Over the last month Muffin, our little Princess Cavachon has been limping, her right back leg was lame. We weren’t sure what was up, even with all of our and my in-laws experience with dogs, she was happy, eating, playing, sleeping, some days she never limped, other days she did. So we decided on a months bed rest, no walks, and see if it goes.
It didn’t go, so finally I took her to see Ian, our vets. He actually thought it was her left back leg that was causing the problem, she was walking oddly to compensate for her other bad leg.
The next day I had to take her back to the vets so they could do some x-rays of her knees, hips and back. Dave her brother hates it when she’s away from him so wouldn’t leave my side at all. It felt like a long day before I could phone and speak to Ian. She has torn the ligament in her left back knee. She will need at least another months bed rest, then only very small walks, building them up very slowly. She will always walk awkwardly now, even once it’s healed. But it can take anything up to 4 months before the area recovers.
But her knee wasn’t the only issue, what he saw was 2 very worn hips, on the left side, there was little socket left, hardly any spacing, it was in a serious situation, her other hip isn’t quite as bad, but it’s still in a serious situation. I was shocked, yes both dogs look like they walk awkwardly with their back legs, but they are only 6 years old. I’m pretty certain if they took an x-ray of Dave’s hips, they would be the same. She’s been given Tramadol for when she’s on a bad day and was told to give her one when she comes home as she will probably be sore. Also look online for herbal medicines as some are quite good. When I picked her up I was able to see her x-rays and take a photo of them, and I was very very shocked at what I saw. We needed to be very careful with her, if she needed a hip replacement, well I think we would have to remortgage the house. She would have to see a specialist and would cost a minimum of £7000 per hip.
So how could we improve their bones, firstly I bought evening primrose oil for dogs and green muscle lip powder, which is what they put in glucosamine which I take for my arthritis. My best friend gives her dog this and swears by it. By getting dog medicine instead of human medicine, meant the tablets are smaller, so when they are smothered with pate, our dogs don’t notice them. They are both buggers at taking medicine.
We also knew that jumping off the chairs didn’t help, we’ve often said we need some steps for them, So now we decided we had to, Master found some foldable, lightweight steps and bought them. They came yesterday so I’ve been training them how to use it. They are just the same as walking up the stairs but of course they are new and our dogs don’t take kindly to new things, but keeping their favourite sweeties in the room, when they want to sit on the settee or get down from it, I use these little treats to help encourage them. So far it’s working well.
We’ve also bought a dog pram, yes I finally persuaded Master to buy one. Mainly because it seems unfair for Muffin never to have walks when Dave still loves his. Plus she was only 6 years old, she could have another 6-10 years left of her life, I wanted her to still see the outside world. Our last dog had a bad back and she ended up never going out, I didn’t want that for Muffin or for Dave. Plus the price for dog prams have come down considerably, since we last looked. I picked a pink one, obviously she is a Princess and only wears pink, so needed a pink pram. When it arrived and I put it together, yes I actually put it together, it was very light to carry and push so I was very impressed. I put Muffin in it and she seemed quite happy, though I had to put Dave in it too, then the pram was very heavy.
We’ve dropped the size of meals they are having, 3 chicken drumsticks, not 4, plus took the skin away, cooking boiled rice to bulk up their meal. Soon we will go down to 2 drumsticks, as Ian our vet, reckoned 2 was ample for them and trying to cut down on the treats they have in the day.
Today was the first try of the pram, I wanted Dave to have a run, but not for long as it was far too hot outside. Putting the pram up outside, I put Muffin in and fastened the harness, then got Dave ready, using an retractable lead so he can get around the pram. Everything seemed great. I was easily able to push the pram, plus hold the lead without any difficulty and Muffin seemed very happy in the pram. When we arrived at the field, I let Dave go, unsure whether he would run and play if Muffin wasn’t with him. But he did, I got a bit further into the field and let Muffin have a very short run, before putting her back in the pram. Walking a bit further, then let her have another very small run, before putting her back. Then we turned back to go home but Dave indicated he wanted to go home on the road instead of the field. So we had a go walking along the pavement with a dog in the pram and a dog on a lead. It went really well, I think I was a bit surprised really but Muffin sat in the pram thoroughly enjoying being spoilt rotten like the Princess she is and Dave wasn’t worried with the pram.
I’m hoping with just these 4 changes, they will both feel better in themselves, though it isn’t going to fix their hips, it should help them, which is all I want. I just need to try the pram in the boot of my car, I think it should fit okay, then we need to find somewhere to put the pram inside the house, but at the end of the day, the dogs are far more important than the house looking messy because of the dog pram. Keep your fingers crossed that this helps our gorgeous babies.