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Meg and Inca

All I know at this point is that the vet thinks Meg has arthritis. At my last call--we've been playing phone tag all day--the receptionist told me that he had left and said that he was going to call me on his cell phone. When that will be I don't know. I would really like it to be soon because I'd like to get in touch with the Seeing Eye tomorrow.

Apparently there is medication we can try. How much it will do is anyone's guess. She poked around all day today... We got where we needed to go, but it was about 70 percent my effort and 30 percent hers. If I stopped pushing her so hard, I really think she would just stop. I have an almost constant dialogue going, and I've taken to using a whole lot of "English" because the constant "good girl" and "hup hup" is truly monotonous. "Hup hup" energizes her for about two seconds. "Good girl" is the same. If she hears my voice, she's slightly more perky. I am sure she doesn't really care, but I think she loves people and the sound of happiness; so I blab all the way to campus on the days when I walk. If nothing else, it's a nice emotional outlet for me. But it isn't a normal thing for a person to need to do with a dog. Her attention truly wanders in a follow situation or a busy environment where I've given her a destination like outside and she's barraged with obstacles. So I end up doing "Outside. ... Leave it, outside. ... Leave it, outside. ... Hup hup, outside."

She had three short energy bursts: one after morning relief time, one sometime during the morning on the way to the library (inside an interconnecting walkway), and one a bit later in the day, also inside a building; so there were no animals distracting her. She's not terribly distracted, but I wouldn't say that she's very enthusiastic about where we're going most of the time. She knows and she will get there. It's just not a major priority.

She's always ready to work... Some days it's with gusto and some days it's with quiet willingness. I've always interpreted that as just Meg's moods. But if she's hurting and she's stoic about it... How kind is it to make her work? How much pain is she really in? I shut her tail in the car door the other day accidentally. I only knew because she jerked her head up. She didn't even yelp! I opened the door, she pulled out and put her head down to investigate it. As far as I could tell, only the hairs had gotten caught; but those hairs are sensitive! And my dog never makes a sound to go outside. She just stands there waiting patiently, sometimes for quite a long time. That's why I miss her signals and we struggled with accidents indoors for over a year. Is there such a thing as a dog that is too good?

Bless Inca's heart... She's barely eating. She does this whenever anything is amiss. I'm sure nothing is wrong with her: I just had her at the vet two weeks ago and he said she is in great shape. She has done this before around the same time of year. I put her back on food with water over it. It's a bit more appetizing to her, and usually it helps get her back on track. She has been ravenous for the past few days, but that's tapering off and she's leaving kibble untouched. All she cared about last night was the pumpkin--the vet suggested giving her canned pumpkin to add a bit of fiber to her diet, so I've been adding a teaspoon to her evening food. Tonight she left about a third of the pumpkin untouched. And she will only eat if I'm sitting with her...

She goes to Meghan a lot, and she's been assuming what I call her "thinking posture." She gets my attention, and when I go to the living room she just sits and won't let me touch her. She's not in pain--if I can catch her, she doesn't fight me or protest being handled. She even acted normal later on when I petted her, and she's still jumping on the furniture at random. She has gone through these phases off and on for a couple of years, coinciding with stress. I could possibly blame this on my starting school. It seems to correspond not only to the start of school but to really intense days. She settled down nicely after I wrote the journal about the book situation yesterday, and her loss of appetite has been especially noticeable today (Meghan's bad day). It seems my cat is especially sensitive to Meg's needs. Maybe I need to try listening to her.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
Hello, my retired guide, Bristol has severe DJD (degenerative joint disease or arthritis). She was diagnosed at around age six and immediately retired. She had it in her left front wrist so badly that she couldn't work, she couldn't use that leg. My vet told me that it was only a matter of time until she got it in her right from overcomppensating.

Once she was retired, I began water therapy with her every day (I didn't have a job or school back then.) I put her on a very high dose of glucosamine and chondroiten. I increased her natural intake of cartlage ( she is feed a raw diet.) My vet said that she would need a wheel chair in two years and that I would need to make some very hard choices about pain and her quality of life. It's been three years, and she is still walking on her own four feet and while the djd is now in her right leg like he predicted, she is as active as ever and even guides a little, on orders from my vet who said that since she loved guide work so much that I should make an effort to let her do it as long as we are safe. He believes that it is what gives her purpose and that with out it she would not fight the pain so much.
She is not in much pain these days, but it was so scary at first.

If there is anything I can do or if I can point you to helpful sights or groups, please let me know. Many people have used NSAIDS (rymidyl and the like ) with much success. I didn't because of other health (liver) issues Bristol has, and she is naturally reared so anything like that is of last resort for me. But if she ever gets to the point where it is necessary, I would probably do it to keep her levels down.

Has Meg had Xrays yet?
You guys will be in my prayers
Sep. 6th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Arthritis
How much glucosamine and chondroitin did you give her? I take this for my own arthritis and wondered how much was safe to give. I take a tablet that includes 500 mg glucosamine, 400 mg chondroitin, and 300 mg MSM. I'm going to let them do the trial of Rimadyl since she is still working and seems visibly upset when she isn't working and I leave her behind. She hasn't had an X-ray yet, but I found out this morning that they aren't done with the thyroid panels yet either. We're going in for the last blood draw this morning. But the Addison's is ruled out, and my checkbook is glad.
Sep. 6th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Arthritis
Bristol was on 1500 mgs of gluc, 1200mgs of chon and 600mgs msm (which didn't do a darned thing, but is included as "package dressing" in the med she takes.) If you want msm to do any good it needs to be given in much higher doses.

Personally, I would stay away from doggie gluc/chon sups because they tend to be very low-dose, requireing you to give several to your dog, and they also contain all kinds of other junk like rice flower and yeast and chicken byproducts for palitability.
I give Brissy's meds in a ball of raw hamberger or in a glob of solid pack pumpkin or in yogurt.

I began seeing a great deal of improvement with her djd when I began using turmeric with her. I first began using this herb when she was diagnosed with Uveitis secondary to toxoplasmosis.
I gave her the turmeric for the toxo along with Neem, and the turmeric really seemed to wonderful things for her joints so she is on it still.

You might check into other name brands of NSAIDS other than rymidyl, because labs seem to be the breed that has the most diffaculty with rymidyl. There are other kinds such as metacam or daramax.
I am probably butchering the spelling smile.

I am very glad she doesn't have adrenal issues, they are miserable both for her and for you because adrenal crisis are very frightening.

Best of luck with the thyroid stuff!
Sep. 6th, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)

Would you like to Skype at some point? I have to sspend all of Wednesday night writing a memo, but I will have time on Thursday or over the weekend. I would like to talk with you about this, because I am starting to wonder if Glaze has arthritis or something similar. I'm sorry you're experiencing this.
Sep. 6th, 2006 01:16 pm (UTC)
Skype would be wonderful. I added you already... See my last comment in your LJ.
Sep. 6th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Skype
Yeah--I saw that. For some reason, I was initially having problems adding you back. But it has now worked, and I have added you. Is there at time that would be best?
Sep. 6th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Skype
I'll leave it open. I'll be writing a paper so will just take a break when you're available. I'll be out tomorrow morning but will be home anytime after 1:30.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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