|Jackson and his sidekick, Solo.|
Last night he goes out for a quick yard visit at 6pm, is out for ten minutes... and comes back into the house completely non-weight bearing on his front left leg. And it's not that he's favoring it, it's pulled way up, back and... just sort of floppin'.
WTF? Commence major freak out.
Of course, despite that one little detail, he's fine. Active. Rambunctious. Happy as a clam. We get him to rest for a bit. We then evaluate, feeling him from nail to shoulder. No amount of squeezing, poking, etc. elicits ANY type of response. He's not stressed. No whimper, guarding, anything. I then go through range of motion of wrist, elbow and shoulder.
Nothing. I thought I felt a taut muscle running from shoulder up the neck. (Trapezius?) But that was it.
We try to keep him on the down low for the evening. No improvement. A great e-vet clinic is very near our home, and we are no stranger to them. But I figure since he's in no acute distress, at MOST they will charge me for an exam (at triple the standard vet rate), do an x-ray (at double the normal rate) and tell me to follow up with my vet the next morning. Regardless, I call them, present the situation, talk through my logic and they are like, "Yeah, that sounds reasonable. We're here if you need us... but sounds like you don't need us."
I like the honesty.
So we cuddle up in bed with him, hoping for a change in the AM. He awakes and no change; if anything it's the first sign of anything else, he seems a little stiff. Letting work know I'll be late until I figure out a game plan (dear Universe, thank you for my employer and their generous benefits and commitment to a good work/life balance), I leave a message for the vet so they can call me as soon as staff get in.
Now, ever since Winston passed, I've been periodically grousing about my current vet, and thinking that I might someday soon consider looking for a new vet. It's a string of little to medium sized things, not things that are egregious, not things I'm going to go spewing around the net on every review site. Just things that don't work for me. But, they are still my vet, so I call them.
They have no appointments today.
Could I get an emergency appointment? Nope.
Can I drop him off for evaluation between procedures (maybe today's a surgery day)? Nope.
Quick x-ray? Nope.
They can see him tomorrow afternoon, and will give pain meds and muscle relaxers in the interim.
I'll admit, that doesn't sound horribly unreasonable. But to be frank, I've waited for over 90 minutes while they dealt with other animals emergencies. With a smile and a, "No, nevermind! Do what you need to do." I've returned to the clinic just recently because they failed to give one of the vaccinations I specifically asked for, and needed for doggie daycare. I've spent almost two hours for a routine exam/vacs for two dogs because they were so disorganized. The prices are on the premium side (but they do have a very nice facility.) And I won't get into the bigger issues. Let's just say I felt that I'd done for them many times, and here I was freaking out that he'd dislocated his shoulder and they had nothing to offer me.
"Ok, well I want to have him evaluated today."
I'm sorry, but we don't have anything available.
"Ok, I understand that, I will find someone who can."
Oh, no, wait, let me check...
I admit, I hung up on her. It was the straw that broke the camels back. I was DONE.
I always talk to good dog friends and have a notebook in my head of who goes where. But my favorite vet tech also left the practice recently. It wasn't much to go on, but I researched where she went and found some very good reviews and information about the vet she's with now. Calling their office, they were happy to get me in at 2pm.
Thank you, thank you.
Solo had been crated from 7:30-2:00. When I ran home to fetch him, he was favoring the leg in the crate. I leash him up and we run out the front door, and he's limping but using the leg. Limping less out in the lawn. By the time we get to the vet... DOG, ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS WITH ME RIGHT NOW??? Hardly any noticeable limp.
I met a very nice vet and was really pleased with her demeanor, knowledge, approach and services. It's just a start, but so far so good.
Upon exam and a thorough retelling of the details, we suspect he had an event that pushed his arm outward, perhaps even causing a minor sublux at the shoulder with spontaneously reduced itself. But it left him with spasm in the surrounding muscles and into the neck. A little rest calmed most of it down, but after the exam (during which we were still unable to elicit any response, even though we were bending him around like a pretzle) he did seem a little sore, but barely even a limp. Rx was some anti inflammatory meds, limited activity for a few days, and close monitoring.
We're doing great on the first and the last poing, but keeping this little dynamo down is nearly impossible.
Such a relief. Scot and I were both really scared we'd broken our little prince.
Oh! And he tips the scales at 24 lbs now. He's 8.5 months old.