For several years, Lola has occasionally limped. Off and on, usually more in cold weather, but the limp has always dissipated and eventually gone away.
Last fall, during duck season, the limp didn’t go away and continued to become more obvious.
Not wanting to admit that my dog needed help, I waited too patiently for the limp to leave. Finally, my wife, Linda convinced me that it was time to go to the vet. The vet didn’t have an answer, but once he was involved, there was no more putting off action.
X-Rays revealed some arthritis in Lola’s front right leg and also in her back. Arthritis was something with which I was familiar.
The vet suggested several paths that we could take. I was reluctant to give her treatment, but we began to give her pills that could possibly reduce inflammation. The pills may have helped a little, but the limp eventually grew more pronounced.
After a few months without significant progress, we decided to give Lola a series of shots. At first she received two each week. After four shots, we reduced the shots to one per week.
One night she vomited violently and was quite ill. After a few days of rice and cottage cheese, she was better, but we decided to quit the shots. The cure seemed worse than the problem.
In the meantime we reduced her exercise to about half of what we had normally done. Taking her for walks every other day and shortening the length by about 50%.
I also purchased a leg brace believing that restricting the motion of her right front leg would limit the effects of the arthritis. The brace seems to be helping. Here’s a video of Lola with the leg brace on.
And here’s a close up of the brace on her leg.
The brace originally had three straps that wrapped around her leg, but it didn’t fit her right and the bottom of the brace dug into her foot. I sawed off about an inch of the brace and now use tape to wrap the bottom of the brace to her leg. It seems to be working and she’s not limping as much.
Lola’s nine now and I know from experience that all dogs suffer from some malady as they grow older. I’m just hoping that we can keep this issue under control and that she can continue to hunt next season. Time will tell.