We went back to Hidden Valley Animal Hospital on Friday and Dudley’s blood work was good so he can continue taking the Rimadyl. He started taking it a couple of weeks ago and I can tell he feels better, his tail is higher and his eyes are brighter and no more accidents! As suspected, arthritic swelling was putting pressure on nerves in his spine and he was not receiving the “signal” that he needed to do his business. The result was he unknowingly did his “business” in the house. When he came into the house after a trip to the back yard and had an accident, I knew something was wrong and called the vet. The vet suggested putting him on Rimadyl. Rimadyl is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) that reduced swelling and alleviated the pressure on the nerve in his spine allowing the “signal” to get to Dudley’s brain telling him he had to poop.
Living with a dog, it’s easy to miss the gradual changes in them. Seeing the positive change in Dudley the past two weeks made me realize I had missed what in hindsight are pretty obvious signals that he wasn’t feeling great. His wasn’t wagging his tail much and he was keeping it low. I attributed it to his loss of hearing, he used to always wag his tail when I talked to him. Deafness may have been part of it, but I think pain and discomfort were also part of it. He also wasn’t gobbling his food the way he normally does. He was still eating, but he didn’t eat all his breakfast at once the way he usually does, but would eat about half of it and go back in an hour or so and finish. He still got excited when we went for our walk, but he wasn’t herding me toward the pantry where I keep his leash and harness demanding his walk the way he would if I didn’t move toward the pantry fast enough for him. He was also sleeping more. All of these things I chalked up as “normal” for a dog that is 14 years old.
I am happy to say that Dudley is once again eating his food all at one time, he wakes me up with hearty snorts and movement that makes his tags jingle, his tail is higher and wagging more and he is trying to do his happy dance when he sees me putting on my sneakers. It’s a modified happy dance from what it was before he blew out his knee, but he is twirling again. He also is pressing his body against my legs in an attempt to herd me toward the pantry to get his leash for a walk, or toward the refrigerator to get him a carrot. My point is, what seems to be almost insignificant changes in your dog can sometimes signal pain and/or other illness and you should discuss these changes with your vet. It is especially important to take your older dog to the vet more frequently and note any changes in your dog’s routine.
The Humane Society has posted a list of recalled pet food and treats on their website. With a couple of exceptions, I only give my dogs treats that are made in the U.S.A. I will sometimes give them bully sticks from Brazil. I’m lucky that Dudley and Zoe both accepted carrots as a treat. Be wary of products for our pets that are made in other countries. Keep your pets healthy and feeling terrific in their golden years!
When a dog wants to hang out the “Do Not Disturb” sign, as all of us do now and then, he is regarded as a traitor to his species. ~Ramona C. Albert