Saturday, August 2, 2008

Booker is getting better

Booker, probably 4 to 5 yr ( vet says 3.5!) , 48 lb American Pitbull Terrier Booker, has been resting and recovering for 7 weeks now, with limited activity and is getting better every day.

This spring, Booker had a few episodes of right rear leg limping that went away after a day or two ( extra hard day at the beach and a long hike another time). I also had noticed he was slowing down on the trip up/down the stairs too. Then one day- a BAD limp, off to Vet, 4 days of Rimadyl daze ( not going to use that again!) and he still was limping. X-rays ( bad hips) and a positive drawer sign. Ugh. he is not well conformed in several areas so we shall see over time.

So we opted for good supplements, extra good food, and Conservative Management as the first “move” (is that a bad pun or what?) The files here are very helpful! I also joined the Orthodogs list, which is another resource; however it actually strengthened my resolve to do the wait and watch in Conservative Management.

He was such a good boy, really well behaved, did not run around at all and were able to limit his activities- whew! For an active dog who lives for romps and run/walks, this was quite the transition.. My husband is home by mid day, or all day, most days, as he works from home, and of course that really helped too. I am the long hours away one here...

Booker has lost muscle mass on his affected side, but it is amazing how much returns every day, as we lengthen his walks, each day.

It is so exciting to see him sitting again at the door, totally in a stay via my husband, when I am get home. Before, Booker would freely race around the yard and do his tricks ( jump and spin) as my return home greeting. Then we would go for a walk. LONG, with some time for a good off leash run and a (controlled)fennel plant attack or two- LOL - THAT IS OUT FOR NOW, of COURSE!

The whole experience of having him be under careful watch has resulted in lots of additional attention and training opportunities. So interesting to see how he adapted; he really loves the increased personal contact and is so calm and mellow with lots of happy smiles for us. Since he can no longer independently go upstairs to what we called his rule free zone/ lair (LOL), and is right next to us all evening etc- his charming personality and desire to please has deepened to a new level. He always has been a great dog with a naturally very sound temperament, but is now even more well trained, and even more of a character than ever! He has a clown and show-off streak for sure!

ALSO I have noticed today, ( lazy me /Saturday-itis set in after a stressful work week)-I only walked him for a short potty break, or 2, and he was stiff legged when he walked late in the afternoon. So I definitely will make sure to keep to the regular schedule of 3 times a day potty AND slowly increasing, 3 therapy/ sloooow walk sessions! Bad, lazy Mommie today!

We also do PROM exercises, and I have had to definitley STOP his heavy duty, cover the poop action! That may have been a huge factor in wear and tear...anyway, hoping to not need surgery anytime soon. Ortho Vet consult will follow shortly re hip and some other issues, and how to keep things going in the right direction, now that at 6 weeks he is not limping, and is gaining strength

Live and learn- thought I’d share our “getting there”. Realistically, he is physically/ortho very challenged and I do realize he just may need surgery of one kind or the other in the future.

Claudia and Booker ( <--the best dog ever!)
multiple ortho issues, .....and probable CCL partial tear June 14 08