Monday, August 3, 2009

Baby Scare

I mean my fuzzy baby, of course (no more human ones for us, thanks!). For those who don't know, we have two dogs; Anabelle and Isabelle (Belle and Izzy for short). Belle is a black lab/whippet mix, about 7 years old (a rescue from the Humane Society, so they're not exactly sure) and 55 lbs. Izzy is a blonde mutt, 5 years old this October and about 45 lbs. Belle is a mama's girl, and Izzy is her Papa's baby.

A typical morning goes like this: Mama gets up, and before I get to the bathroom, Belle is wagging her tail and tapping her front paws on my legs; trying to get a hug & kiss (yes, my dog hugs). Izzy is never too far behind her, also greeting me with kisses, but she's not quite as energetic about it. When I'm at the computer, Belle is next to the chair. When I'm making my morning mocha, she's at the edge of the kitchen, watching me. When I'm watching The Price is Right, she's on the floor at my feet.

This morning, there was no greeting. There was no tail wagging so hard, it sounds like she's knocking on the bathroom door. There was no nose poking into the bathroom to greet me in there. When I came out, she was lying down in her kennel. I thought, "Huh. That's weird. Maybe she's tired or hot," and I made my mocha.

I checked all my messages, responded to a few, and sat on the couch to watch t.v. At this point, I called Belle over to sit at my feet, and she just looked at me. It took some coaxing (TOTALLY out of character), but she finally got up, and meandered to my lap, then sort of flopped down next to me. I watched her walk over and noticed her back legs weren't functioning correctly. My first thought was, "Probably laying on them wrong," as she's done with her front paw (not sure if dogs get pins & needles, but that's about how she acted with one front paw a few weeks ago).

As time went on, she still wouldn't get up, and when she did, she didn't go very far, and looked like she was in pain, so I started to get concerned. I had her lay in my lap on her back, and moved her back legs around; feeling for broken or dislocated bones/joints. I didn't feel anything unusual, but I considered cancelling my one client, just in case. Ace told me that I should go (it was only a pedicure), and he would keep an eye on my dog while I was gone. If she didn't get better, we'd take her together when I got home.

He then called me when I was just starting my client, and told me he & the girls were taking Belle in; she wasn't getting better and he was now getting concerned. The only other thing we had to go on was the boy telling us that when she came in from being let out this morning, she was "walking really slowly."

The doc did a bunch of motion & manipulation tests on her, and (sweet girl) she didn't even whimper. No nipping, no trying to get away, just tolerated the whole ordeal very well. At times, she did give Ace that pleading look, but all in all, handled it perfectly. They found nothing with any of those tests, so decided to X-Ray her, just to be safe.

X-Ray results took about 1/2 hour, but came back clear. No broken bones, no dislocation, and no joint damage. Very healthy, probably just a sprain. Our best guess is that while outside this morning, she must have caught a hole just-so, and twisted. Docs gave us a couple days worth of pain meds for her, and now, she seems to be feeling better. She's walking stiffly, but still no jumping or anything. Only $214 for everything; and she's worth every penny, and I'd spend thousands more making sure she has a long and healthy life.

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