First of all, I would like to thank Mother Nature for a glorious soaking that has begun the "little" creek roaring again, giving us over 4 inches of rain, so far. Much obliged, Madame, much obliged. The powdery soil in that low spot, out back, went from crunchy "perma-frost" to goop in no time but honestly, I am so very happy to have this bounty for my trees and well that I don't mind it ONE BIT. My Chinese horoscope devotee dad, was right about the timing. He said that the year of the metal dragon was going to be refreshingly wet for our land and our souls. Alrighty, then...
We knocked off from work yesterday at 2, so that Lorrie could follow me over to the house and exercise her poor middle finger with some MUCH needed scissor work on my mop. When she got hurt that day that Trixie arrived, I knew that a haircut was out of the picture for good length of time but yesterday morning, she announced that she had brought her scissors and that I REALLY needed a haircut. Hah! Nothing like having your hairdresser/friend/assistant/dog sitter stare at your overgrown hairdo to get her recuperated enough to wield the scissors again. I, for one, am mighty happy to get the hair out of my eyes. :o)
The dogs had no idea of what was coming, as they hung out in Hairdo Land. They were just happy to be with us. When Lorrie left, it was time to get the car ready and the leashes hidden until the last minute before the first car ride with Trixie and her buddy, Tank. No WAY did they want to just "hop in", even though she can bound like Superman. No WAY would they try the ramp and so Rod had to lift them up into the back of the Pilot. Tank was the only one getting worried, as we drove the 10 minutes to the Smith Flat clinic and by the time we arrived, he had worked himself into quite the tizzy. Trixie was calm and quiet.
Doctor Kennedy is a bay area transplant, like us, and loves to be a teacher to his patients people. He worked with Trixie, who was pretty nervous when he came to her with the microchip reader but by the time she was done with HER exam, she thought that he and his treats were ok. All of the time that she was being worked with, poor Tank was hyperventilating and acting like a goofball. It really was embarrasing, to tell you the truth. (here come those Souza's with their two ring circus) but after he was checked by the doctor, I had a better idea of why he was acting like a nut.
The Doctor had asked why Tank was in and I explained to him that he had an episode of pain, while playing with little Myles, right around Christmas. They had been "rough housing" (Tank was doing tug-o-war and those juking moves that dogs do, in play) when he cried out, fell down and held his leg out at an odd angle. At that time, I was worried that he had pulled his hip out of the socket or something and we watched him and when he seemed to improve in a day, I let it go. It happened again, to a lesser degree, and when I saw him recover, I put it in the back of my mind. It happened one more time, when he and Trixie were play fighting outside and I knew that I needed to alert the doctor. I honestly just thought that it was arthritis or something like that.
Upon examining Tank's knees, the doctor told me that he was worried that Tank not only had arthritis in those knees but that he may have torn his ACL's in one or both knees. (!!!) This dog has been hiking with us and trying to keep up with Trixie heading up the hill but really slow on the way down. He is only 6 but a purebred Lab who was diagnosed with an elbow issue, as a pup and this was and was not shocking. We did get scolded a little for his extra 10 pounds, which we vowed to whittle away, as we did once before, when he and Sasha came in a little too well fed, years ago. (knock off the treats, Mama.) The doctor said that this would help his joints but we have to take him in on Tuesday to be sedated, x-rayed and evaluated, to see if he needs surgery. Surgery.
We came home with a bottle of Nsaids for his pain and were told to up his fish oil to 8 capsules a day as well as get some Sam-e and human Chondroitin (he said not to trust the dog formula) and to look into Nutro-max for more joint issue treatment. Dogs can be so stoic and I can only imagine the amount of pain that he has been suffering, now that we have been clued in to the doctor's suspicions. Poor Tankie! It is just good to know that if the worst case is a reality, he can still have that surgery to keep his knee from slipping and wearing and can have a good quality of life. At this point, I will hope for "just arthritis" but prepare for the worst case scenario.
I guess that it took these younger dogs coming in for a romp with him to expose the flaws in this big boned dude. I just want him to have a happy and healthy life as a grown-up Lab, being able to play with Trixie and be her walking companion for years to come.