lane. Though he wasn't there today he will look at Sam in the morning and decide whether to do an MRI. The doctor who examined him seemed to think it might be a brain tumor on account of his drooping left eye lid and his pronounced difficulty with his right limbs.
Sam is in the clinic for the weekend at least...