Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back To Where We Were Last May? Why Do These Things Keep Happening To Jasmine?

Now we have acute severe lameness on front left again.


Seems to be exactly the same as we had last spring

Including NOTHING crazy happening prior the incident.

Regular leash walk, nothing wild. What makes it even more confusing; couple times on the way back she stopped to lick her front foot. Walked fine, though. Then, in a curve in the path, she stopped and moved to the right, just a step off the path, to sniff something. Nothing crazy, nothing wild or violent; just tiny little movement. Pretty even terrain too.

Immediately, she lifted her front left paw and didn't want to put weight on the leg.

We checked the paw thoroughly, particularly since she was paying attention to the foot earlier. Found nothing which could explain the reaction.

Quickly, Jasmine seemed to have walked out of it and her gait appeared normal again (we were quite close to the bus at that time). All seemed good until she stopped at a corner, again, making every so small move to the right to sniff something, and the lameness immediately returned. The terrain was perfectly even at that spot. No ice, either.

We barely got her home! Thank God for the ramp.

As soon as we came home we gave her Tramadol, checked the foot and leg again, rinsed the foot in case there was a rock between the feet or something like that.

Then, a little while later, the lameness seemed to have resolved once again; just to return and now remains very lame so far. No relief from the Tramadol apparent.

Appetite is normal (the day of the disc injury she didn't want to eat) and her neck seems to be moving normally and no indicators of neck pain are apparent. Seems quite comfortable as long as she doesn't need to use the leg.

We're hoping the neck is not involved here, and remains fine in spite of the horrible limping. 

We really wanted to believe it was something wrong with the foot but as the time progressed, that doesn't seem to be the case. What does seem to be the case is a repeat of the situation we had in May of the last year.

When it first happened that time, she just SLOWLY walked into the office and came back not putting her front left foot down. No running, no jumping, no silly stuff. This seems to have happened exactly the same way, except outside this time.

Front leg lameness truly is way worse than rear leg lameness.

When her hind leg is sore, the rest of her body can compensate fairly well and she gets around without too much difficulty. With the front leg out of commission, the limping looks horrible, looks as if she was lame on all four legs.

She saw her chiropractor and physical therapist on Tuesday, there was nothing wrong with her legs or any of the joints then!

I was standing right beside her when it happened. All she did was step to the side. No jumping, no pulling, no nothing.

I don't understand how these things keep happening to her.

We work so hard on keeping her body in usable condition for her and it feels like it's all in vain. I swear I feel like Sisyphus! But, I guess, we don't know what would happen if we did not ...

Update
Sunday, January 13th

Because one problem to deal with is never enough, on top of being so lame, to make things more interesting, Jasmine decided it was a good time to have one of her episodes as well.

Instead of resting her sore leg, she spent the whole night hobbling back and forth.

I tried all kinds of things, but when the episode gets that bad, there is nothing one can do than just let it run its course. This lasted from about 2AM to 1PM.

The entire time, Jasmine wanted to get on the couch. I was afraid to let her; getting up isn't that difficult with her size, but a jump down is still needed to get off it. I did not want her to jump down and I could not carry her off. This took several hours of her trying to get up there and looking all sad. Eventually I came up with an idea. We still had a spare large foam mattress in the basement. I figured, if I put it in front of the couch, it will create a platform to which Jasmine could just stepped down, then stepped down off it and it would solve our couch dilemma. It worked! Jasmine now can get on and off the couch as she pleases; relatively safely, since the height difference between the couch and the mattress is the same as between her existing bed and the floor. So at least that got sorted out and she could have her cake and eat it too.

Last night I also email her acupuncture vet, to see when is the soonest she could come see Jasmine.

She came over today (Sunday) around noon! She was really concerned about Jasmine and wanted to see her and help as soon as possible. I really love the level of concern the vet has for Jasmine!

Whether because of all the pacing around or in spite of it, or whether because of all the things I tried (anti-inflammatory enzymes, Tramadol, and the DMSO topical concoction) Jasmine's leg looked way better than it did last night. The vet checked the paw thoroughly and, as I figured, the paw is not the issue.

The acupuncture vet also concluded that the problem is the elbow, yet again.

She also detected some swelling on the elbow; soft, as in fluid accumulation, thankfully. She also doesn't feel that the neck is involved this time, so we're thankful for that and hoping the problem will remain isolated to the elbow only.

Jasmine got her acupuncture treatment, and also finally settled down to sleep after that.

The best idea I can come up to deal with this tricky elbow long term, is an elbow brace.

I'm leaning toward OrthoPets. I researched braces extensively when we were evaluating all options for Jasmine's cruciate injury, talked to the founder and was very impressed with the way they do things. There is a company down in Toronto who now seems to be doing a similar thing, but OrthoPets still seem to have a superior product.

One thing the OrthoPets braces have which the domestic variety doesn't seem to, is diabetic foam lining. 

I know, sounds odd, why diabetic foam for brace lining? It's actually very thoughtful and Jasmine's acupuncture vet was quite impressed with the concept.

Even though the braces are built based on an exact mold, the mold is done on a stationary dog. In real life, though, a dog does not remain stationary. They move. They also sit or lay down in certain individual ways.

While the brace knows how to accommodate typical movement of the limb, it cannot know how an individual dog likes to do things. This can result in areas of pressure. That's where the diabetic foam comes in. It will SHOW what the pressure points are. The foam will change color at pressure points, which then can be used as a guide to make fine adjustments to the device. The device should then truly fit like a glove. Cool, isn't it?

I will talk to Jasmine's primary vet about the idea and then talk to both OrthoPets and the local place.

I am also thinking at least IV stem cell treatment, for the elbow AND perhaps for the neck, but that cannot be done until Jasmine is well off the steroids.

This event also showed, that for the future, we also need to think about potentially having to carry Jasmine home from a walk.

This time, we were fairly close to the bus. I am not sure how it would have played out if we weren't, though. Jasmine is a big girl and carrying her for a long distance would not be safe for either her, or hubby. I'm quite sure she would hate anything along the lines of a stretcher and could wrestle her way off it, so that is not safe either. I think we need something that would go under the entire surface of her chest and belly, and the up to something we can hold on to. It needs to be very wide and very sturdy. It also needs to be "wiggle safe". So we have to brainstorm about that.

If you have any ideas, or things you've successfully used, please, let me know.

***

Related articles:
OK, I Am A Sucker: We're Going Through With The SLIT 
Jasmine's Episodes: Back To The Allergies Dilemma 
This Is What Jasmine's Episode Looks Like
Gotta Try Everything Once (Or Twice): On The Quest To Figure Out Jasmine's Episodes 
Thundershirt vs. Jasmine's Episodes
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Another Experience With VetLiveThe Diagnosis Is In: Jasmine Has An Interdigital Cyst
Jasmine's Mysterious Swelling And Interdigital Cyst Update  
Is Crawling Under Things Some Kind Of Secret Physical Therapy?  
Is There No Place Safe? Jasmine's Acupuncture Session
Senior Sensory Systems Function: Zero Defects  
It Looks Like A Keeper: Jasmine's New Integrative Vet 
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 
If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Jasmine
Practicing What I Preach: Jasmine's Semi Annual Wellness Exam  
No Skimping On Oral Care 
Our Own Emergency Vet Horror (Part I)
Our Own Emergency Vet Horror (Part II) 
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

A Time Bomb Ought To Go Off At Some Point, I Guess: Jasmine's Neck 
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Two 
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Three 
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Mom, Why Can't I Go For A Walk?
Jasmine's Disc Injury: The Parole Hearing  
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Spanking New Ramp 

20 comments

  1. You are a great dog mom and I dont understand why these things happen either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just crazy. One thing after another, after another, after another ... for four years now :-( And we get her looking and feeling great, just for something else to go wrong.

      Delete
  2. What a downer. Could it be something as trivial as a thorn embedded in the paw? Not infected yet, but sitting in there and working. Probably a wild-goose chase. But I can't help trying to help guessing what is wrong.
    Sending good thoughts!

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    Replies
    1. Well, that's what we were initially hoping ... but checked the paw so closely, and didn't find anything, nor any pain response to touching ... *sigh

      Plus no thorns anywhere I can think she could have stepped on one. Thought it could have been a rock, since she was licking a front paw (couldn't see which one in the dark) earlier on the walk. Hasn't licked it after that either, though.

      Sadly, it does look a whole lot like the last May elbow situation ...

      Except can't do stem cells right now anyway, because still on low dose prednisone and those apparently don't get along.

      Hoping it has nothing to do with the neck this time, nor the neck will get hurt in the process of the limping and all that.

      And it's weekend; not that the vet can do a whole lot anyway at this stage. So gotta think laser and acupuncture at this point. Also really thinking a OrthoPets elbow brace; this just keeps on happening, we gotta think something that might prevent it rather than keeping putting out the fires.

      When I close my eyes I see myself playing some twisted version of Whack a Mole game.

      There is not enough alcohol in the house to make me feel any better today.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Roxanne, I know you can relate.

      Extremely :-( In fact, I think discouraging is an understatement ...

      Delete
  4. That is odd. I hope her health care professionals are able to figure out what's going on here. How frustrating that must be for you!

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    Replies
    1. Well, her acupuncture vet should be here any minute ...

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  5. That truly stinks! Maybe she stepped on a bee or something? Kinda strange but I battle a similar thing with my Titan and his left hind leg. I think he pulls a muscle or something every once and awhile so we nurse him back. Each time, xrays show all is fine. Strange isn't it? I hope Jasmine gets better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's winter time, here, so I wouldn't expect a bee. No thorny stuff around the way either.

      I'm really suspecting the elbow again.

      Delete
  6. I am so sorry to hear this. As you know, we're facing a similar issue with Bella. It just breaks my heart to see her in pain as I'm sure you feel with Jasmine.

    But poor Jasmine has been through so much...

    I wish I had some insight to offer. Instead all I have is empathy. I hope she can get some relief - massage, maybe? And that someone can figure out what's going wrong and stop it from flaring up.

    Hugs...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I think she's been through enough. And then something else happens ...

      Empathy is great, thank you, Leslie.

      Delete
  7. Oh Jasmine! It feels like everytime you guys get a bit ahead, something happens. She's lucky to have you Jana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's exactly how it is. Get thing working right just to have something else to go wrong. Roller coaster for sure.

      Delete
  8. jana i have nothing sage or wise to offer, but I do feel your pain and send all healing thoughts towards jasmine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gizmo, healing thoughts are always welcome.

      Delete
  9. Oh damn it! I'm so sorry to read this about Jasmine! I don't know what to say other than I'm keeping you and Jasmine in my thoughts and there's not enough booze in my house either, I checked this weekend:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jen. Yeah, NEED MORE BOOZE! I will be posting and update in a little while. Acupuncture vet made it here at noon.

      Delete
  10. Sorry to read that it's the elbow but glad it's not the neck:)
    Uggh, maybe you just need to wrap Jasmine in bubble wrap:)
    I'm trying to think of something that would work if she had to be carried back. I've used slings before but that doesn't sound like what you are looking for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jen, well, in the meantime, the working theory became root signature :-( So it well might be the neck after all.

      Asking the place that specializes in thermal imaging whether that could help. Because the risk vs reward with MRI just isn't there. Too much risk and too little potential reward

      a) anesthesia
      b) contrast material
      c) further neck manipulation
      d) primary vet also says that with surgery only about 5% odds that situation post op any better than situation before the surgery? He says that by the time done with scar tissue and the spurs wanting to regrow might be lucky to end up where started ...?

      It still COULD be the elbow, but seems that everybody's thinking is shifting towards the root entrapment :-(

      I don't even know whether it isn't six of one and half a dozen of the other at this point.

      We did find a stretcher we feel confident will work. SO that's something. It's really like a tarp with handles idea but it has holes for the legs; so you know the dog isn't going anywhere.

      So at least tat problem is solved, well, will be once the stretcher arrives.

      Jasmine doesn't do well with slings, we tried those before.

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