Saturday, June 23, 2012

If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Jasmine

I guess we had a good run for a little too long ... over a year, until a couple months ago. After the recent stressful events before and after Jasmine's treatment, things settled down. For a while.

The verdict was that her joints were doing well but the muscles of the rear end were still agitated and required physical therapy and time.

It didn't take Jasmine long, however, to find new ways to make things more interesting.

Off and on she started favoring her front right leg (again). We were worried that the right elbow isn't all that happy after all, so back to the vet's office we went. During the day things looked good but at night you could see there was a problem. (When I mentioned that Jasmine might use up all 12 vet visits included in her annual plan in one month, I was wrong … it might take her two months …)

The good news was that after a very long and thorough examination the conclusion was that there was nothing wrong with any of her major joints. The muscles on the back and inside of the thighs were still inflamed, though overall they were getting better. At the time of the examination her vet couldn't find any problem with the front right leg either, not with the joint, and not with muscles or ligaments.

So why was she limping on it?

It was concluded that her weight distribution is still not right and that's what behind the intermittent issue with the front leg.

It doesn't really surprise me that the muscles are taking their time to settle down; last time Jasmine had a problem with these it took seven month for the problem to go away completely.

Jasmine was put on Gabapentin to help balance things out and we were going to continue with her chiropractic care and physical therapy.

Things started looking up again and then a major weather change hit.

Jasmine doesn't do weather changes well, though lately we had her episodes fairly under control, or so we thought. Not this time. This time it came back with a vengeance. Jasmine was panting and pacing and we spent four sleepless nights and uncomfortable days.

Should we get her vets back on the problem? 

So far, nobody was able to figure this one out. We went through, and excluded, a bunch of hypotheses, did several therapeutic trials, consulted about everybody under the sun … but the truth is that we still don't have the slightest idea what is behind this.

There is another holistic vet I heard about and we are going to give this one more try and see if she can come up with an idea. Meanwhile, we figured we just have to ride it out.

While they always resolve on their own eventually, these episodes can last anywhere from couple hours to couple days. 

This time, with some breaks, it lasted four days and four nights. Good times …

Fortunately, the weather has stabilized again, so hopefully that will put an end to that for the time being. One way or another, the weather does seem to play a role in this, though it is not entirely clear how. It is not caused by changes in pressure—I kept a record of the pressure changes and Jasmine's episodes for almost a year but no pattern was obvious, just as no pattern was obvious with anything else I kept track off.

Could it be some form of seasonal allergies? Sure, but she gets these episodes in the winter as well. It is not temperatures, at least not on their own. Perhaps it has something to do with humidity... And no, it has nothing to do with a full moon, I was tracking that for some time too.

It is not Cushing's and it is not chronic pancreatitis. It is not her heart or her lungs. It doesn't make sense that it would be pain, at least not any pain that would respond to pain medication. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with urine pH. It doesn't seem to be stomach acid either, at least it doesn't respond to antacids. It doesn't seem to be gas, at least it doesn't respond to medication either. It doesn't respond to anti-inflammatory medications and it doesn't respond to anti-histamines. One could suspect her IBD but her stools and appetite remain normal. The specialists at the teaching hospital concluded that it is not neurological either.

What is left?

When Jasmine gets these, one of the things she wants to do is to go outside and dig a hole to lay in. (If the episode gets bad enough, though, she will dig a hole but not lay in it anyway.)

That's what she wanted to do this time too. Hoping that it might make her feel better I figured I'll just let her do what she wants to do.

This time, that was a bad plan. 

As she was digging, suddenly she lifted her front left paw and wouldn't put weight on the leg—again. After we've just been through some major issues with that leg I really freaked out when I saw that. What has she done now!? Checked her foot and nail beds, checked her leg, found nothing.

Fortunately, she had an appointment with her chiropractor/physical therapist the next day. The leg seems to look OK now.

So that is life with Jasmine.

Next weekend we are supposed to go up to her ranch for a long weekend. I so hope that things get settled down by then so she can enjoy it, as she really loves it up there.

She's sleeping now, so hopefully the episode is over. Her legs looked quite good tonight too. Couple more appointments and couple more things to try...

One thing - all this worry is quite good for my waistline ...

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(?)  
From Zero To Sixty In Four Days: Stem Cells At Work 
The Calm After The Storm


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. Hope Jasmine will have a little break and she can forgot all her troubles on the ranch for a while. You do all possible for her Jana, it is so impressive.

    1. I truly hope so too. It worked that way after the horror, when she was miserable non-stop, so much so we were considering letting her go.

      We got up the ranch and it was like a magic (though she was still very weak, she was happy)

      When at the chiropractor's we were discussing it, she suggested an animal communicator. She knows this one and sounded that it might be helpful (though we already tried one and it didn't lead to diagnosis either). So we figured out we'll try this one and see what happens, so maybe tomorrow we'll get some insights, or not ...

  2. What a puzzle. It will be interesting to see if an animal communicator can get some insight.