Sunday, February 7, 2016

Limping episode resolved!

At Whistler for her treatment
Awhile back, we had a scary episode where Whiskey was suddenly limping and wouldn't use her left hind leg. We had taken to her to emergency and had no answers after a rather large bill (xrays were fine).  It strangely only lasted a day and she seemed 95% back to normal by the next day.

her first limping episode
However, this happened again a couple months later in late November and while we didn't go to ER again, we did keep a very close eye on her and like before, it resolved within 24 hours. At this point, I really wanted to get to the source of the issue. We've had two tentative diagnosis as a back stress injury (reason why the recovery was so fast, from our vet), and/or soft tissue trauma (ER vet). A friend had a recommendation to a well known vet/surgeon that specialized in lameness assessments as well as chiropractic therapies and orthopedic surgeries, so we called him up to make an appointment. Let me tell you, this is a very rare find indeed!

all is well now!
We made the date to head to Whistler (about 2 hours away) and took Whiskey for her first appointment with Dr. Lane. My goal was to pinpoint the underlying issue that was causing her periodic lameness and hopefully treat it without any drugs. I know many people might think that this issue "isn't so bad" since she doesn't consistently show symptoms; two days of limping isn't the end of the world, especially with active dogs. However, I would much rather solve this now then wait 5 years and have this become a chronic issue. Also, we are covered by insurance (80%) with Pets Plus Us, which I highly recommend since we've tested their claims very very thoroughly.

Vizslas are pretty active
Since Dr. Lane is extremely busy and was only working once a week, it took about 1.5 months for us to secure an appointment. He started the appointment by listening and recording our issues and watching our video of her which we had filmed to record the limping event. We then took Whiskey out for a walk to demonstrate her walk, her trot, and then went up and down some stairs. Dr. Lane noticed that going down stairs, she had less "wiggle" in her lower back which seemed tight. He started treating her by feeling with his fingers all over her as well as extending her legs. Whiskey wasn't too sure of this strange man so we needed to bribe her with treats. Acupuncture as well as massage, lasers and chiropractic therapies were all used and we even ended the session with some IMS. At the end of it all, poor Whiskey was ready to leave, hugging the door with sad eyes :(

acupuncture and laser treatment
Dr. Lane narrowed down the problem to a hip misalignment that was causing her to put stress into her back that would eventually lead to a limping episode after too much explosive activity (ie jumping and sprint starts). The activities we toned down were jumping and continuous fetch although we never did too much to begin with. He thinks that perhaps there was an incident that caused her hips to move out of line and over time her body just got used to it. We were working to correct her hips and let her body 'remember' the new alignment by having less activity for awhile. This was pretty easy since she happened to have also started her heat, so it was on-leash walks away from other dogs for a month anyways.
her second heat has her very mellow
After the initial consultation, we went back twice more and were given the all clear (and to come back 6 months-1 year just to check up). After every consultation, I could see a difference in the way Whiskey was running (less so on the last one). She seemed a bit looser. We've not had any limping since, and hope this is all over. At the worst, we've got a clear explanation and someone that can help us out if anything happens again. I think the hardest part was not knowing the problem and throwing money at an ER vet that didn't have a clue.

All better!

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful photographs! I´m glad that your dog is okay :)He´s very pretty ^^
    http://susirajan.blogspot.fi/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, I love that one! Lot of useful stuff here about our

    beloved hungarian hunting dog breed aka Vizslas here:

    http://hungarian-vizsla.com/

    ReplyDelete