Saturday, April 16, 2011

Danger-prone dog.

A thing I have recently learned:

If somebody exclaims "Wow! Chandler is fast!" I need to stop him. NOW.

I am NOT a happy puppy.

It turns out that Chan had too much fun last Sunday. He overexerted and really messed up his "rear end suspension", as I often call it. In practical terms, this means that he is very sore in his right hind leg, is having trouble bearing weight on it, and can't handle stairs or steep inclines at the moment. This is a bit of a problem, as there is no way to get into and out of the house without encountering at least two stairs.

Right hind leg. Ouchy.

Of course, he didn't stiffen up until after the car ride home. The only indication he gave that something might be wrong was a slight yelp as he inspected Karen's car before we left. I personally suspect the cause was chasing after the ultraballs from the ball launcher. He'll run flat out and full of drive to beat another dog to the ball. In addition, he also did some extreme twists and turns while grabbing the ball.

But fetch is fun!

Unfortunately, while the spirit is willing, his flesh isn't quite up to the task. Chandler has slightly loose hips; .61 / .57 PennHIP. Thankfully there's no degenerative joint disease. He got the bad luck of the litter. His dam has .30 / .30 PennHIP, his sire was OFA good. Oddly, I know of other dogs of his breed with similar hip ratings to Chan that show no symptoms. As near as I can figure out, his loose hips in combination with his shorter legs/longer back make him very prone to over-stressing the muscles in his hindquarters.

You said I have a rectangular build?

For the first part of the week I minimized Chan's exposure to stairs and cut his exercise down to potty walks, as I knew he needed to rest. However, he seemed to get more uncomfortable as time went by. He didn't wander the house. He yelped when ascending the two steps to get through the sliding glass door into the house. When he was standing, his tail hung strait down, and it was obvious he was favoring his right hind leg. I loaded him into the car for a trip to the veterinarian on Thursday.

Poor Chandler; he's seen too much of the interior of various veterinary offices between his multiple accidents and his anaplasmosis issues. All he did was cry and shake while waiting for the veterinarian. I can't say I blame him that much, since having his injured leg manipulated was obviously painful. The "good" news from the visit was that Chandler's knee did not seem to be involved, so I did not have to worry about a cruciate ligament tear. The veterinarian concluded that Chandler's hip muscles that extend the leg backward were the problem, as I had suspected. We left with some
Deramaxx for his pain, and I took a side trip to Petsmart to get a dog ramp. Chan isn't quite so sure about the ramp, because he associates the sliding glass door and its two steps with pain in his hips. But if I tap the ramp in front of him, he'll scoot up and down it.

I don't like it, but if you insist I'll go up the ramp.

Chan seems to have improved a bit, between the rest and the Deramaxx. Today, he's wagging more, moving around the house more, and trying to hold out for longer potty walks. It is probably going to be another extended recovery, but I am relieved that it wasn't his cruciate ligament. He will recover from a muscle injury given rest, care, and time.

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