Roxy and the no good very bad back – Caring for critters
Today I am taking part in the Caring for Critters round robin that Jodi from Heart like a dog started. Several bloggers are blogging about health issues they have encountered and dealt with in the lives of their pets.
I am going to talk a little about Roxy and her back issues, and how I treat her.
Roxy was first diagnosed with a bad disk in her back about 5 years ago. At the same time, we found out her knee was bad with a luxating patella. Apparently, the knee issue is fairly common in Chihuahua’s. She will sometimes limp, or carry, her left leg while we are out walking. She only does it for a little while though, so it’s never been a huge concern.
The back however, is another story. I first took her in because she was hunching, and obviously in pain. Since she was only 5 or 6 at the time, I had no idea what could be wrong. An X-ray showed the degenerative disk in the middle of her spine. The vet prescribed Rimadyl, which gave her relief right away. She also needed to lose a pound, which she did. Every once in a while, for no apparent reason, her back would flare up. I would give her the Rimadyl for a day or two, then she was back to normal.
Everything changed last December though. We were in St. George, and the weather was extremely cold. She was in so much pain she could hardly walk, and touching her at all caused her to yelp. Her personality was totally altered. My snuggle pup was hiding under the table and walking completely hunched. Needless to say, I was heart broke. I had refilled the Rimadyl before we hit the rode for Arizona, so I had a supply. Thinking the cold was the culprit, since it makes my joints ache, I gave her the pills and she was much better. We immediately headed for warmer weather, and I stopped dosing her. I soon figured out it was not weather related however, as she was in pain all over again. I started giving her a half dose in the morning, and a half dose at night. This way she didn’t wake up in pain. I called my vet in Utah who refilled the Rimadyl when I told him the situation. (Yes, I have a great vet like that)
Now, I just manage her condition with a half dose of Rimadyl in the morning. This works great, and I feel better about not giving her too much medication. When we were in Utah in the Spring, I took Roxy in to have blood drawn to make sure the Rimadyl was not causing any damage to her liver. She passed with flying colors, and the vet and I both feel great about leaving her on the small dose forever.
I have to make sure she doesn’t over do it. Roxy will be 10 in December, and just doesn’t have the stamina she used to. She still loves to run, and go for walks, but if we go for miles and miles, she poops out. My doggie backpack is great for her. I have to keep her from jumping from anything high, and she still can have more pain if she gets cold. But overall, she does great. As long as a half dose of Rimadyl works for her, we will both be happy.
Tomorrow, be sure to check out Destiny’s Dog Blog for a post on dog dementia.
To see all the posts in the Caring for Critters round robin, click on the badge below and it will take you to a page with all of them. Be sure to check back too, as new posts are added daily.