I am beginning to feel as if I should just pitch a tent, or rent an RV and park it at the vet’s office. It was a wild afternoon, though the ending was good. I think Leelu’s look here says it all:
It all started around 1:00 when I went to take Leelu and Gracie for a potty break, all very normal. Except that Leelu wouldn’t put her back left leg down on the ground, and she showed her teeth, growled at me and wouldn’t let me anywhere near her. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such behavior from her, but it hasn’t been directed at me in the past. There was no way to get anywhere near her safely.
The vet has given me a sedative to give her before vet visits and I popped a couple into some dog food on a long spoon and luckily she ate it. And I called the vet. Got an appointment for two hours in the future, which is the time they want her to have with the sedative before examining her.
Leelu’s had many behavioral issues since she joined us mid-July, which is why I decided she wasn’t an adoptable dog and Marley and I adopted her instead of continuing to foster, hoping that we could help her. She’s made some good progress, but when one of her “spells” hits, she can be quite scary, and she tends to stay that way for a few hours. This was the first time we gave a sedative for this, but it won’t be the last. It really helped.
By the time the vet saw her, she was sweetness all over the place and putting her foot down and walking on it. Grrrrrrrr. But I have been convinced, since we got her, that there is a pain issue somewhere in all of this, and I let myself be talked out of x-rays twice in the past. Our wonderful vet wasn’t finding a lot of pain response, but we agreed to just go ahead and do the x-rays to rule things out, if nothing else.
The good news…if you want to think of it that way…is that she has what is probably an old ACL injury in the leg she was guarding today, and she has a spinal “arthritis,” technically a bridging spondylosis, which means growths are forming above and below some vertebra near the top of her spine, fusing those vertebrae, which is painful. Pain isn’t usually good news, but it is a whole lot better than a mucked up brain chemistry that can’t be fixed.
Who knows how long she’s been in pain, and it isn’t any surprise that she’s a very stressed dog. Because of her behavioral concerns we don’t want to try an ACL surgery right now – recovery could be downright dangerous to her and to us. But she is now on Prozac and an anti-inflammatory/pain med to see if we can improve the quality of her life a whole lot. I wish I’d paid attention to my instincts that she was in pain earlier and pushed for the x-rays, but at least they’ve been done now and revealed their secrets. The vet thinks, as I do, that her listed age – 5 – when she arrived is probably a good bit shy of the truth. We’re guessing more like 8, given the arthritis in her spine.
They had to knock Leelu out to get good x-rays and she’s still a bit woozy. She’s also still a little scary at moments, so she’s wearing her leash so I don’t have to reach to her to put in on when she needs to go out. No long walks for that girl for awhile. Gracie will actually be glad to have the walks to herself for a bit. Leelu gets short potty walks in the yard or part way up the street for a couple weeks and rest otherwise.
And before I forget to mention it, Bodhi is doing very well with both of his eyes removed. He isn’t in pain anymore, and is quite comfortable in the world again. He isn’t going to grace the cover of GQ or anything, but we love him anyway. Handsome is in the eye of the beholder, and we think he’s plenty handsome.