Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I officially have a senior dog: The Results.

Good news: Oreo has gorgeous hips and knees. His anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL's) are spectacularly solid for a 10 year old as well.

He is also (obviously) Heart Worm and Lyme disease negative.

Not so good news: He has Lumbo-Sacral Stenosis with narrowing of the disc space and sclerosis (arthritis) of the end plates. This means that the disc has either been compacted or was never there and the result is that the last vertebra of his spine before his sacrum has become arthritic. This is also where the sciatic nerve branches off the spinal column and goes to the legs.

There is also bridging spondylosis of the L-S space and the cranial lumbar spaces. Meaning that bone is starting to develop between the two vertebra in order to stabilize the spine. Dr H is not worried about the thoracic bridging so much as he is in regards to the build up around the sacrum.

The disc space between L4/5 and 6 is also narrowed.

What all this means. He is on 50mg of Rimadyl 2x daily, this is a common arthritis medication. He is not far enough advanced to warrant surgery. We are going to see how much this helps him out and go from there.

I will say that the staff there are superb, and Dr H was pleasantly surprised that I knew where all the bits and pieces were, as in I could tell immediately that his hips and knees were clean. When it was time for the vet tech to get him the poor puppy growled at the girl when she opened the door. She came to see if I could get him to come out. He was wedged in the back corner of his kennel shaking in a huddled, pitiful ball. For all the pain he caused me last Thursday when he bit me, and as much as I swore at him, I would have rather he had bit me again than to see him like that.

I officially have a senior dog.

Dogs, especially large breeds, are considered seniors at 7. My Oreo turned 10 in October. However, the events of the past month have really pointed out that I truly do have a senior dog in my midst.

Quick catch up, Oreo is my rescued, 10 year old, 61.6# (today), Aussie mix blue speckled male. We have had him for a year as of the 8th of March, though we officially adopted him on veteran's day...fitting as his previous owners were USAF and we are USN.

About a month ago, Oreo showed some sensitivity in his hips, the vet recommended that we do a "wait and see" as he was still running, getting on the furniture, playing, and being his general self.

Last week due to food obsession correction he bit my arm. Anyone that knows rescue and dog behavior knows that a dog doesn't bite for no reason, and it isn't the dogs fault if he bit you. My doctor said I had some of the most colorful bruises he has seen in a very long time, because Oreo clenched his jaws more than once I have a series of them that have wrapped around 2/3rds of my arm, I named the one on my inner arm "Fudgie the Whale". Any New Englander will get that reference. So a vet appointment was made.

Today I took him in to see Dr Harrington, a vet that has been taking care of my families pets for years. This is the man that stayed open late so my sister could come in and have her 15 year old cat put down when it was found that cancer had nearly taken over his whole body at the Emergency Vet.

He mentioned things that I had noticed, but never having had an older dog didn't noticed as red flags. For instance, Oreo automatically sat when Dr H got near his hips and he has narrow hips and should have more muscle tone there. I had noticed that he would sit instead of receive his butt scratch he also isn't a fan of having his haunches brushed out. As he has always had the big chest/little butt I never noticed that.

So I had to leave the love bug at the vet's office. They will be sedating him, taking a full course of blood work (thyroid, cancer, glucose, etc) from him and x-raying his hips, pelvis and abdomen. The bonus is that they will also be clipping his nails which he is not a fan of either.

I get to pick him up later this afternoon and see all his scans and hear the verdict. Joy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cocheco Valley Humane Society Rabies Clinic March 27th Dover, NH

Rabies Clinic

March 27 - 10 AM- 2 PM

$12 for 1 year Vaccine
$15 for 3 year Vaccine
(proof of prior rabies is required in the
form of a rabies certificate)
$35 Microchip

Thank you do Dr. Benedetta Sarno from V.E.S.H.
for volunteering her time!

Please, bring dogs on leashes and cats in carriers!
At this time, we are able to vaccinate dogs and cats only,
no ferrets please!

"Rabies is a threat to our companion animals as well as ourselves. It is a disease caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals. The most common carriers of rabies are infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs and cats.

Transmitted to pets and humans by bites, or possibly by contamination of an open cut, treatment to an infected person is critical. Untreated, rabies causes a painful death.

In cooperation with local veterinary partners, CVHS conducts low-cost rabies clinics throughout the year. These clinics help raise awareness and make the cost of the vaccine affordable."

Cocheco Valley Humane Society

Strafford County Complex, 262 County Farm Road, Dover, NH 03820

(603) 749-5322 Fax: (603) 749-3484


Click here for directions