Saturday, July 24, 2010

Major Health Issues

Part 1
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.

Part 2
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.

Part 3

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.

Part 4
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. 

Part 5

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. ;)



♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Nala, we are so sorry to hear this news. Mom had never heard of OCD until this summer when Ciara seemed to be limping on her front leg. The doctor mentioned it as a possibility but that he didn't think it was the case, just something to be aware of. Thankfully, her leg is fine and it was probably just a sprain. We sure hope the surgery will help make you more comfortable. Arthritis is no fun but at least your Mom can try to manage it with meds.

Hugs and Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

The Army of Four said...

Oh, sweet friend! We're sure sorry to hear this! Please know that you're in our thoughts and prayers!
Tail wags,

Lina, James o Billy said...

Hugs & kisses to you, Nala. We are so sorry to hear about your health scare. We are obviously crossing our "nails" and fingers for the very best outcome. Keep us posted.

Lots of stinkin' kisses from Sweden

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

No need to a-paw-o-gise fur the length of the post!

Woo needed to share all of it with us!

I'll start sending LOTS of Sibe Vibes to woo AND khross my paws as they make their way to your part of the khountry -

It sounds like it is good your mom is taking the pro-akhtive approach to all of it -

Maybe some of the glucosamine/etc supplements will be helpful too -

Please do try and take it easy!


JD and Max said...

Sweet Nala,

If you or your mom needs to write TEN chapters next time we'll be here reading every word and wishing you well.

We're so sorry to hear of this Nala - you are such a brave girl. We know you already know this but you have the BEST mom in the whole world. She loves you so much and will do anything for you - as we see from the stairs she's made you for the bed!! :)

You take care of yourself whilst you're waiting for more news and make sure your mom looks after herself too. We're thinking of you and we're sending all our pawsitive vibes your way.

Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

El'bow and Hauwii said...

oooooh take care :)
lots of hugh from us

El'bow & Hauwii

Anonymous said...

Oh, Nala...I'm so very much sorry to hear about this. I know your momma is very worried about you and we hope that she takes care of herself at the same time she's taking care of you.

Me and my mom are sending you lots of warm wishes your way.

Hugs to your mom and wiggles and wags to you!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Ohhh, poor Nala! We hope they can find a way to make you feel better!

brooke said...

aww poor Nala!!! :(
Ive never heard of OCD... we hope you feel better soon and can get back to zoomies and off leash fun!

Remi said...

Uh oh. That doesn't sound like much fun. And I'm sure your mom is worried sick. Mine would be. I wonder if that growth in your mouth is canine papiloma virus. I had that a while ago and it just went away on its own. I would totally understand if aren't able to attend my birthday pawty. But, if you are in town next weekend, we could meet up so you can at least get some cake. Take care sis!

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Sadly, I'm stukhk here in the jungles of Pawsylvania -

I mean I'd khross my paws 'til the Sibe Vibes make their way to woo -


Ruby and Penny said...

Oh Nala, we are so sorry to hear this. We are sending doxie rayz for you.
Love Ruby & Penny
Pees - may we suggest a ramp instead of stairs. They are easier on the legs. You could also use it to get in & out of the car with.

Mango said...

Beautiful Nala! It breaks my heart to hear that you have bad sickies in your legs. You rest and do whatever your mom says, OK? Don't be worried if you have to go back to the vet because they will take good care of you.

I am sending all my good thoughts to you and your family.


Lola said...

Hello, Nala

We haven't met but Mango sent us over because he knows that we're all just furiends who haven't met yet and he believes in the power of masses of vibes. You sure have them from me and from my brother Franklin. We hope that you're feeling better soon. And if arthritis is in your future, at that point, might glucosimine sulphate help? It did wonders for hip problems of a boxer/lab mix that my humans had here, long before my time.

The Thundering Herd said...

Oh, no, Nala. We are so sorry to hear about your legs. Let's hope for good news from the Radiologist.

Sam and Pippen said...

Paws crossed and good thoughts being sent your way!

Sam and Pippen

hero said...

Hi Nala,

We came over from Mango's... sorry to hear about the sickies in your leg... you're in our thoughts and hope you'll will recover soon.

Licks, hero


Mango told us about your leggies. Gosh. OCD loose cartilage - it must hurt to walkies. Your momma will take good care of you.. not sure about the rubbermaid steps.. those sound scary.

Okay I'm part blue heeler so I'm sending my strongest heeling vibes to you!

AFSS said...

Nala, Mango told us about your leg. We are so sorry you are going through this. Paws crossed you feel better soon.

C.l.o.v.e.r. said...

Oh Nala, I am so sorry to hear this news about your leggies. I am thinking very good thoughts for you and sending lots of love to you and your parents. I hope that you are feeling well and I am wishing for the best possible outcome for you. I love you!
Love your twin, Clover xo

River said...

Nala, you are one tough pretty lady!! We hope that the treatments will fix the worst of the pain for you. We are thinking of you--we beagles love to run in circles and jump so we understand how hard it is to NOT do it. Also sending hugs and wishing you the best.

love & wags,

Priscilla said...

We were sent here by Mango and Dexter.

Poor Nala!! Our Eva has HD, so not far from OCD.

We hope you get better soon and no surgery is needed.

Sending healing prayers to you.

Jen said...

We heard about what was going on from Mango, and we came right over here to send you well wishes for a speedy recovery!! I feel so bad for you that such a young and pretty thing is hurting so much! I too have a dog with leg/hip issues- not the OCD that Nala has, but rather HD with a bad knee. Sophie was diagnosed right before her second birthday and let me tell you when a young dog struggles with this stuff, it is very hard. But you know that. Anyway, hang in there, lots of positive thoughts, prayers and furry well wishes from our corner of the interwebz to you!!

Jen and the Black Dog Crew

Heather and Ellie said...

Oh Nala, what hard news! :(
Going from active and healthy to OCD....I hope that the specialist can help you somehow. Hopefully you'll soon be well enough to do your 'zoomies'!

MurphyDog said...

oh gosh, Nala! Sounds like you have a lot going on in your life!

Mom and I are keeping you in our thoughts and sending lots of healing energies. Sure hope your leg feels good soon!

wags, wiggles & slobbers

Anonymous said...

Hi Nala! My name is Tessa and my friend BIG Mango and his bro Dexter told us that your Mom is real worried about you.

So we came on over to say that we will keep you in our thought and prayers. My Mom has never heard of this problem so she cannot contribute to that.

BUT, we do care about you. We sure hope that you get better FAST!!!

Hugs, Tessa and her Mom Blu

Ms. ~K said...

Nala, we are sending you pawsitive, healing thoughts...and sending hugs to your mom and dad, who we know are very concerned!
~K and The Pups

Maggie Mae said...

Hi Nala,

I am Maggie Mae, nice to meet you. I heard about the nastyness in your leg from my furiends Mayzie and Mango. I just wanted you to know that mom and me are sending you puppy prayers and pawsitive thoughts. Get betters soon..'kay? I hopes that we can be furiends too!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Sue said...

Hi Nala, We came over from Mango's blog. We're all keeping our paws crossed for you. We hope the docs can fix up your legs so they don't hurt anymore.
Morgan, Tsar and the Porties

Minna Krebs said...

Hello Nala,
My name is Minna Krebs and Mango sent us over to introduce myselfs.

You certainly are a beautiful girl with verrrryy awesome eyes.

I am so sorry to hear bout your leg problems! I sounds like your mom and dad are being great and helpings you be sure and do everythings they say..and what da Vet says too!!

Hoping you feel betters really soon!

Healing Hugs,

Those Elgin Pugs said...

Hello's Nala~

Me's Anakin Man. Me good friend Mango sent me heres because he cares 'bout you so very muches and we's are all pulling for yous~

Yous are such a beauteeful gurl and we's hopes yous feels betters~

We say our pawrayers for yous Sweet Nala~

Much Love,
Anakin Man, and me sisters Izzy (HI) Josie(hello's)

Molly's Mom said...

I really hope you start to feel better soon sweetie, I came over from Mayzies blog as soon as I saw you were unwell at the same time as my little girly. Your vet sounds a good one so hopefully he will sort out the right treatment for you very soon and you can get back to a more normal routine again.
Hugs for you and your family
Mollys Momma

Asta said...

I saw on ouw fwiend Mayzie's bloggie that you awe having health pwoblems , so I came ovew to see how ou awe. I'm so sowwy to wead all those tewwibull things that you awe having to go thwoo. You awe such a young, bootiful , sweet pup and I hate thinking you'we huwting and can't go wunning wildly. I know youw Mom loves you and is doing evewything possible to make things bettew fow you. I will kepp my paws cwossed and say a pwayew that youw legses can get all bettew
smoochie kisses

Samantha said...

Oh Dear Nala and Mom too... So sorry you is having OCD problems. I never heard of it before, but I just turned four myself, and I like to run a lot. Ma is gonna be watching me like a hawk I suspect. I'm worried about your pain, Nala, but hope they have a good plan to get you back on the recovery train to wellness again, dear one.
Big Hugs xoxoxo

Nubbin' Tails said...

Oh Ms. Nala! I have to say I was happy to see OCD. I was very much scared you were going to say there was cancer in your leg! I know this is not great but it can be moderated. Sister Jada has mild to moderate hip dysplasia. We don't go running with mom any more and she's not the hugest fan of stairs but she can still do them and we can still run and play some. Her favorite is back and forth across mom's couch! We are sure that your mom will do all she can for you and you will be doing great soon.

I am a master at the vet. I don't really like to go in the back without mom, but they say once I get back there I just sit and let them do what they need to. Hopefully you won't get as much practice has I have.

Sending special Ridgeback Wags!

Mr. Nubbin' and Sister Jada

Dozer and Coop said...

We hope you get better. I have had two knee surgeries and am not allowed to play fetch any more but I am not limping either. Both of us take Rimadyl and it has helped a lot. We'll keep our paws crossed for you.

Love, Dozer and Coop

A Room to Grow said...

Thinking of you Nala from San Diego! Thani & Tricia

rottrover said...

Nala, our big brother Max took rimadyl for a long time and it really helped him stay comfortable. No need to run in crazy circles. We're thinking of you.
some rotts in L.A.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Our paws are crossed and we are sending you tons of AireZen, Nala!
Take it easy for awhile, okay?

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Cupcake said...

Hi Nala,
Mayzie sent me over and I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues. It sounds like your in great hands though. I know your Mommy will stop at nothing to make sure you are alright. I'm sending good thoughts and wishes your way. I'll be checking in for now on.

Love, Cupcake

Anonymous said...

Hi Nala

We popped over for a visit from Mayzie's bloggie. Sorry to hear you are having health issues, especially as you are such a stunning dog.

Good luck with the results, and keep writing as many chapters as it takes.


Bijou said...


I came over from Clover's blog to say hi. We hope you get only good news on your tests and that you will be back to running hot laps again soon!


Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh my God, Nala - I only just heard now and rushed straight over!! How awful! YOu poor thing! And your poor humans - they must be frantic!

Yes, my human has heard a lot about OCD - Great Danes are very prone to it. I'm glad to hear, though, that there is some treatment for it. As for arthritis, again, that's something us big doggies tend to get stuck with as we get older - such bad luck! But again, I think it is possible to manage the condition with a good balance of controlled exercise and supplements. My human agrees that continuing to have some gentle exercise is important (my other human, Paul, says this too for humans with arthritis) coz you need to keep your muscles fit & strong, so they can carry more of the burden that your joints & tendons & ligaments can't anymore. For example, I know the standard advice for hip displaysia is minimal exericse but in parts of Europe, they actually follow the opposite advice adn get the dogs exercising a lot, running behind bicycles, etc. so that they build up very strong leg muscles that can take over some of the work of the hips...

But anyway, it sounds like rest right now if important for you. I know how annoying it is not being able to run freely and play - I've had to go through 2 bouts of that this year! - so I really sympathise! Anyway, I hope you'll be feeling more yourself soon and that you get more definite answers. Gosh - 7 days - your poor humans must hate the waiting!

Thinking of you from far away -
Honey the Great Dane

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Sending purrs and tail wags, Nala.

houndstooth said...

Goodness! Being a Greyhound, when I started reading about limping and leg pain, I was afraid it would turn out to bone cancer. I am very glad it's not that! We hope you'll find some answers soon!


Ying and Yang said...

Hi, Nala, we heard 'bout your ouchy leg from Clover and wanted to come over to send you pawsitive thoughts for a speedy recovery. We don't know any other NW Ridgebacks (the name sounds kinda scary, like a dinosaur, BOL, but we're sure you are not scary at all) and our Mom only knew one other Ridgeback when she was very young, his name was Bingo and she says he was a very nice doggy. We are now following you and hope you will follow us too, we love making new friends.

Grins and Kisses,
Ying and Yang

Teddy Bear said...

Hi Nala, we heard about your owie from Mayzie and wanted you to know that we are thinking about you and are sending lots of love and healing vibes.

Teddy Bear

Life With Dogs said...

We have worried about the same with our Labs - I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Hugs from afar....

Sapphire said...

feel better soon, get alot of rest. thinking of you.

parlance said...

JD and Max told me about your problem. I hope you get the best news possible when the results come back.

parlance said...

Oops! Just realised it was Maggie and Mitch who told me. I'm sending good wishes your way.

Raising Addie said...


We are very sorry to hear about your health issues. Waiting to hear back is the hardest thing. We will have all our paws crossed hoping for the best for you sweet girl and mom will be praying for you. Please let us know if there is anything that we can do for you.

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie, Lucie and Hailey

BRUTUS said...

Oh gosh, Nala. What an ordeal for a spunky young pup like yourself to have to deal with! I hope the radiologist has some good answers and they can get you more comfortable soon. We know how much you love to run & play, so hopefully you can do that again soon! WHat a good girl you are being so brave & cooperative!
Get better real soon, OK??

Brutus & Carmen

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

so very sorry for Nala. i know all to well what it is like to have a giant breed with health issues. you always feel like you have limited time...but hopefully Nala will be back to her old self soon--keep us posted!

Sheba of West Africa said...

Oh Nala, so sorry to hear that! Hoping for good news in a few days!

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Hi Nala! We came over from Mayzie's blog to send you some get well purrs and prayers. We may have just met you but we hate to read about any doggie or kitty going through the stuff you have had to. We hope you will be feeling better soon! We think your mom is smart to make stairs for you from bins - our mom has done that at our house too and it really does seem to be a good way to go! We will be purring for you!

Lacy said...

w00fs, hope u get to feeling better soon Nala....mama and daddy is not good at building..soo when JoJo and Lacy got to where they couldnt get on the bed, they putted the matteress and other thingy on the worked pawfect...but the bed wasnt pretty..

b safe,

Mango the Maltese kiddo said...

Hi Nala, DWB sent me.
I'm sending my Maltese positive vibes right now to support you back to your happy and healthy state.
Your pawrents are super caregiver, you'll feel better soon. In the meantime, take advantage of being not so well, demand hourly treats, belly rubs, k?

Puggle Preston said...

oh no..Nala. we are so sorry to hear about your leg. We didn't know dogs can get arthritis at this young age. oh you poor thing. Limping is not fun..not being able to run and jump is torturing but taking it easy is defintely a good idea now. Please keep us posted.
sending you lots of love.

Minnie-Moo (Rescue Lab) said...

Sending you good thoughts Nala.

I guess you are a bit heavier than me and harder to lift as Muzzle can still pick me up easily - which is handy as I refuse to stand on the bedroom floor!