Monday, November 28, 2016

Dog Tails

This is my Teddy at 6 weeks.  I can't believe she is over eight and a half years old now!  I am in denial that she is getting older but of course, she is now my age in dog years.... so she is no longer a puppy.  But don't tell her that!

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!

10 comments:

  1. What a sweet little puppy! We often think of getting a second dog for Zoey to play with because she needs to play/run/jump/be with other dogs. Our time and energy is limited and so are our resources. We can't afford another dog right now so we do our best to keep her exercised in the backyard, take her for walks and occasionally to the dog park.

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    1. We are a one pet household now because vet care is expensive -- but I think it's a necessity. Zoe is your girl and bonded to you -- she's not missing a sibling!

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  2. We all need to slow down as we get older, no matter how much it hurts our pride. My little dog is 10 now and has various issues including arthritis in her hips. I started giving her glucosomine for dogs (I buy it at Walmart) and it started helping her immediately. I'm so glad.

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    1. I wish I had rested her more between days but she isn't happy with out action. However as a golden, she's adapting. Glucosomine injections are supposed to be effective and we night do that eventually.

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  3. Alex, did you say that Teddy had a X-ray and that's how you knew she had a torn ACL? Our lab was running way too fast and injured her leg. We had X-rays and she has been on pain meds and anti inflammatory meds for a week now but were told an MRI was the only way we would know what's happening exactly, that or surgery (both about the same amount). We are seeing an ortho specialist and we are sure they will want to do surgery. She is putting more pressure on the leg when walking after a week, but still kinda hobbling. How quick did Teddy rebound from her issue? Any suggestions? as we are hoping to just say no to surgery right now. I don't want to hurt our doggy by saying no to surgery but don't want to rush either as I am not knowledgable. Please advise if you can...Thanks!

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    1. A friend did the surgery to her active dog and he blew it out -- totally wasting her money. We are going with 12 weeks of rest and slow exercise, a supplement (we are using Dr. Christopher's Bone and Tissue Formula) and eventually will use Rymadil as needed if she favors the leg. The recovery for the surgery is the same as conventional rest, so that's what I'd suggest. Especially if she's just gimpy and not completely avoiding weigt bearing. She sounds as if her injury is more severe. Teddy never completely hobbled. She was mostly just stiff when getting up.

      I do plan to have stairs built for our bed so she can get in and out more easily.

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    2. Oh, and we did an x-ray. The orthopedist report came back on Friday to confirm.

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  4. Thanks Alex for responding to my questions. We will be meeting the ortho surgeon on Monday. My lab is still hobbling pretty bad so I'm certain $$$$ surgery will be our only option. Thanks again!

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  5. Hi Alex, since we talked about this in an earlier post I just wanted to let you know my lab's update on her possible torn ACL...well as expected, our Cali is now 2 days out of TPLO surgery for a completely torn ACL. It was the right move for us to do surgery as our girl was suffering. She is now feeling more like her normal self with a restricted but frequent leash walking regimen that is not our norm. I think she is enjoying the "extra attention" she is getting over her sisters! (We have three doggies total). Hope Teddy is doing well. BTW I love your new post on the scented soaps for Christmas gifts! I will be checking this out at my store!

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