Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Conundrum

This picture is pretty dead on how I feel about Vegas' lameness issue as of late. Following my last post, a friend who is a veterinarian sent the radiographs to an orthopedic surgeon at OSU. Sunday I was gone part of the day running errands and came home around 2:30 pm to two, very pent up dogs. Time for a walk. Vegas wasn't limping at that time and I figured a leisurely walk would do her good. Well, she was out in the lead pulling me the whole time. We went on a walk near our house that we enjoy, meandering through the woods toward the park. Fortunately there is a section that we never hardly see anyone so I let both off leash. I was thinking at the time that based upon what I knew, it wasn't an injury so letting her romp if she was comfortable was no big deal. So I decided to let her have at it - and have at it she did. What a nut of a dog I have. There is a spot along the path that, in the summer, has tall grass. She LOVES tall grass. So now, of course, it's tall, flattened grass all dried up. Fortunately it has been very cold and dry for a while so it wasn't sloppy and gross. She romped and jumped and bounded and had a fantastic time. We continued on and the dogs were leashed and once again we walked. When we got to the park I let Vegas go again and she did some more joyful bounding in the green, tended grass of the park. No limping. I decided to go for a walk through the woods along the river, one of our favorite local places. There are umpteen trails winding through the couple of acres that make up the wooded area along the river and we thoroughly enjoy it and rarely even notice the small size. She was crazy. Seriously crazy. First of all this is the queen of all Velcro dogs. She rarely leaves me more than a dozen yards or so and comes instantly back. Not this time. She was off and running, bounding, leaping, and sometimes scaring me with her charges toward the river where there are drop-offs and sharp banks at points.
I only brought my cell phone with me so the pictures aren't great - and she was moving so fast sometimes there was no way the image would be clear.

So after our woods romp we headed for home. In the home stretch I could tell the dogs were ready to go home, although you wouldn't know it when we got there as Vegas didn't really settle down for a while. She was still trying to play and have zoomies in the house. I fully expected her to be limping at some point that evening; I hadn't given her any pain medication or anti-inflammatories at all.

Later Sunday night, I got a call from Rachel. She'd received a response back from the doctor and her assessment was greatly different than what was reported by the previous referral. The OSU doc didn't think her pain was from the bone spurs. I don't have the report in front of me and when I do I'll post it, but she felt more diagnostics needed to take place including more complete x-rays, and that there was something else that caused the lameness. Great. Granted, those two doctors had not seen Vegas and were pretty much going blind but for the x-rays, but let's just say the whole "issue" got more confusing than ever. Fast forward to Monday morning, Vegas wasn't limping. Monday evening, Vegas wasn't limping. She has not favored that leg at all since Saturday. I don't understand it at all and am completely torn as to what to think. Hence the hair pulling.

Tonight I took Leo to agility practice and she was BESIDE HERSELF when I left. I knew I was going to have my hands full when I got home. And I did. She was demanding, obnoxious, pushy, and all too full of energy. This is what happens when you have a dog used to a high level of activity. Loafing around does not suit them. We did some heel position work, nothing too strenuous, and she settled down some. An hour later, she was up and down and whining and bugging me, hovering, standing there staring at me, nudging me, generally being a nuisance. By that time it was 9:30 pm and 31 degrees. So, we did some obedience stuff, heel position, rally moves, worked on our kick-line/shake we'll use for our drill team routine, and then used our hallway into my bedroom for sit/stay to recall to front moves. She was all over it. Still not limping.

So as of right now, if I can still run her this weekend in the trial, I'm going to try. I'm going to cancel the specialist appointment and wait her out and see. Perhaps it was a fluke and the bone spurs were always there. I just don't know. But living with her and forcing an inactivity isn't happening. And she is telling me she's fine. If Vegas were a dog that was stoic, I would probably respond differently. But she's not. She tells me when she hurts and can't do something. Right now, she's tell me "full steam ahead." So that is what we'll do for now. But damn if the whole "not knowing" isn't frustrating.

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