Typically my hips have not caused me much trouble if I don’t walk too far. However, in the last week, my right hip has become a problem – it just isn’t holding my weight. I have been falling more frequently and it wobbles when I walk. Pam talked to Dennis, my vet, and he looked at my x-rays again and said the right hip is more dysplastic and the left has more arthritic changes. The left seems to be holding up better, but the dysplastic nature (the hip socket is very shallow) of the right is a problem. Pam feels it is worse because of the additional exercise/fighting I have been engaged in with our new foster, Stella. Stella is a young dominant female and she likes to challenge my role in the house. Being the big, dominant girl I am, I don’t take it lying down and we mix it up quite often. So this could and probably is the source of the current decline in my hip. Pam is now keeping us separated most of the time.
After trying several different “doggie NSAID’s” (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as Rimaydl, with no success or limited success, we asked my vet if we could try meloxicam. Meloxicam is a human generic NSAID that you can get with prescription from Walmart for $5 per month. It is a bit futzy as I am 110 lbs and I take 3/4 of a pill but it works great! I get some bad belly days but nothing a little pumpkin and rice can’t cure! It seems to work much better controlling my discomfort on a daily basis and it is much more affordable. So that combined with a daily dose of Dasoquin, keep me moving and getting up and down much better than without them. However they are starting to not be enough.
So what next???? Well we are exploring a few options. Saturday we were in Milwaukee at the Pet Expo and I met a number of interesting people there and Pam has been doing some more research and has uncovered a few options.
- We have ordered a hip harness to allow Pam and my other staff to easily assist me when I fall. The harness appears to be snug enough and have enough padding to stay on me during the day when I am out of my crate.
- A man sought me out Sat at the Expo and gave me a touch therapy treatment in the middle of the aisle by the entrance. Many people thought I had fallen and was injured, but I was just enjoying the gentle, warm touch of this kind man. Too bad he lives in Illinois, but he did show Pam a few things she could do to help me.
We met a lady who had some Walkin Wheels, a wheelchair for dogs. Pam has looked at several and felt it was not an option because of the manner in which a dog’s hind end needed to be “lifted” into the “chair” and also the cost (over $1,000). However these Walkin Wheels are pretty cool, (http://www.handicappedpets.com/www/index.php/help-pets-walk/wheels-for-pets.html) I would not have to be lifted into anything – thank God cause I HATE to be lifted and the cost is around $500. So Pam and Sue are exploring this option and possibly doing a fundraiser to purchase one. The other advantage to this unit is that it can be adjusted to fit other dogs so it could stay within the rescue for any other Chessies that have similar hip issues. I could also continue to use my back legs with this it would just prevent me from falling and also carry some of my weight. One thing – I know I look overweight but really I am not. I have very large bones and a very fluffy coat. Yes I could probably stand to lose about 5 pounds still from my Thanksgiving meal but we are working on that. You can still feel between my ribs – honestly you can!
Tuesday I am going with Pam to Paws and Claws in Eau Claire to try out their therapy pool to see if this might be an option for strengthening my hips. Unfortunately it isn’t a convenient option as Eau Claire is 90 miles away so therapy sessions will be difficult to do on a very regular basis but maybe…..
- Then this morning Pam was talking to her chiropractor about me and she takes her Husky to a pet chiropractor in Viroqua (about 30 miles away) for adjustments and felt that would be a good option for me too. She is going to send Pam the information.
Obviously we can’t do it all of the above as they are probably not all necessary or feasible. In the next few weeks, Pam and Sue will figure out the best course of action for me and what we can afford to do. I know they will do what is best to keep me happy and comfy for as long as possible. BSLK’s to them and all my friends for putting my best interest and happiness first. This is not an easy journey for any of us. I will keep you posted as we move forward.