Hi blog buddies! Remember when I told you about my leg being hurt? Unfortunately, it turns out there was more to it than just a sprain. Mom first noticed my limp about 3 weeks ago. Last week she took me to the vet and he said it was likely a sprain. Mom told him she heard my leg clicking like sometimes ankles will click or pop when you walk, and he felt my ankles but said there was no inflammation or anything. He sent me home with chewable Rimadyl tablets and put me on strict rest. I was home for about a week and then Mom and Dad had their anniversary trip, and I stayed with my Nanny & Grampi. I finished all my pills while I was there, and when Mom and dad first picked me up I seemed like maybe my leg was a bit better. However, when they got me home I went back to my stiff and limpy walk. Mom was very concerned and felt like it wasn't just a sprain but was hesitant to take me back to the vet just yet as it hadn't been a full two weeks of rest for my leg. Also, when I walked she could still hear the clicking sound.
The next day when she was brushing my teeth she found an odd growth on the inside of my upper left lip near the corner of my mouth. It looked a bit like a wart so Mom looked for it online and found that it could be some kind of viral thing. Well, she decided to call the vet again just to be sure so she took me back in that same day! Let me tell ya, I was NOT happy to go back to the vet even though they are always super nice to me. For some reason, I get all shaky and nervous in that place. The nice vet looked at the growth and said that Mom was probably right about it being viral, but said if she wanted he could certainly cut it out and send it in to the lab to find out for sure. Now, back to the leg. Mom also took this opportunity to tell the vet about my continual leg clicking sounds, so he felt my legs again and could hear the popping too. Again, he left it in Mom's hands to decide whether or not we should do x-rays. Mom, of course, said let's do leg x-rays and cut the growth out and send it in. At this point, Mom wanted more definitive answers, but was hoping she was being paranoid.
So, my appointment to go in was just yesterday. Mom dropped me off at 7:45am. When she opened the door to leave I must admit I acted a bit like a puppy as I struggled against the most pawesome vet tech to go with her. Nothing against the vet tech, but if my Mom was leaving then I wanted to leave! My paw was curled around the nice vet tech's leg trying to push off it for leverage to get out the door but that didn't work. Anyway, they sedated me and began their work. The growth that they cut out was no problem and didn't even require stitches, so that was good. Then, the vet performed his orthopedic exam and was pushing and pulling and moving my legs all around. He heard the clicking sound in both of my back legs. He then took two x-rays of each leg. At this time, he noticed some things floating around in there at my ankles which is not normal. He called my Mom at 11:00 to ask permission to take more x-rays for better views to try and determine the problem. He told her about the floaters and said I was showing signs of arthritis. Mom was blown away as I am ONLY 4, but told him to do what he needed to do. After this, Mom was very worried about me. She kept herself busy cleaning the house and doing other things but finally just after 2:00 she still hadn't heard back from the vet, so she broke down and called to check on me. At that point, the vet said I was just waking up and Mom could come and get me, and they could discuss his findings.
When Mom arrived, she went into the office with the vet. I was still sleeping off the sedation meds. He showed her the x-rays and the floaters. He said that he thinks this really warrants a specialist's eye, but that his thought is that this is something called Osteochondritis Dissecans, or OCD. The way we understand it is that it is basically a cartilage disorder where my cartilage and bones haven't fused properly. Instead, my cartilage has just continued to build up creating a flap underneath between it and the bone. Little pieces have then broken off and mineralized, which is what the floaters are. Mom asked if it was genetic, and he said that vets do consider it to be a genetic thing although it sounds like it is not extremely common. Mom looked it up online later and found that it can also be caused by trauma but can't think of any trauma I suffered that could have caused this. Apparently, giant and large breeds tend to be diagnosed with it more often and dogs that are prone to hip dysplasia are also more likely to be diagnosed with it. So, anyway the vet is going to send off the x-rays and the growth to the radiologist first just to check with him or her before sending me to a specialist. He told Mom that if it is the OCD that I can have a surgery that will help relieve it but that arthritis is in my future. :( Also, alot of dogs are diagnosed with this way earlier so he says that if this is what it is then for me to have the floaters means I have been dealing with this for awhile but just started to show signs. I am tough, what can I say! ;) So, now we will wait about 7 days to hear from the radiologist before proceeding. I can only go on controlled leash walks and can have absolutely NO high impact activity. That means NO crazy "hot laps", running around in crazy circles, but I haven't been able to do that for 3 weeks anyway, so I am getting used to it.
When Mom brought me home it took me a while to get back to semi-normal. I was very groggy from the meds still and couldn't control my bladder...I know, embarrassing, but Mom reassured me it was not my fault and she didn't care if I peed all over the floor! Finally and thankfully, that went away, but I have seemed quite weak on my back legs. Mom thinks I must be sore from all the moving around of my legs during the exam in addition to my condition. She has been sticking close to me, and she even fashioned me some stairs to get up to the bed with her and Dad so I don't jump. :) For now, she used an old box with stuff inside to make it solid and a big Rubbermaid bin. She put a blanket over them and I have been using my stairs quite well. Today, Dad will try his skills out and attempt to make me a set of stairs. The vet did say short jumps should be fine as long as they don't seem to bother me, but Mom thinks their bed is too high. It is pretty high, I must say. He also said short walks would actually be good for me. So, that's where we are now....taking it easy and waiting to know more. I am handling it ok, but I do worry about Mom. I don't think Moms ever like to see their "kids" in pain.
I'll keep you posted and next time, I promise I won't write 5 chapters. ;)