Intermittant Limp...

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby amalie79 » August 19th, 2010, 1:48 pm

Thanks Erin-- Love me some Pat Miller!

The day I started noticing the limp, I thought maybe I'd bruised her paw stepping on it-- not with my full weight, but she definitely yelped when it happened.

perhaps, because she's yours, you'll at least be able to get her to stay where she is now instead of regressing.


And that's why I hate having to keep her home and still. She does do a lot of spinning, whining, licking (she's soooooo excited!) when I'm getting ready to leash her up, but I don't put the leash on until she's sitting-- mostly because I refuse to wrestle with a 65 lbs dog so that she can take the walk she wants to take. And I have to admit, she's improved so, so much. I have pretty good vocal control over her, so that even when she's super excited and acting like a jackass, I can usually get her to, at the very least, sit-- it's an agitated, dancing, I wanna go go go!, sit, but it's there. When we first got her, there was no way in hell she was paying any attention to me whatsoever outside the confines of the house. I really think we owe a lot of that improvement to diligently taking her everywhere that I'm allowed to take her-- I buy cat food 2 or 3 cans at a time so I have excuses to go to the pet store; I go through the drive thrus (which I despise, by the way) so she can come with me and get treats from lots of different people; she comes to my mother's house, sits on the porch while I drink my coffee (or cocktail :wink: ), farmer's market, long drives. You name it. If she can come, she comes. We're working Robin up to that point, but right now she's still a little too overwhelmed by strangers; she goes to the non-crowded places that I can take her. And River is an angel at the vet, so cooperative and well-behaved. Anyway, I'd hate for River to lose some of that "no big dealness" with the outside world that we've worked so hard on and have come such a long way with.

BUT! in the end, I want her to be healthy, even if it means we take a few steps back. We can get back to where we are now. She's a smart cookie. :mrgreen:

So for now-- she rests!
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
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Postby amalie79 » August 27th, 2010, 10:04 am

Ok. So River has still been limping very first thing in the morning-- it's really only the first dozen steps, and if I don't see her actually get up (like if she makes it up and goes the 20 feet to our bedroom to get me before I can go get her), I don't see anything. So the good news is it's better. However, I was still a little concerned because we're doing leashed potty breaks, rimadyl twice a day, dasuquin, salmon oil and msm and there's still that morning limping.

We decided to check back in with the vet. He said we might want to schedule a consult with an orthopedic specialist (~1hour away). He also said that it would help to see it first hand. So I'm videotaping her.

Looking back at the tape, it actually does look better-- less exaggerated. Also, one thing I'm noticing is where and how she sleeps. Late in the evening, River migrates out of the bedroom and into the living room, and that's where she stays until she either can't wait to pee or eat because I've slept in, or I go get her up to do those things. She also really curls up into a ball to sleep, often in an armchair, or she lays out on the couch, which isn't very supportive at all.

Honestly, I'm starting to feel a little silly. I think that this residual morning limp might actually be the same stiffness we all feel when we wake up having slept in the same position all night. She definitely had a fairly noticeable limp for a while there after I stepped on her foot, it was much more exaggerated at times, and it has improved down to just when she's been tucked up into the same position for 6-8 hours... I think the video taping is giving me some new perspective on this. I'm going to start taking down the rimadyl to once a day and then none, and keep resting her, and see how she does. It's starting to feel like, if 10 steps worth of morning aching is all that's there, she's doing better than I am with my own various ailments! I hate continuing to stress her out if this really is no big deal. Don't want to count my chickens yet, but...As long as it doesn't get markedly or consistently worse as we ease her into activity, I think she may be ok.

Also, I am a HUGE worrier, so I tend to fear the worst. I've seen so much dog cancer, and all the mobility problems that Simon has now in his old age, and it all make me a little gunshy.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
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Postby amalie79 » September 9th, 2010, 4:15 pm

Just a quick update. I was able to videotape River 3 or 4 mornings before she got up. After a few days more on the meds, we weaned her off the rimadyl and took away her access to high-up things-- the couch, her chair...the bed was more difficult, and she got by us occasionally, but we gave her a new floor bed (with a water-proof liner in case a cat decides to pee on it :cuss: , or in case Simon lays on it and leaks when we aren't looking) made of a twin egg crate mattress topper folded in half, a folded old comforter, waterproof pad and old sheet and she really likes it. Well, whadayaknow, River's limp was almost non-existent when she slept on her floor bed all stretched out to her heart's content-- starting from the first day we did this. :neutral:

I took the tape to the vet a couple of days ago-- he asked me first if I showed it to my husband, who had expressed doubt that said limp even existed anymore >( (he's NEVER up that early). I did of course :neener: . At any rate, the vet felt like the fact that it's early in the morning, after sleeping curled up, and the fact that she does her elaborate stretches first thing and then it's gone for the rest of the day, all indicate that this is likely just very early arthritis (not yet visible on an xray) and the aches and pains of aging that most of us feel every day. River is 5 or 6 years old, so she's no spring chicken. We are to continue with dasuquin, msm, salmon oil, etc. and try to keep her from going too crazy. She's not a zoomies kind of gal, but she does love a good run. We're now in the process of very gradually increasing her activity so that we can start getting some weight off of her as well, starting with no more leashed potty breaks-- the recent rain is thankfully keeping her from bolting out in the yard or running too much, helping us take it nice and slow.

Simon, on the other hand, just started tramadol and we jacked his rimadyl back up to twice a day; he's been growling at me a lot, and he generally only growls at me if something really hurts or he doesn't feel well :cry: . Hopefully the tramadol will help, but we'll take it one day at a time. And his incontinence is getting a bit worse-- time to consider boy doggie diapers. As it is, I just change the sheets on his bed once or twice a day as I need to.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
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