She is a young girl, full of life, and I've been really worried about her.
I don't even want to imagine what not being able to run, play and chase critters all she wants would do to her. Because that is her life. That is what she loves. That is what makes her happy.
Temporary restrictions are one thing, as long as we can figure this out and fix it.
the last event, we immediately made an appointments both with her chiropractor and her primary vet. The chiropractic appointment was for Friday and primary vet's appointment was for Monday. In the meantime, when her primary vet read my messages, she also wanted to book her in with an orthopedic specialist, who, luckily for us, was going to be at their hospital the next week. We agreed to that and made that appointment as well.
The next day she looked good but we decided to do a leashed walk only just to be sure, particularly until she had a chance to get adjusted. Of course, the leash can restrict her movement geographically, but cannot restrict her enthusiasm much.
When she came back she looked a bit stiff but not bad. It wasn't until later that day, when is was about time for her afternoon walk, when I felt she didn't look quite right. She'd normally mostly relax between her walks but something was telling me she looked TOO quiet.
When hubby asked whether we should start getting ready to go, I expressed my doubts whether we should and whether she'd really want to go.
We decided to put the walk on hold. After further examination we discovered that the muscles on her pelvis and lower back were brick hard. She is solid and her muscles are tight but they were like rocks. A thorough massage seemed to have loosened them up and make Cookie feel better but we decided she should take it easy anyway.
The next day was her chiropractic appointment.
Her pelvis and lower back were quite a mess with substantial joint dysfunction/restrictions. The chiropractor felt that it was indeed possible that these things could be causing her symptoms depending on her movements. But it was important not to jump to the first available conclusion and ignore other potential causes. This made perfect sense to me. The obvious answer may or may not be the right one.
Fixating on one theory can make one miss what is really going on.
The main worry was that it could be something neurological or systemic. Though we have gone through spinal issues with Jasmine and this didn't look anything like it. But there is no rule that same problem couldn't present differently in different dogs.
I went on to research all potential causes to consider or to be ruled out.
Full range of possibilities ranged from toxins, parasitic infections, other infections or inflammation, neurological issues, immune mediated disease, cancer ...
Leaving those things on the table to discuss, I felt that systemic didn't make much sense to me because there was nothing progressive or consistent about the symptoms.
There were also no suspicious findings on Cookie's recent lab work.
It made more sense to me to look into and consider things that come with transient problems. And because we didn't manage to get a video of the event, I grabbed the list I gathered and went on youtube to see whether there would be visual match with any of those.
I reviewed at least a dozen of videos of dogs suffering from each the following: focal motor seizures, myasthenia gravis and exercise-induced collapse.
None of those was a visual match, not even close.
- focal motor seizure - very little or no control over the limbs; Cookie had control of them they just didn't respond properly
- myasthenia gravis - lot of stiffness and rigidness in the affected dogs; Cookie exhibited none of those, her legs were more as if made of rubber rather than stiff
- exercise induced collapse - heavy panting, all limbs affected, drunken in appearance and falling all over; Cookie didn't exhibit any of those things
Based on that I revised notes from the last event:
- no drunken sailor signs observed
- no signs of distress observed
- no typical signs of pain observed as far as I could tell
- no heavy panting observed
- no trembling or shaking or loss of control of the limbs observed
- no stiffness or rigidness observed; rather rubbery, flaccid in appearance
- fully alert and responsive
- only hind end affected
- don’t know whether tail was moving or not, didn’t think of looking at the tail, was focused on the legs
- I don’t believe there was any knuckling present though didn’t have the presence of mind to really look for it or test for it but I think would have noticed if it was happening
- did not appear as limp/favoring of any kind I’ve ever seen
She examined Cookie and we discussed things in detail. She too didn't feel her problem was systemic in nature. She also didn't believe it was neurological - top contender remained musculoskeletal problem, which brought us back to our initial suspect, Cookie's pelvic region anatomical issues.
Unless something changed, that was our working diagnosis pending the appointment with orthopedic specialist.
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely?
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Happy Birthday, Cookie
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"
Living with an Incontinent Dog
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Do you have a story to share?
Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!
What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?
Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you!