Let me start by saying that Addie is still with us but it was a long morning.
We had been noticing that her walking has been more labored. She of course isn’t doing hikes like she used to and her exercise is limited to walking to/from eating, potty, and the occasional sniff around the yard. She just doesn’t have it in her any longer. Given her age, we don’t push her.
Last night she was having a much more difficult time getting up and down. Rob had to actually help her lie down at bedtime. When I got up this morning she had moved but was NOT going to get up. Sometimes she is like that early in the morning if she is still sleepy and we just let her stay put. However, I knew she would need to go outside by 6 o’clock.
I coaxed her as much as I could but she was not budging. Rob eventually lifted her up and she seemed to be able to stand on her own. She took about 4-6 steps and then just fell over in the middle of the kitchen floor, lost control of her bladder, and started panting very heavily.
Unfortunately, we have seen similar situations with Addie and previously with Shep. You just know deep down that today is the day. The day we have been dreading for a very long time. You try to prepare yourself but how can you?
We tried calling the vet but she didn’t answer and her office didn’t open until 9 o’clock. So we sat on the floor with her, made her comfortable, and waited. Eventually she calmed down and her breathing became normal. That was good but I could tell she was in pain.
Around 8:45, we loaded her into the back of our SUV and drove her to the vet’s office. She had still not arrived by the time we got there but I was honestly a little glad as I felt it gave me just that much longer with Addie.
When the vet arrived she examined Addie right in the back of our SUV which was parked on the street in front of her office. She felt that the problem probably wasn’t an internal bleed (which was our primary concern). She told us that it might be a tumor causing issues of some sort but when she manipulated Addie’s legs and hips she noticed that she was cringing. She felt it was more likely that her hips or back might be giving out. Of all the possible news that may have been the best.
She gave Addie a fast acting, injectable pain medication along with an anti-inflammatory drug. She also gave us a dose of carprofen (Rimadyl) for tomorrow morning. She suggested treating Addie with the injectable form of a drug called Legend.
(Legend is Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is the major component of normal joint fluid. When it is placed within a specific joint it acts as a lubricant and a mild anti-inflammatory for that joint only. When it is given in a vein, it goes to all the joint capsules in the body. However, it does NOT go into any of the joints themselves, but merely attaches to anti-inflammatory receptors on the blood vessel side of the joint capsule. Here it is an even stronger anti-inflammatory than when placed within a joint! As it does not enter the joints, there is no lubrication effect when given intravenously).
She told us that this treatment has worked successfully on 4 other dogs in her care. We are going to try this starting either tomorrow or Friday depending on how Addie is feeling.
I truly hope this is the answer. We don’t want to prolong Addie’s life if it means that she is going to be in pain but if this new treatment can help her be mobile and pain free we are going to try it.