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.

25 thoughts on “Living at the Vet’s Office

  1. WOW…..well that sure explains a lot about Gracie doesn’t it. Glad you know the reason for the behavior and it makes sense! As for Bodhi – oh yes indeed he’s handsome AND brave and if ever a pup who is blind will have the BEST place for a home – it’s that boy!!!

    Hugs, Pam

    1. It does explain a lot about Leelu. You can’t make a lot of behavioral progress with a dog who is in pain! Hopefully we can help the pain issues for her.

    1. Hopefully the meds and rest will help. She’s probably lucky she landed in rescue with us/me. I don’t think her problems would have been addressed otherwise.

  2. Almost go with your gut. I learned that one the hard way too. You live with them and get a spidey sense about things. Glad there is a path now that may lead to progress. She must have been in real pain to growl at her favorite human.

    1. That spidey sense is a good description. My vet, yesterday, was saying that adrenaline kicks in at the vet’s office and can mask all kinds of pain, making it tough to diagnose just by palpating and such.

      1. That is so true. I took Hazel over because she couldn’t walk on her hind leg at all. She kept it pulled up. I took her out of the carrier and she started running around on all fours like a racehorse. I was speechless. Fortunately she got some pain meds or her afternoon would have been painful.

  3. It is always an inner feeling that something is wrong in the force that needs to be paid attention to…… Telling the Dr this is a ‘mommy’ visit always seems silly, but when you know, you know. Good for you for stepping up and lucky Leelu.
    I saw Marley and Bodhi out for a walk and they both looked great! Bodhi’s living the Lab life!

    1. I love the “mommy” visit! That’s a hoot, but a great description. And Bodhi is, indeed, doing very well, and much happier now.

  4. Thank you for all the help you give to animals. I know well what you mean about what seems like living at the vet at times. Good that you insisted on the x-rays, and they found the source of the problem for Leelu. I am glad to hear Bodhi is doing well and not in any more pain.

  5. Dang it…not the best way to start out the year. Hoping the anti-inflammatory and doggie downer helps your sweet girl. Sending oodles of poodles of healing thoughts and energy your way.

    1. Definitely a tough start to the year. I’m hoping the meds help too…should know better in a couple weeks. Thanks for the healing thoughts and energy…we will take all we can get. Little Miss Gracie is getting to be therapy dog at home right now. Leelu is still stressed and afraid of me and the world, and Gracie is her security blanket. Leelu won’t go outside with just me, but she will if Gracie comes too, so Gracie and I will see what we can do to help her along with the meds.

      1. Poor Leelu. And how precious that she relies on Gracie for comfort. Hope she recovers soon and learns to trust again. We’ll be thinking of you and keeping our paws crossed. 🤞🏼

  6. Gosh, you sure do have your hands full. Poor Leelu…she was in pain but didn’t know how to express it. I hope the meds help. Our gut instincts are sometimes so powerful; I’m really glad you got the x-ray. Bodhi is his usual handsome self. Little Miss Gracie has her therapy work cut out for her right at home! I think you are amazing. Take care of yourself. We need you!!

    1. It is a rather full plate at the moment! But it will get better. Gracie actually does have therapy work to do at home right now. Leelu is pretty stressed from yesterday, and still very fearful of me and everything, so she won’t go outside to potty without Gracie going with her. Gracie is her security blanket for now.

    1. My fingers and toes are crossed the meds help too. And Bodhi says thanks for the hug!

  7. Oh, poor Leelu!! Having gone through two ACL-repair surgeries with Callie, a pulled groin muscle with Shadow, the heartworm disease with Radar, and the hip dysplasia and anxieties with Ducky, I fully understand the “living at the vet” feeling! But at least now you know you were right about the pain issues; and you have a plan. And bless little Gracie!! She has her therapy work at home cut out for her. But I know she’ll excel at it.

    Be careful with the Prozac, though. When Ducky was on it – back in 2013-15 – it sometimes made her very snippy toward Shadow. Back then I attributed the snippiness to wanting Callie’s attention to herself. Yet, even after Callie left us, Ducky would still get snippy at times. Once we weaned her off the Prozac, she pretty much stopped being such a brat toward Shadow. There were, of course, moments of bratitude, but not like there had been before. Medications affect different dogs in different ways, as you know – just like they do people – but just be aware of the possibilities.

    And, of course, Bodhi! He is a very handsome boy!! Glad he is feeling so much better now!!

    1. Thanks for the head’s up on the Prozac. So far so good, but I’ll watch for any side effects.

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