Thursday, March 12, 2009

Leaving the Farm for a Veterinarian Visit

Our dear Nugget has been limping for the past two days and is not willing to climb the seven steps that lead up to the back porch. Thinking he and Coty played too hard during the warm spell, I thought it best to confine him to his 'recovery pen' in order to prevent him from lying on hard surfaces and allow for rest. He has arthritis. He also had a major TTA surgery last May on his left hind. He began toe touching on the improved leg so the thick carpet along with the large memory foam bed with no Coty attacks should prove beneficial. Nugget is only 6 years old.

We traveled about 45 minutes to an orthopaedic surgeon who has performed this same surgery and I figured he would be most familiar with post operative issues (wasn't aware of him last May, otherwise we would not have used MedVet in Columbus, OH). He is an awesome vet. Good with Nugget of course, but good with me and has a most precious skill...patience with the animal parent. He is willing to take the time to teach. Here is what I learned which might surprise you should you own a large breed dog.

The torn ligament is called the cruciate ligament. Visualize a piece of twine and you know how twine is comprised of many skinny fibers. Well, this ligament has the same features and due mostly to genetic defects in large breeds, especially Goldens, these 'fibers' tear. Other causes are due to the extreme rate of growth during puppy hood, and being overweight once grown. Nugget came to us as a stray teenager and was not overweight, but as soon as he was 'cut', then he ballooned! He has since lost weight but I was told another 10 pounds should come off. Wow...he barely eats much food as it is and is on Purina diet kibble. He eats the same amount as his brothers and sister. He weighs 80 pounds.

The 'pictures' came out fine. The metal 'hinge' is in place as are the screws, and wouldn't you know, Nugget bounced around looking much improved but to the skilled eye, lameness is evident.

There are 4 suggestions that would improve his condition: diet, exercise, nutracueticals, and anti-inflammatories. The first three are fine with me but Rymadil and its cousins are not. Until I can be assured that no liver nor kidney damage will result from regular use, then I do not feel comfortable in making that decision for this wonderful animal. Another interesting bit of info is that fish oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties in dogs also, so I will get those capsules. Hopefully they will be mercury free. Nugget is already on a chrondrotin, glucosomine and msm supplement. I am a big believer in Adequan as I saw wonderful results when I evented with Jessie so I will begin those shots, once a week for 4 weeks, then once a month thereafter, and it can be done subcutaneously instead of IM as in horses. Good, less pain for my baby!


Greyhounds never get cruciate disease.
In the past ten years, cruciate disease has surpassed hip dysplasia in diagnosis.
Adequan for horses is cheaper than Adequan for dogs and bottled in the same identical strength.
Adequan for dogs has an additive in it allowing for longer shelf life.

Novartis owns the rights to sell Adequan for dogs from Luitpold who makes Adequan.

Nugget is a full blooded Golden Retriever. The neighbor across the road purchased him from a local breeder, still has his papers, but chose not to keep him. Nugget was allowed to run free and would arrive daily at our farm to play with big Black Jack and Little Bear. He loved Pokey (Devil Dog) too, but thankfully chose to live with us. We love our Nuggie! This morning Nugget seemed much improved and trotted to the door. Still cautious, I allowed for no lying on the cold hard snowy ground (yes, we got an inch last night) and asked for him to come in the front door with only 4 wide steps. Late morning is nap time, and all the babies are peacefully dozing, except teenage Tiger and patient LaQuinta.

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