27 Jan 2012, Comments (7)

Friday Dogblogging: Maggie goes to the vet

Author: Helen

I took Maggie for a checkup a few weeks ago because I was worried about the way she was losing oomph in her back legs. I twittered my distress and a blogfriend sent me a link about a vet in Oakleigh who is reported to be doing great things with a new stem cell technique. So I took her there, too.

One of her front legs has been stuffed for a while. She does a cheerful swagger and shuffle round the park, but she doesn’t keep ahead of me the way she used to. Instead, I need to stop and wait for her.

Maggie has arthritis and calcification in her spine and in her hips and in the dodgy front elbow. She’s had extensive X-rays under a general anaesthetic with Cartrophen and cortisone administered by needle while she was under. I’ve been given instructions for her new regimen: More Cartrophen – yes, I know about the sharks, but it’s the dog I know and love versus the shark I’ve never met. Heat packs twice daily on the spine. Fish oil capsules and Glucosamine/Chondroitin capsules (“Give her one of those fish oil capsules,” said the droll, shaggy-grey-haired vet from Central Casting, “take one yourself and give one to the husband.”) Gentle hip stretches, which she submits to with more grace than you’d think. Excercise twice daily, which she gets anyway, and more – “keep her moving,” said the vet.

She goes back on Monday for a followup examination and the vet will decide whether or not to offer a new stem cell treatment which has supposedly worked quite well for the few dogs on which it’s been tried.

It’s all a lot to get our heads around. How much more time she has left is up for grabs. We have to make sure that that time is happy and pain free and as active as her spine and joints allow.

For now, she is pottering and sniffing the exciting smells in her favourite haunts…

Maggie pottering along the edge of the Stony Creek


Wallowing like a furry hippopotamus in the creek

Maggie paddling in Stony Creek

Maggie swimming in the frog pond in the Park

Having a good shake, and ignoring the cries of any humans nearby who get a bath in the process

Maggie shaking herself to dry off

And having a lovely roll in the grass to get beautifully coated with dirt and mulch.

Maggie rolling on the grass

Joy of living: we still haz it.

Comments (7) »

  • Mindy says:

    So many lovely doggie pictures around today. I hope Maggie has a lovely time, however long she has left. A happy doggy is a joy to behold.

  • boynton says:

    Lovely photos – you can tell she has a beautiful nature. Best of luck, and best wishes to you all.

  • Fine says:

    She looks like she;s having a lovely time right now, which is important. One great thing is that dogs don’t have to carry the emotional weight of their illnesses. We watch and worry and they take it as they come. I’m sure she couldn’t have a better owner than you.

  • Helen says:

    Well, it’s a tag team between me and her actual owner, who is my daughter. And Mr Bucket and son are giving her lots of love too. Mr B gave me a very good heat pack he had stashed away (from indoor soccer days, I think) and it’s an ideal shape, a long rectangle. Perfect for a dog’s back.

    Thanks to all you kind commenters!

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    oh dear.
    Fine is right of course, so it is Family Balcony which needs the sympathy.
    Maggie may be crabby from her aches, so of course you will be very lenient about that.
    When our pets have had enough, they tend to go under the bed or under the house, or behind a cupboard, in a ‘Just leave me alone to cope’ flounce, so when she disappears you will know.
    X X X X X to you all

  • Helen says:

    Update: Took Maggie back for a one-week assessment following all those injections and the physio as vet requested. He was so happy with her condition following a week’s treatment with cortisone / fish oil / Glucosamine/chondritin / physio (although the oil and Glucosa won’t kick in till later I presume) he’s said to hold off with the idea of heroic measures, keep all this going and see him again in a month. The hips are much better, and she’s more philosophical about having them stretched than you’d think.

    Annie O, both dogs love lurking under the house and under the beds, so I’m not sure how I’d tell the difference! I know when she’s miserable, though, as it’s so different from her usual cheery self.

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    well that’s the best news, and she certainly is getting 5-star care. Distressed animals affect me much much more than human disaster.
    I’m glad to hear they have a dog possie under the house. So many pets don’t get this favourite thing. X X

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