Jasmine had a vet visit on Friday. The week of my cold, I didn't walk the dogs once and was weak the next week so I just did bike rides with the Jasmimne & Tucker together, Bear on his own ride and a short walk with Jack. For a week, that's what I did. Toward the end of the week, after we would get back and Jasmine had a chance to relax, she'd get up with a slight limp and then after a minute, it would go away. But the last day I took them running together, Jasmine really started limping after we got home.
So, she's been resting it since then and the limp has gotten smaller but is still there. Adam wanted me to go get her xrayed for bone tumors and tested for arthritis. Well, after an exam, the vet said that she feels just a touch of arthritis and didn't feel it was necessary to do the xrays. She was put on a high dose of glucosamine and chondrotin pills (Dasuqin), which will go to a lower dose after a month. This particular dog specific pill has made a huge difference with dogs of all levels of arthritis so I'm hoping it will help Jasmine. The vet said that I should start seeing a big difference in a week or two. And there are other medicines that can be used to help control arthritis if it starts to progress later.
I took Jasmine for a 20 minute walk after the visit. No running, just walking. She was ok before but afterward she was limping again and I felt bad for doing that to her. Saturday was her first full dose. She went for a short walk wih Jack and she was limping just a little by the time it was bedtime.
Today, I took Jasmine for an hour long walk with the rest of the dogs. This was strictly a walk, not a run. It was quite hard to convince the dogs of it. And we had to turn around before our usual spot bcause we were so much slower than usual. The dogs were unhappy about it but it had to be done. Jasmine never limps during the walks because she's so excited so the real test is after the walk is over and she's been relaxing a while. That's when things get stiff and sore. Nothing...she's limp free!!!!
I can't tell you how happy I am that she's not limping tonight. When her limp wasn't going away, I knew it was more than the over use injury I originally thought it was. I was worried that she would be in pain for the rest of her life...and she's still got some years left on her. Not only would she be in pain, but she wouldn't bet to run like she lives for. That was the worst part, for sure. I hate to deny her, or any of my dogs but Jasmine especially, the things they love. I know she would be willing to deal with the pain just to run...she really does love it more than anything else. I was really quite sad for her. But now that she has this supplement that really is already helping her, I am so thrilled to see her running without a limp, getting to walk with the other dogs, being able to jump around and play tug-o-war with Tucker and Jack again...I really hate to see her in pain.
Her exercise guidelines are pretty simple. No more running with the bike when Tucker's along...just her and me. The vet as pleased with th exercise she's been getting and says that she should continue with it. If Jasmine starts limping after a walk, give her a K-9 asprin and scale back the walk the next day since it was too much for her. That's all I have to look for. I guage what she can do by how her body reacts to the walk. That's simple and it makes me feel good that I can still excersize her. If she goes on any more bike rides with me (which she will since she's the best biking dog) she has to ride more in the trailer and run less. I can manage that! Yay for modern medicine!!!