You may not get a chance to read my post until after your vet visit tomorrow, but I hope you do.
I have to be honest, and say that any 'vet' that would recommend euthanizing a dog without further examination by a neurologist would not get a 'second' visit from me with my dog.
If you are in FLORIDA I highly recommend that you contact the University of Florida in Gainesvelle and ask for a consult with Dr. Chrisman. If you are not in Florida, find a NEUROLOGIST that can give you a more experienced point of view. (No disrespect intended to your vet).
I would have a COMPLETE bloodpanel done on your dog, SuperChem and CBC, and ask for a COPY of the bloodwork for your records. So many times an infection will show on the CBC in elevated white cell count.
If your dog is currently on pred, some of the liver enzymes will no doubt be elevated, but still I would have the blood work done.
Now my next statement is not meant to be 'harsh' but after 9 yrs of local companionship, consider the cost of her exam to be for 'time well spent'. Having said that I will tell you that my 12 yr old German Shepherd had to have spinal surgery that was near 5 grand, but after TWELVE years of loyal companionship, never costing us a penny for medical help you can see how easy it was to justify the cost to help our Snowy. It works out to be a little over a DOLLAR a day. She WAS paralyzed and is now walking under her own power, quite well I might add. It sounds like your devotion to your dog is equal to her devotion to you or you would not be here.
With regards to harnesses, with a large dog, I STRONGLY recommend that you get a harness of some sort, to help your dog AND to help you. We have ALL of the harnesses that are listed on the products page, save for the one listed on the link below, and I wish I had seen this one FIRST. I think it is what you need to help get your dog up and around without further harm.
It is meant for larger dogs (a german shepherd is shown), it doesn't put stress on the spine or neck, and I am going to get this harness for my other dog (just in case I need it) Putting pressure on the 'wrong spot' on larger dogs can have its own consequences.
Defecation: Depending on how much your dog is eating, not being able to elminate can have DIRE consequences as well. When Snowy first 'went down' she did not defecate for almost 5 days, but she had little if anything to eat, so we were not concerned. BUT, with any LOWER spinal compression, their ability to defecate on their own is compromised. If she is 'eating normally' please have your vet show you how to stimulate to allow for defecation. Passing urine is even MORE important, as is making sure that they are drinking enough to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough will cause confusion just like it would in a human from dehydration.
I am also a HUGE fan of accupunture, and the gold bead implants are highly recommended for many medical conditions. Don't overlook this type of treatment, or even acupunture for that matter.
Once last important note, even though you are on '24-hr watch' be sure to restrict her movements, so she doesn't do further damage to herself. There is also a 'sleepPEEtime" bed that you can get (or make) that will keep her 'dry' at night. There are also 'underpads' that you can put where she sleeps to absorb any 'accidents' or even a diaper to help. If she is elimating when she sleeps, she is losing some bladder control, and needs to be 'expressed' during the day. Remember, don't try to express her in doors. A house trained dog won't be able to 'go' easily, since they are house broken. We made this mistake with Snowy the first day after she paralyzed, but once we walked her 'outside' and tried to express her, she 'went'.
Also, if the 'disorientation' happens soon after eating, she can also be hepatic encephalopathy caused by her inability for her liver to process protein. Bloodwork will tell you what her liver enzymes levels are (ALT, ALKP and BUN Blood urea nitrogen) BUN will tell you if lethal levels of Nitrogen are affecting her brain.
I am not a vet, but I'll tell you that unless YOU insist on the diagnostic test being done, many vets won't even suggest them. From their standpoint .. you are a DOG lover, if something happens to this one, chances are you will get another one (and another client will exist). I know I cynical but I have seen this happen SO many times it is truly sad.
I have cared for special needs dogs for over ten years, and the JOY of seeing them recover and surprise the 'doubting thomas' FAR outweight any costs to care for them. Some don't fully recover, but their JOY for life amazes even me! I am not a vet, nor do I want to be one, but many of the vets in my area now ask ME what I doing to help these dogs. Our attitude helps our dogs more than we can imagine. They truly draw strength from us, as long as we are willing to give it.
Saving one dog may not change the world, but it WILL change the world for one dog!!