Sunday, September 18, 2011

gorgeous gracie

gorgeous gracie
Originally uploaded by Julep67
So we had Gracie to the vet yesterday. Last Saturday, when we got home from the dog park, we noticed that one of her front legs was really swollen on the “wrist” joint (not 100% up on my dog anatomy – sorry!). This was the same leg she’d injured in 2009. At that time, she’d been diagnosed with soft tissue damage and was prescribed with some NSAIDs. At that time, after a few days, she’d stopped limping and seemed fine.
In March last year, she did the same thing to the same leg. She has a really bad habit of chasing the squirrels out of our yard. The squirrels don’t actually get into our yard, instead, the travel on top of the fence. To get their attention, Gracie will hurl her little body at the wooden fence and try to knock them off. Her system works pretty well and the travelling squirrels really boogie quickly by our yard.

Yesterday, after x-rays and 2 hours in the vet’s office (because they were busy – we had to wait almost 30 minutes past our appointment time), she was diagnosed with arthritis in the joint. Fortunately, it’s just in the one front leg and it doesn’t seem to be giving her any trouble (stoic girl that she is). Again, the vet gave us some NSAIDs, a prescription for shorter, more frequent walks and told us again that she needs to lose more weight. I’m also going to explore some vitamin supplements for her because I’m reading good things about them.
For most of 2011, we’ve been trying to help her lose weight. Both she and Sam had chubbed up a bit over the winter. In the spring, we started a more walking / eat better food regime which is working really well for Sammy but hasn’t had the same level of success with Gracie. She gained a lot of weight last year before Christmas when we were dog sitting Bella. While Bella was here, Gracie got really food aggressive and just plain old over ate. At first we didn’t notice it because she’s so furry. In January though, we noticed that she was sort of waddling and we cut back on the amount of food she was getting. In February, we switched from a big name “premium” dog food you could get at the grocery store to a higher quality food from a pet food store. We almost instantly noticed a difference in their energy levels, in their coats and they were pooping a lot less. This new food is made in Canada, with fresh ingredients and is quite high in protein.

Both dogs did lose some weight on it but Gracie still has a way to go. The Vet is pretty sure that with a little more weight loss and the shorter walks, she’ll probably not have too much trouble with the arthritis (which I discovered from reading yesterday is pretty common in dogs). I feel really bad that this has happened and that the poor thing has probably been having some pain with it. Fortunately, we now know what it is and are dealing with it. I have to say, I have a really bad habit of going to the worst possible place in my minds and had pretty much convinced myself that she had bone cancer. It was a relieved to find out that its arthritis.

Right now, she’s vegged out on the floor behind me. We’re listening to some Ella Fitzgerald and waiting to hear from the groomers that Sammy is ready to be picked up (they were both supposed to be groomed this morning but there is a stupid cold/flu bug going through PetSmart so we had to cancel one of them and Sam needed to get cleaned up more urgently than Gracie – she’ll get her hair did next weekend). Considering that she’s a herding girl and she’s only really content when we’re all herded together and she’s watching us, I think it’s kind of cute that we’re listening to “someone to watch over me."

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