Monday, November 28, 2016
We've been giving our dog steady exercise day in and day out because without it, she is horrible to have around the house. She comes from a line of competition Golden Retrievers and is spring-loaded. For Teddy, the ultimate day is serious hard fetching and wave-crashing in the lake or river, followed by a serious round of "Chuck-it" in the ball field, and then cooling down with a long walk. We call that "The Teddy Trifecta." Most days she gets one or two of these (either a single or double header, as we call it).
It's become apparent to me that she is aging and that we probably over-indulged her in exercise. Sort of like what I used to do to myself when I ran. Now I have a lame left leg, and so does she. After being a little gimpy after heavy exercise, we decided to have her hips x-rayed. Since her parents both had excellent hip scores, we never felt she needed to be checked as a puppy. However, if we were of a mind to breed her, we certainly would have done that. I was prepared, however, to find some sort of arthritis or injury to explain why she is stiff on some days.
As it turns out, my dog has a torn ACL. The ligament is beyond repair and we have no clue of any specific incident that caused it. We think it was just the result of wear and tear. At this point, it is too late to fix it -- and I am not of a mind to do so, because right now, she is walking just fine. The pictures are going out to an orthopedist, just to make sure we didn't miss anything. Even if a specialist wants to do surgery, we're not even considering it.
Our plan is to rest her for ten weeks, and give her a doggy NSAID as needed. We won't start that any time soon since she is on antibiotics for an ear infection and allergy pills for her skin. I figured once we had her in for X-rays, we'd get treatment for every single thing that's wrong with her. I ordered a bone and tissue supplement for my knee that the two of us are now taking. I had started her on that last week and I think it's already helped.
Even healthy dogs have issues. Sometimes just the act of staying healthy can lead to conditions -- from over exercising, or getting hurt during play. I will probably take it a little bit easier on the next dog, but I'm glad we don't deny our girl the fun of play. I guess if you play, eventually you have to pay!