My dog Chloe

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Chloe is the first dog I ever had. So loving, cuddly, smart. She will be 8 in April.

    Chloe started limping about a week ago after a run in the park. There was snow there. She limped on and off and was worse last Friday. I talked to the vet and he said if she is putting weight on her leg it is probably a strain. He prescribed Remadyl for inflamation. Weekend went good.

    Monday I got home from work and husband took the dogs out front. Chloe was running - not hard or fast and all of a sudden let out this BIG YELP. Won't put her leg down. No weight at all. Not crying or whining...groaning.

    Called the vet and brought her in. Chloe tore a legiment. Here's our dilema. She is heavy, on a diet prescription dog food. But she is a bigger dog. (75lbs). She can barely get up with one leg due to her weight. Doctor said if we let it go, it may heal, but more than likely arthritis will set in. And due to her weight she will favor that leg and the other will go out. He can do surgery, he's done the tune of 1400 - 1600 dollars. Then still, with her weight we chance the other leg being injured during recovery. And, arthritis may set in regardless.

    I am sure you all know from my posts that Chloe is my baby girl. She is just the most perfect dog you could ever ask for. I don't know what to do. We don't have $1400. And if we found a way to do this, how long?
    I watched a neighbor keep their giant Chocolate Lab to the point he couldn't get in and out of the house (hip issues/arthritis). I swore I would NEVER let that happen to Chloe.

    husband had to carry her out to the yard. We have a big deck off the kitchen, but there are two steps to the yard. She can't get down. We thought of putting a peice of plywood up but she is afraid. I have a bale of hay and thought of putting some on the deck, she won't go there. She knows she goes off the deck. She is taking pain pills, and when I left for work husband was lying in the living room with her because she can't get up.

    He was crying. He said, "if only I didn't take her out front"...It isn't his fault. The vet believes that it was injured a week or so ago, and just tore today. What do I do? She isn't sick. She has such beautiful eyes. As I was sitting by her she reached her paw up and placed it on my leg.

    If we do this, how long? If we don't, will we regret it? OMG. I just don't know what to do.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Will your vet let you make payments?

    Is there another way to treat the leg? I'm asking because you don't have the cash and arthritis may set in anyway. And at 8, honestly, it's not going to be all that long before arthritis would get her even without an injury. Eight is fairly old for a dog, especially the medication-large breeds.

    Our dog Molly (my perfect girl) already has pretty bad arthritis and is also over weight. (she loses it every summer) Nichole got growled at during the last bath cuz she scrubbed a bit too hard around the sore hip. Must have hurt like the devil for Molly to growl.......she's never growled in her life at one of us, and normally wouldn't dream to do it to her fav person Nichole.

    My heart goes out to you. So far Molly is doing ok and doesn't need medications. If she gets to the point of needing medications before I've got my nursing degree.......well, we just can't afford it. Otherwise I'll have to weight the benefit against the cost.

    Problem is with chloe, you run the risk of the same injury again, maybe in the other leg, or even same leg at a later time. In people this type of injury heals ok by itself given rest and time. I'd imagine if you kept chloe on limited activity hers would do the same. But you'd have to ask the vet.

    Saying a prayer for your furbaby tonight. Poor sweet girl.

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Awww! Poor pup.

    She'll need to be put on a schedule for outside needs.

    I'm the wrong person to ask. I raised a pup on a bottle; up every three hours feeding, stimulating bowl movements, running home during the day (1 1/2 round trip) when the puppy sitter could fill in for me, yadda, yadda, yadda. lol
  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I know my head tells me she is a dog. She wouldn't have a good life if she were in pain and not able to do what she has always done. but my heart tells me to hold on as long as I can. And, I know I would be the bad guy regardless of how the decision is made. husband won't say. he is upset too. He says it doesn't matter what he says, he doesn't want me to get mad. On the bright side - if there is one, maybe she'll feel better when I get home today. Not really expecting that, but I can hope. Chloe is my avatar now. Wish you were able to see her eyes.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 10, 2009
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Lisa. At eight year old, and especially in a large breed dog, she's probably going to get some degree of arthritis. And eight is fairly old for a large dog. But there's all kinds of ways they can treat arthritis, lots of different supplements you can give them to help their joints, just like people. In all honesty, I would not put an eight year old dog through that kind of surgery - she will probably get arthritis anyway. And if you did decided to have it done, I would not rely on the regular vet. I would try to find an orthopedic specialist at a teaching hospital at a university with a vet school.

    Loosing some of the excess weight will help her a lot. The weight control formula food is good and a lot of the "senior" formulas have the supplements in them for their joints.. One thing you could try to help it along is to replace a third or a fourth of her regular food with green beans. They fill them up, they get a lot of good nutrients out of them, and almost no calories. Dogs are very good at "making do". If one leg hurts, they learn to use the other three to get by till it heals.
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Chloe is on a prescription diet dog food from the vet. She is 75 pounds and gets less than a cup twice a day. She also has hypothryroidism and takes solexine. The overweightness is the reason they checked thryoid to begin with.

    The trouble she is having with only one leg is she cannot get up. I am very much worried about the torn legimant. Not a muscle strain. there was just no warning. A little limp but weight bearing to no weight and cannot get up. All happened so fast.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    First allow me to tell you I'm so sorry your furbaby is in pain. I think sometimes it's harder when you can't hear them verbally and have to wonder what they are saying with their eyes. Makes you feel pretty insignificant when you don't know what will help.

    Our dog has a condition called panto. (something longer than that, but in vet terms Panto suffices) occasionally when he plays too long he will start to limp or hold up his front leg. We were also told he could be on Rimadyl(sp) but it was very expensive. We began to put ice and heat alternately on it and our vet said that we could give him 2 ENTERIC aspirin with coating. He weighs 75 lbs. We also began giving him glucosamine chondroitin (again sp) but OMG it is just the nastiest tasting, bitter stuff. However it helped.

    For now? With Spring coming - I would go ahead with the ramp and just train her to use it. OUR dogs had to get used to it and at first they were leary of it as well. I would keep her on the Rimyadyl and let her have time to heal and NO running. Make sure the ramp is at an angle that is not too steep. You may have to make it longer to adjust to the degree of height she can manage.

    As far as surgery to repair a cruciate ligament? WOW - yeah - We faced that with our Pit and chose to let him heal naturally - but he was younger then. I would ask the vet maybe if you can alternate heat and cold and ask about the Enteric aspirin (NO OTHER ASPIRIN) - other types can kill a dog.

    Maybe some heated sand bags and ask about physical therapy in a few months, maybe even getting her in the pool doing some exercises?

    It also wouldn't hurt to ask your vet for a referral to a specialist.

    Hugs - for you and the furbaby!
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Vet told me a few weeks ago when the dogs got their shots, and Kenzie is a sissy and wouldn't walk, Vet said to give one adult Asprin. Must be asprin. Vet said they MAY use that on a short term issue. I gave it to her and hours later she threw up.

    Then when Chloe first had a slight limp - I gave her an asprin. this dog eats Taco's and Chili if it is in her reach. She threw up all DAY after the asprin.

    Remydal is for inflamation. Vet gave us that last Friday when her limp seemed a bit worse, but still full weight bearing. I too gave her that joint stuff that starts with the "G". Vet said that is to keep the cartalige and joint healthy but it won't repair any damage. Can't remember the name of the pain medication they gave last night. The tear is very large. You can actually feel it when they show you where.

    But, Star - I am really glad to think that the "G" supplement showed results. I'll have to force it on her. She will take the remadyl, but won't come close to that other one.

    Have to laugh with the swim thing. chloe isn't much of a swimmer. She walks around the lakes and ponds with her head underwater. She THINKS she is swimming. Cause if you ask her to go swimming she gets all excited, runs down to the water and just walks around with her head under.

    Kenzie is our swimmer. Afraid she won't come back!

    We had a white hamster when chloe was younger. We use to tell her to be nice, and we would let the hamster crawl on her. And I would dress chloe up in costumes for every holiday. Even have a yellow raincoat with a hat. We use to walk a lot. She hated to be dressed. I think of the torture with the hamster. Kenzie would have that thing in her mouth and dead in 9/10 of a second. chloe just did what ever you said.

    Sorry, I am just so sad. i never had a pet before. She is suppose to stick around healthy for a longer time. i am scared.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    {{Kjs}} I'm so sorry to hear about Chloe's torn ligament.

    Along with the Rimadyl, can they also give you some Metacam for pain? It is also an anti-immflamatory, but it also takes the edge off pain, which Rimadyl does not do. Definitely ask - it's ibuprofen for animals and I have some at my house just in case (left over from Izzy's surgery).

    This is a tough call. If it were me, I think I would probably ask about being able to make payments (if that's a possibility for you) or I would allow her to heal naturally and come up with ways of helping her in that regard, such as ice/warm packs, perhaps warm bath soaks, train her on the ramp, but in the meantime, carry her out and in until she can stand on her own without as much pain.

    The only problem I can see with not allowing her to run around is that she will have a more difficult time losing the weight. Have you tried an organic weight loss dog food as opposed to the vet's weight loss dog food? The organic dog foods have way less fillers and natural ingredients that will help her body absord what she needs and expel the rest easier. Easier and healthier nutrition means less excess fats and carbs being kept on her bones. If the dog food she is currently on is not helping, I would definitely look for something else. Incidentally, the vets don't always choose the best foods for our animals and we need to do our own research. And if you do change her diet, you will need to do a 24 hour fast, so breakfast to breakfast is the best way for them to fast. You can offer up water and some clear broth, but no food if you take this route.

    Hugs, God, I know how difficult this is for you having been through it recently with our Sophie.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Can you try baby aspirin for her? Seems to help our guys not ralph it up so much. And its easier to give a lower dose that way, which also helps.
  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    KJS, my sweet Honeysue, woke up one morning with a lump and a limp. 9AM vet, 10:30 oncologist was telling me she wasn't going to get better and she would be in a lot of pain.
    Rimadyl made a huge difference in her quality of life. She takes rimadyl for anti inflammation, and pepcid ac. It gives her a great quality of life but the down side is it's abrasive to the stomach.
    You may want to ask the doctor about pepcid. It's over the counter and seems to help her tummy.

    Hopefully, your sweetie will feel better with the rimidyl. You can buy ramps with rough stuff(so they don't slide) to go over the steps. I have one for the back of the pick up so she doesn't have to stress her fragile leg.

    Hang in there and hugs to you and your pup.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    you guys are so comforting. Have to giggle sometimes. I wish you could all meet her. All 75 pounds of her. And MORE when she makes herself There is no possible way I can carry her across the deck and to the yard. husband does with his bulging disc and all. Warm bath soaks - I'Learning Disability (LD) love to, but she would go near the bath.
    She is a sweet dog but if she hears the word bath she puts her head down and hugs you.
  13. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I had my vet on the phone recently and she said that studies have shown that dogs (any size) who have aspirin will show that it will start a stomach ulcer....even 1 aspirin. She said that most vets, now, will not recommend aspirin.

    If you feel she needs it and you aren't ready to give up on her (I don't think I would be), ask the vet if you can go on a payment schedule....$100. bucks a month? I think most vets are willing to do this.
  14. deniseinsatx

    deniseinsatx New Member

    I have a large dog (american bulldog, 95 lbs) and his hip/leg does the same thing. I was told by his breeder, who really knows her stuff, to give him 1500mg of Ester C and 1000 mg of Glucosimine Chondite (or however you spell it) She said buy a pill crusher, mix it with a small can of wet food and give daily. She had a female Bulldog that was in horrible pain (back leg) and after 3 days on high doses of the Ester C they saw vast improvement. Good luck.
  15. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    We have small dogs, rat terriers, but one of them is heavy and doesn't use her back leg. We don't know why, but she runs like a champ on her other three legs. It's probably arthritis, but she doesn't seem to be in any pain. We call her tripod, LOL.

    I hope she gets feeling better quickly.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aw, she is such a sweetie. I love the avatar.
    I don't know what to suggest. I guess just to let it heal naturally. You'll have to help her go inside and outside and re-train her to walk on 3 legs. Keeping her out of pain will help with-that a lot. Dogs are resilient that way.
    I know what you mean about the cost.
    We use Rimadyl for our border collie, too. The vet keeps checking blood levels every 6 mos and if he says she's toxic, I will leave her on it. I'd rather have her die sooner of liver failure, than later, in drawn-out pain.

    Best of luck. I feel for you.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Okay - could you get her an ace wrap? I mean DF has 2 torn ACLs currently needing both knees replaced - and the wraps help him - couldn't your baby be fitted with a special brace? I'd check with the vet.

    The aspirin we give is called Enteric aspirin - it's coated. Walmart - very cheap and the coating helps them keep it down and not barf. I've never heard of giving a real aspirin. But I'm not all ears in the vet world.

    I checked yesterday with my vet again after Fran had asked about the insurance and this man (charged me $150 for tooth extraction, etc and medications) still said I would come out better without insurance.

    So Fran - if you read this and have found a good one PM me with the information because like you - I'm not EVER going to worry about treating or not. My luck we'd get a doggy HMO that wouldn't approve treatment. UGH.
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    No advice. Just know that I completely understand the conflicting feelings.

    We had a 6yo cat that we opted to treat for a cancerous jaw bone tumor. I figured he still had a lot of good years left in him. We'd already paid out for hip surgery when he was a year old and broke it in a second-story balcony fall. Well, he came out of the $1,500 surgery just fine and was on the mend, eating soft food with his now boneless half of a jaw. Two weeks later he got out somehow and we suspect a coyote found him -- we never saw him again :(

    If we hadn't lost him that way, I would not have regretted the surgery.
  19. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I think you've gotten some good medical advice and I don't really have any to add. One thing no one has mentioned though is this....If you want to give it a chance to heal but worry about getting her outside...try helping her up with a piece of fabric. Something like a large towel, sheet or blanket. (If it doesn't hurt her anyway). Run it under her down low on her belly right in front of her hind legs and lift. You can either lift her back end up completely or just help support her while she uses the other leg.

    Of course, that is assuming it IS her rear leg. If it's one of her front legs, you can still do the same thing but with a little creative modification.

    I completely understand by the way. We had to put our Taz down last summer but he was older than your Chloe. He had had bad hips for a long time but it got a lot worse and after trying a couple of things, his general health just went downhill fast. In some ways I wish we had done it sooner to save some of his dignity and pain but we just couldn't do it. It just hoovers so much when the spirit is still there but their body isn't willing.

    Sending hugs. It's hard, but you'll figure out what's best for her.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't have any advice, just sending some gentle hugs to all of you.