Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shay is one tough old dog

Shay is 12 and her hips haven't been good for a while. But she gets around pretty well. Until about 10 days ago. She started having a harder and harder time standing. Sometimes one of us had to help her and then she would hobble along, more and more often stopping to lie down before she could continue. Finally, one evening I had to use a towel for a sling under her belly to help her go to bed.

Sue had Shay on pain meds but they weren't working. That next morning she got Rimadyl from the vet and started Shay on three a day. We saw a difference almost immediately and within 36 hours Shay was much more comfortable and able to walk from the house to the backyard without stopping. Although she isn't exactly waking up each day with a spring in her step, she moves pretty darned efficiently everywhere she needs to go. And she still has her wag.

And then ... going into the weekend, we realized the skin tag low on Shay's hind leg had somehow gotten rubbed raw. Instead of it's usual black, it was now blood red. Now mind you, this skin tag is the size of a walnut. Big. And it started oozing. Yuck. And Shay was licking it and biting on it and it just got grosser. Fortunately, we made it through to Monday morning without her chewing it off. We were at the vet's office bright and early.

The skin tag has to be removed surgically but that can't happen until Wednesday. So the vet bandaged Shay's leg. If left to her own devices, the old gal would chew that bandage off in a heartbeat. Since we don't use the cone of shame on these old dogs (I'm afraid the response to it would cause far too much stress on their old bodies), we're using the watchful eye technique combined with a good number of leave its and a sock over the bandage. So far so good. And tomorrow is surgery. Estimate: $700. After which she should be as good as new. Well, as good as old maybe.

Like I said up top, Shay is one tough old lady. And just in case she or any of our other oldsters need walking assistance, Sue ordered a belly sling. Should be here any day. I always wanted handles for my dogs.

This post was originally published on the 5 Old Dogs blog, 8/28/13. Shay is 13 now and still has her wag. 

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