Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It’s The Little Things…

Over the last few weeks, Reyna has shown more signs of getting worse. There are several little things that she’s been doing (or not doing) that tell me she’s not feeling like herself. One change I’ve noticed is that her tail is much cleaner than usual. Which means its not all crusty and covered in dog spit. That’s because she’s not sitting on it and licking it as much anymore, which is because she has a lot of trouble catching it now. Even though she still wants to spin around the living room, she’s not doing it nearly as often. I think somewhere in her doggy brain she’s realized that slipping and falling is not a fun thing to do.

Another change I discovered a couple of weeks ago when we had a nice warm weekend. I gave the dogs baths, and for the first time ever, Reyna didn’t spend the entire time trying to get away from me. At one point, she actually sat down while I lathered her up with the shampoo. That’s just not like her.

Her hips have started shaking every time she stands still and she occasionally has trouble getting up the ramp to the deck. That’s not a good sign. She’s also started licking more and chewing on herself. The lick granuloma on her wrist is twice the size it was two weeks ago. Some of the chewing may be due to allergies, so I’ve got her on Benadryl to help with that. I’m afraid most of it is because she’s hurting and frustrated at her inability to do what she wants and her obsessive-compulsive brain is acting out. If she starts fixating, we could have some real trouble. She has an appointment Monday with our regular vet to get on Clomicalm, an anti-anxiety med. Since the Prozac never caused any obvious behavioral changes, we’re trying something else. With luck, the new meds will calm her down and keep her from obsessing over licking or chewing certain spots. And she can stay on it through the surgery and recovery period. I also talked to the vet today about getting a sling for her so I can help stabilize her when she has trouble walking. He actually recommended a special harness instead of a sling, which makes more sense to me. A hip sling would very likely cause more pain, particularly after the surgery, and I’m not sure that Reyna would tolerate a belly sling. She’s used to wearing a harness for SAR, though, so this shouldn’t cause her any stress. And its designed so that she can wear it all day, which means I won’t have to go looking for it when I want her to use it, or worry her by putting it on and taking it off repeatedly.

We’ll see how the new meds go, and maybe the weather will warm up some and help ease some of the pain. Right now, my goal is just to get to the pre-op appointment without losing so much bone that the surgeon says she can’t have a new hip.


Anonymous said...

Poor puppy....keeping paws crossed!!! Love, Mom

Marie said...

Poor Reyna.