Old Dogs

Bailey had a recheck with Dr. Julia on Friday and I scheduled to bring Buzz along too.  We'd never determined the cause of his exercise intolerance, despite a visit to the Cardiologist, and Dr. Enochs was still sure it was a pain response that just wasn't being managed with NSAIDs.  Dr. Julia found lots of things out of whack with him and used the word "kittywampus" many times while doing her evaluation and chiropractic adjustments.

The short of the long is that he's an old dog with a changing body.  He's in a lot of pain, so her plan is to manage pain--with Adequan injections ($ouch) and Previcox ($ouch2... it's a darn good thing I get discounts at work), increase mobility and then hopefully strengthen!  We're also using a drug called Amantadine--believed to work by restoring the balance of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.  She noted on his evaluation that there was some delay between stimulus and reaction to stimulus.  So we started a regiment of prescription medications (I guess waiting until he's over 12 years old before needing regular prescription medications was nice of him) and have a recheck in one week.

Adequan is one injection subcutaneously every 4 days for 4 sessions, then once a week for 4 sessions... after that we'll see how it goes.  She's hoping to get it down to once monthly.  Apparently it's licensed for subcutaneous use in felines but not canines, though it appears to work the same.  Dr. Julia said something about money being a restriction in their pursuit of FDA approval for SQ use.

Previcox is at half of his "normal" dosage for now, one half tablet every other day.  He's been on Previcox before, but it didn't seem to have much effect.  It had more than the no-effect-Rimadyl though.

The Amantadine is given once every other day too.  She said it will take up to 8 weeks to see results with that medication, so I guess we're in this for the long haul too.

In wonderful news, Bailey's making some great improvements.  We have not been cleared for fun activities yet, but she did write "I'll evaluate your request for tracking after our next appointment."  She makes me laugh a lot.  Bailey and I won't be visiting Dr. Julia again until she can do diagonal leg lifts for 30 seconds, so that's my motivation to keep working with her and get to 30 seconds.  We're at about 15 right now, she wants us to shoot for increasing by 5 seconds each week.  She's still pretty unbalanced at times and tries to brace herself with a wide stance, so it's been definite work for both of us.  I often feel like this would go smoother if I had another set of hands and eyes, but we do what we can.  

If I needed more motivation... I get to order a FitPAWS Peanut.  I don't think she understands how much trouble my dog is going to have with balancing on something.  My dog is not brave, but we can fake a lot of things.  I don't think we can fake being brave on a wobbly ball though.  That means I'll actually have to train my dog to do something (other than walk on a loose leash), I guess we'll just see how it goes though.  The end result will hopefully be Bailey balancing on TWO legs on this peanut ball, that's a darn lofty goal.

I have two old dogs that are working towards being pain free.  I love the resources available to me, I just wish Dr. Julia would move closer to me.  

Bailey's picture of her on a hatbox is displayed at the Rehab Center.  That makes me laugh.  So does the fact that Dr. Julia uses words like "kittywampus."  I also told her again that the biggest benefit of this whole activity restriction thing is I actually taught Bailey to walk on a loose leash.  She thought that was pretty funny, but it's never really been important until now!  I couldn't put a GL on her, or an EW, and I couldn't just put her x-back on and let her pull me.  I actually had to train her to walk nicely and respond to leash pressure.  It was annoying as all get out, but it's a really nice thing to have now.  I think that should be a selling point for TC Rehab, don't you?

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