Friday, May 4, 2012

Jasmine's Acute Lameness

It came like lightning out of a blue sky. In an unsuspected moment Jasmine went from a prancing puppy to a dog who can barely make it from her bed to a drinking bowl.

We still have no good idea how it could have happened.

We went for a regular walk, everything was perfectly fine, and nothing happened on the walk that we could suspect as a source of the sudden lameness. The onset also doesn't add up to a trauma from the walk. When she did hurt herself outside, there has always been a usual chain of events. She'd come in just fine, then lay down to rest. Getting up from the rest, boom, that was when you would see something has happened.

But that's not how it happened this time. She got up after her rest and everything looked normal, except some mild soreness in the rear from the ilipsoas that she had hurt some time back. She had her dinner, everything was fine. She came into the kitchen for her dessert, everything was fine. Then she walked into the office and when she returned she wouldn't put her foot down.

My heart jumped into my throat.

We examined the foot, and toes and the pads … didn't find anything. At one point, when hubby was examining the foot, she cried a little, so we searched the foot further. But there was nothing we could see, feel, find, or get a reaction to. So we figured it must be something further up and it hurt as hubby was manipulating the leg to get a better look at the foot.

We examined the whole leg but found no swelling, no hot spots. Just from observing the way Jasmine was babying the leg we were convinced it must be the wrist.

It really looked like it was the wrist that was hurt.

We didn't want to manipulate it too much, as it must have been hurting a lot; she wouldn't put the foot down and didn't even want to lay down, as she would need to put some weight on that leg while doing so.

I was perfectly ready for a trip to the emergency. 

But our last experience with them was less then positive and meanwhile Jasmine did lay down and started bearing some weight on the leg. So we decided to wait till morning to see her main vet.

It looked so bad ... it's the worst I've seen Jasmine limp, even with all her past injuries and trouble (except the big horror with her hyperthermia). It was so scary and heartbreaking to watch.

It does underline the point that the front legs are so much more important for overall function than hind legs.

The past day and a half was spent watching her every move so I could be there to help her if she wanted to go anywhere She was favoring the leg so badly that she almost fell couple times; I wanted to be there to make sure that she doesn't fall and hurt something else on top of things.

Was it better to let her rest at home or risk the long ride to the vet?

I figured that this needs to get looked at and we chanced the trip.

First thing in the morning, we're at the vet's office, waiting for him to arrive. He took us in right away and examined Jasmine thoroughly. His findings are that she messed up her elbow and really made it very angry. He said she's telling him the elbow is the problem. He knows Jasmine inside out and really cares about her. He also earned our trust in past three years. So we trust that if he says that it is aggravated “dormant” arthritis in the elbow, then that's what it is.

He said the pain and signs are inconsistent with any fragments, luxation or cancer.

So that was the good news.

Jasmine cannot have NSAIDs, since the first time we tried them it almost killed her. She got bunch of pain killers and also a topical treatment containing DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), lidocaine and morphine. I wish they worked better than they seem to, though.

Her vet said that we could take x-rays but that he believes they wouldn't tell us anything new. It is a leap of faith for us to take his word for it, but he knows Jasmine literally inside and out, cares about her, and earned a lot of trust.

Is it crazy to put so much trust in his experience and diagnostic touch?

Of course there is some seed of doubt deep inside me; on the other hand our experience with him does tell me we can take his word for it. I know that if he had the slightest suspicion something else is going on he'd be the first one to bring up further diagnostics. When we first brought Jasmine to him with her injured knees, he wanted x-rays not only of the hind legs but other areas also, to get a really good picture of what is going on in her body and treat it all. That's how it was discovered that she had arthritis in her shoulders and other places also.

I feel we can trust him and spend money on treatment rather then further diagnostics from which we will not learn anything new. I pray I'm right!

Based on the situation, and the fact the treatment worked so well for Jasmine in the past, we initiated for her to get a stem cell treatment next Wednesday. She has a life time supply of stem cells at Vet-Stem, grown from her retaining sample.

Not that we have the money, but we're really hoping this will get her back on her feet. It is so devastating to see her like this.

Things do get better when she walks around a bit, which would confirm the diagnosis.

Of course, at the vet's office, with all the excitement of being there, she hardly limped at all. Fortunately, he really amazed us with how he can listen to what Jasmine's is telling him when doing an exam.

I so hope she feels a bit better tomorrow!


Related articles:
Jasmine's Acute Lameness
Jasmine Doesn't Like "Doing Time"
Our Of Jail Free Pass
When It's Looks Too Good To Be True … The Lameness Returns
The Day Of The Treatment
 First Time For Everything: A Healing Crisis(?)


Meet Jasmine
I'm Still Standing! (Happy Birthday, Jasmine)
How Dogs Think (Well, Jasmine Anyway)
How The Oddysey Started: Jasmine's ACL Injury
Jasmine is Vet-Stem's poster child!
Rant About Quality Of Life Versus Quantity, And Differential Diagnoses
Jasmine Is Headed For Her Next Stem Cell Treatment
Jasmine's Stem Cells Are In
Arthritis? What Arthritis? 
Guess Who Is An Ever-Ready Bunny And Really Liking The Bit Of Snow We Got? 
Don't Knock It Until You Tried It: Animal Chiropractic 
Jasmine's Fur Analysis
Back At Chiropractic Care

Further reading:
Jasmine’s Story: Can Chronic Diarrhea and Soft Tissue Injuries be Normal?
Jasmine’s Story: An ACL Injury and a Cancer Scare
Jasmine’s Condition Deteriorates: Another ACL Injury and an Abdominal Abscess
Jasmine Recovers from Surgery and Jana Discovers TCVM
Who’s Minding Your Pet’s Health?
Pet Owner Perspective On Stem Cell Therapy
Difficult to Manage Lameness Treated with Physical Therapy
Our Journey to Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine


  1. Sounds good, maybe it was just a scare, that would be Jasmine's first! :)
    Still keeping paws crossed, just in case.

    1. Definitely not just a scare, but hoping to be able to fix it again. Please do keep paws crossed.

  2. I hope that Jasmine is better soon.
    We will keep our paws crossed for her!

  3. It sounds like your vet is great! It's amazing to be able to trust somebody like that, and it will probably be a lot better for Jasmine to not have to go through all sorts of tests and things.

    1. He truly is; we are so thankful we found him and we appreciate him so much! And we worked with many vets before and heard about other people's vets; it's like opening an oyster and actually finding a pearl in it.

  4. I'm glad that your vet knows her so well and you are so comfortable with him, that is important that you trust him and she trusts him. Sending warm thoughts your way!

    1. Thank you, Jodi. Yes, he knows Jasmine really well by now, and he really cares about her. She just loves him; when we ask whether she wants to go see him she gets all excited. Sometimes, when we drive somewhere and have to use the same road that goes to the vet's and don't actually go there, she's all upset! :-)

      And that after all the terrible things that happened to her and were "done" to her (e.g. surgeries)

      We really do trust him a huge amount, he has earned that.

    2. DMSO works perfectly on arthritis as it is a free radical scavenger .... but there is a catch. The DMSO must be 90% to work well - NOT 99% or 85% or any other. 90% is your number!!
      Strange but correct.
      Also I wouldn't use it with Lidocaine because it transports anything it comes in contact with toward the injury site. Use DMSO wisely applying it alone or with a natural anti-arthritic or anti-inflammatory and leave uncovered or else use a white clean gause dampened with DMSO and taped. No colours or filth must make contact with DMSO as it will be taken right through the skin into the problem area. I use it on myself as well and I add a pinch of cayenne pepper. The site warms up and the skin reddens but the pain subsides almost immediately.

    3. The concoction was mixed by our vet and seemed to have worked well.

  5. Hopefully it is an irritation that will resolve quickly! I wish they could tell US what is bothering them! I'm glad you have such a wonderful vet! It makes all the difference in the world!

    1. Thank you, Julie. With Jasmine's history I'm not holding my breath for things going away on their own; that's why we set up the treatment for Wednesday. Hoping that will take care of it for good, though. She's looking better today.

      Yes, having an awesome vet makes a huge difference; we're so glad we found him. It was destiny, as the path that led us to him was very complicated and bumpy; would have never looked where we did find him.

  6. Poor little Jasmine. She can't seem to catch a break. Give her a big hug and tell her to get well soon {{hugs}}}

    1. Thank you, Jen, it really seems to be that every time I get happy that she's doing well, something else goes wrong. Gotta remember to stop getting happy :-(

      She's looking better today, though, so that's good.

      Thank you for the hugs!

  7. Sending good thoughts to Jasmine!

    1. Thank you so much, Kathi, Jasmine is sending tail wags back.

  8. Hi,

    It's great to meet you :)

    I sure hope Jasmine is starting to feel better soon….

    Big wags,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

    1. Snoopy, great to meet you too! Thank you for the good wishes.

  9. Poor Jasmine! That sounds uncomfortable. I sure hope this treatment gets her better very soon. She's lucky you are so darn observant and on top of it.

    1. Hi Kolchak, thank you so much! It was horrible! What is really baffling that today the leg looked fine! Glad, but confused; discussion with her vet pending.