Friday, December 31, 2010

Do Over

I want a do over but this time I don't want the same outcome. Not for the whole year, just the last couple of days.

Last year around this time she was limping. We weren't able to compete in the Portland Agility Club trial the first weekend in January then, either. Three days ago she started limping. I came home from work around 4:15 prepared to take both dogs out for a walk in between the too many showers/monsoons we've been having. Most days V just chills on the couch when I'm away - even when the kids are home. She just waits for her mama. This week was no different. Except when she got up she was favoring her left front. I didn't think a lot of it since she hadn't done anything that could have injured it and, actually, chalked it up to sleeping on it folded up under her. We went for our walk and did about brisk pace four about 3.5 miles plus a short break mid-way through for her to romp in a field. And romp she did, so I didn't think anything more of it.

When we came home she was clearly favoring that leg again even as she waited for her dinner. In fact, she wouldn't put it down all the way even when sitting. Soooo, I made sure she didn't take the stairs more than necessary, thoroughly checked out the leg, foot, shoulder on that leg, and kept an eye on her.

Still limping in the morning. Still limping in the evening. Almost non weight-bearing. So, I checked everything out again. That's when I noticed a non-uniformity between her legs. See the picture below that depicts what I saw/felt (in red) as best as I could draw it on a picture I found online (ignore the fracture).
From my palpation it didn't seem painful; she just looked at me with big, brown eyes. I had never seen/felt that bump before though so it was the only thing I could think might be the cause of the problem. I sent the picture to my friend who is a veterinarian. She couldn't figure what it might be either.

Still limping this morning. Still essentially non weight-bearing when she could. I tried calling our normal vet on my way to work but they weren't open yet. I called after their open hours and wasn't getting anything but the answering machine. I tried one or two more times then went to their website. They were closed today. I figured I would just take her in first thing tomorrow when they opened (assuming they were open). After all, it wasn't an emergency per se. I got off work a few minutes after three and came home to cuddle with her on the couch. She was struggling to figure out what to do with the leg when she got on the couch and went so far as to paw/swat at me with it a few times. And give me this deep, soul melting look. I could tell it was hurting her bad. I called our secondary veterinarian and found out when they closed. Although they were open until nine tonight, I took her over right away. I told them all the specifics and we saw Dr. Hussey right away. After chatting a bit (She saw Vegas last year when she was bit in the ear plus she takes classes from an instructor I know.), she examined Vegas' legs and agreed with my findings on the legs - the mysterious bumps were not normal. She was given an injection of Butorphanol to take the edge off for x-rays and we waited in the exxam room about 20 minutes or so. Then off to x-ray she went after I was given a (jaw droppingly expensive *sigh*) quote.

I had barely gone out into the waiting room and flipped through Spot Magazine when Vegas was being brought back into the room. At first I thought they weren't able to get the x-rays and had a brief, internal moment of panic at the thought of a having to sedate her and an increased quote. Instead of taking the number of x-rays and views the doctor had expected, they just ended up having her stand/lean her front legs up on the x-ray table and shot three of her front legs since they felt she was too squirmy to be able to do any more. Plus they'd seen what they needed to.
I asked the vet to send me the x-rays. I've got one out of the three above. This is her left foreleg and foot. You can see the white, pointy/triangular spot on the left. She has one on the right, too, but not nearly as pronounced. The vet said they are bone spurs and didn't have a lot of advice or suggestion beyond that. She has the x-rays out for referral and I should hear back in 24-48 hours. In the meantime she gave us Rimadyl for the inflammation and discomfort. And I'm on pins and needles.

11:46 pm
Right now as I finish typing this, Vegas is resting on my bed. However, the last two hours have been spent with her jumping up every 30 minutes or so and heading for the back door quickly. She has diarrhea on top of everything else. I just fed her some pumpkin so hopefully that will help stop her up. She's not herself and I'm off to bed to cuddle with my girl in hopes of seeing her eyes sparkle and her personality come back tomorrow.

Happy new year.


  1. Oh no!! I'm sorry your year had to start off like this. I never realized dogs can get bone spurs, but it does make sense. I hope the treatment is easy and not expensive, and that the pumpkin works on the diarrhea. It works wonders when Layla gets it. Happy New Year!

  2. Hi, Amy, I didn't know either! It is strange and random and sudden!

    Pumpkin is a miracle cure for dogs! She was back to normal by morning, thank goodness!

    Hope you and Layla had a great new year, too - hopefully quiet (from fireworks).