Denna's got a limp...

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by DennasMom, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Denna is hanging in there... we saw a second vet a few weeks ago, one I was hoping would put us on an acupuncture, water therapy and supplements protocol to avoid surgery... but, no... not sure why not. We talked for about an hour, but I didn't get the feeling we hit it off very well. She weighed in at the same as the month before - after cutting her food by 25%... so, we're dropping portion sizes again... I think she FEELS thinner to my fingers... but we need to go step on our usual scale to see what the data shows.

    I was traveling for a bit, so we kept her on her NSAID and let the dog-walker know to keep things calm and short. Today is Day 1 without meloxicam, to see where she really is. We went camping Sat/Sun in our new RV, and she did great - forgot she had a knee problem. Still kept activity to walking and not much else. But... we'll see where she is when off drugs.

    I upped her turmeric (golden paste), and still have her joint juice supplements going. We'll still be taking it easy. I'm going to look into some water therapy on my own, too, there are a few places around here that look nice - and Denna LOVES to swim.

    I'd put her at 80% this weekend. If she drops to under 70%, surgery is back on the table...
  2. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Oh man that's tough. Keep us posted.
  3. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Today is day 2 off pain meds, and she's doing fine!
    2 weeks ago when we tried going off meds, she was limping a LOT by now... so... I'm hopeful!

    She did get up from her late afternoon nap last night and that knee was really bugging her... but after she got it moving again, she was using it fine.

    So... I think we'll continue how we're going - following conservative management - keeping things low-key for another month or so and only ramping up walks in duration little by little, so we don't over-work the tendons and scar tissue as it continues to form and stabilize the knee.

    I plan to get Denna out on some more adventures to keep her from getting bored and depressed with the lack of long walks - today we have a trip to Home Depot planned (whohoo!) to pick up some hardware for a project at home. She loves those kinds of trips. :)
  4. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    That's great. It's not always about a walk, just spending time together like going to a store can be satisfying or going through a drive thru. You mentioned that Denna has not changed on the scale, do you feed coconut oil regularly? Perhaps that is causing her to cling on to the weight?
  5. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Day 3 without pain meds... limp has not gotten worse! She is using the weak leg, too, same as she did when on pain meds last week.

    We did have fun strolling slowly through Home Depot yesterday... met a few new people. I think I really need to do this more, as she's getting a little under-socialized and picking up some bad habits. I need to sign her up for doing tricks like you and Hector are doing... I have a few books on the subject, I'm just too good at procrastinating.

    I stopped giving Denna coconut oil with breakfast, separately, but she's probably getting as much if not more in her turmeric "golden paste"... maybe 1T per day? I've started counting that ounce in her daily allotment, along with her veggie mix... so the meat portion has really dropped in the last week.

    I think she's trimming down... but I missed the weight gain, too... so, I don't believe my eyes or fingers at this point. I meant to get her out to the scale today (it's a 5 minute walk to our vet office)... but... I procrastinated too add that to my list for tomorrow.
  6. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Vet office is another great place for a short socialization session! I'm starting to suspect the coconut oil may be the cause of D for Hector when I give the paste. I think I'm going to revisit the paste without so much oil or pepper. Have you looked into canine rehab centers?
  7. tisa.dilla

    tisa.dilla New Member

    Hope she feels better. When Bootsie is two years old he had that limp for about 3 weeks. I think he got it from running up and down the hill in our farmhouse and getting in and out of the car (suv). It was in his front leg, it was also swollen for a time. It went away without me giving any meds, just rest and no crazy running. Good luck to you. She is beautiful by the way. :)

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  8. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tisa!
    We did the 'rest' part for a few months without the limp going away... so finally had a vet look at it.
    So far, this week I'm seeing some improvement, so we'll keep up what we're doing a bit longer.

    Hector - I have water therapy on my list of things to-do, but haven't called up the local spots yet. I know she'd love it, when ever we're around large bodies of water, I think she thinks she's a fish.
  9. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    The canine rehab centers not only have water treadmill, but I was talking more about specific exercises to help strengthen certain parts of the body that a rehab specialist will recommend and show you how to do.
  10. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    We got in a full session today at Animal Wellness Center in Bellevue (Scorning's recommendation)... Acupuncture, Cold Laser and Water Treadmill!
    Sitting there with needles in, waiting for the laser tech to come in, was the first I've ever seen Denna relax when at the vet... which was amazing.
    She still is limping, but this is just day one. We're on a 3-week journey of full treatments 2x a week for acupuncture and water treadmill, plus a 3 laser treatments per week, too. Then we'll reassess the TPLO option (which is still very likely to be needed).
    The work we're doing now if it doesn't help significantly, will also be good surgery prep work. The Dr. said his patients have much quicker recovery from surgery when they get all the 'extras', so this is not lost work, just "prep work" if we do get the TPLO.
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  11. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    That's what I did when Mateo was injured: lots of short walks, including visits to shops to just hang out and say "hi" to people. He liked being out, and the mental and emotional stimulation that came with it, without putting stress on his knee...
  12. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    They are exactly right about that- it will help, whether or not you go forward with the surgery. Fortunately, we were able to avoid going under the knife, as the rehab work was beginning to help him.

    As a side note-- I was told that the underwater therapy (either the treadmill and/or the free swim) might cause him a bit of soreness in the beginning. So, if you see that, just know that it's probably normal.

    Acupuncture treatments really helped a lot! But were very pricey, at least in NYC.
  13. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Acupuncture and 30min on the water treadmill are priced the same... $75/visit... so, not outrageous. The laser is $40/15-min session. But, we're doing a lot of visits, so it's adding up quick! I'll submit the invoice to insurance and see what they say... :)
    Nik likes this.
  14. NYDDB

    NYDDB Well-Known Member

    That's reasonable. The water therapy place we went to did not offer acupuncture on premises, so I went with a well-known vet who actually does house calls for acupuncture. They ran $175 per session.
  15. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Session #2 at the rehab vet was yesterday.

    Cold laser for 15-20 minutes on the knee first, tech did find some 'sensitive' spots - Denna gave her a few "why do you keep touching me there??" looks... but she resigned herself to the treatments, so hopefully they help, overall. The tech said she had tried it on herself after a long day standing in the office - only on one leg - and said that leg was noticeably less sore than the untreated leg. :)

    Next up was a half hour in the water box... 10 minutes walking, 5 standing with the jacuzzi jets up her back end, 8 min walking, 5 more minutes of bubbles. More walking than we did two days earlier. I'm hoping we didn't do too much. We stopped when Denna sad "done" - she stopped walking, even those the treadmill kept going... so we hit the stop button.

    Walking out of the vet office, she wasn't limping at all - which she was doing on visit #1.
    At home, she was about the same (video posted at her FB page).
    In the evening after a nap, it was much worse, though... she didn't want to put any weight on that leg at all. But, I walked her around the yard a bit, and it loosened up.

    This morning (day after), it's better again.
    We go in Monday for the 3-per treatment (acupuncture, laser, treadmill). The Dr. will be back in on that visit and we'll be taking muscle measurements (thigh circumference) to see how the two legs compare, as a baseline.

    I'm going to ask him about prolotherapy, too... although, I don't think that's something his practice provides.
  16. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Session #3 in the books.
    Acupuncture, Laser and Treadmill.
    All went well... and I do think her knee is improving. I know it's early, and it will take time, but I'm seeing enough improvement in Denna's comfort level already, that I do think we'll be avoiding surgery. And that makes me happy.
    You can see the improvement post-rehab visits in the videos I've posted on her FB page.
    Her morning 'stiffness' is also getting better. Her post-afternoon-nap stiffness is where we still need some work... which probably means I need to get her off her bed and out for some slow walks more often in the afternoons. That will be good for me, too. :)

    Not sure if I mentioned this before, but she's raw fed and we've lowered her portion sizes by about 30%, added in more veggies, and the other supplements she gets daily are:

    Bosweylia, Ashwaganda (both from the holistic/ayurvedic vet)
    Turmeric "Golden Paste" (3oz per day, about 4T: I make the paste with bone broth and coconut oil)
    GLM or Nupro Silver (rotated, 1-2T of either)
    InClover's Connectin (aiming for 2500 mg of glucosamine and 1500 chondroitin per day)
    Fish oil (aiming for 4000 mg of omega-3's daily... so 4 of the 1000 mg human pills, 2 with each meal)
    Vit E (400IU, recommended when giving high doses of fish oil)
    Vit C (1000mg)

    I make a gravy with filtered water in each meal and the powdered supplements (GLM, Nupro, Connectin), and just toss the pills in. The only ones Denna doesn't slurp up are the Bosweylia's, which I will poke into a chunk or meat or in the middle of a meatball.
  17. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    PS - muscle measurements show both thighs at 19" around... same in both, which is a good thing! no significant atrophy.
  18. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Session #4 (Wed) was just laser... no excitement
    Session #5 (Fri) was the trifecta again (A, L, T; same as #3, above).
    Only problem there, was between the two, we went for a "short" walk... 10 minutes to the mail drop, and 10 minutes back.... which was too long... so, Denna's knee was sore, and she was limping more than before our walk.
    She was still sore going into Session #5... so we did cut the treadmill short, buy only by one minute (10 min walking, 5 rest with water jets, 7 min walking... instead of 8... with 5 more minutes of jacuzzi before getting out and dried off).

    I gave her a meloxicam with dinner again last night (same as the week before)... and today she's still favoring that knee more than she was on Wed. :(
    But, we'll be resting lots over the weekend, so, hopefully she'll be feeling better shortly.
  19. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    That's tough. One day at a time.
  20. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    I got sent out of town on business, so Hubby Dave has been taking Denna to her appointments... he's not impressed with the acupuncture, and I think his attitude is effecting Denna's ability to enjoy it (she's been giving the vet more "looks" as the needles go in, according to Dave). She also seems to not be focusing as well when on the treadmill... she is a momma's girl, so not sure if it's due to me not being there, or just that she's getting bored with it.

    Dave's also not good about getting video of her after her treatments... it will be interesting to see if I can tell a difference when I get home - which will hopefully be by the end of this week (which will be almost 2 weeks with me away from home... I'm ready to get back!)

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