Lowder-dog is still a bit under the weather. When I got home from work last Friday (10/30), I could tell that he was acting strangely. As I stepped out on the patio, I noticed he couldn't go down the steps on his own, so I gave him a lift. He was walking funny and his back left leg seemed very weak. He couldn't even raise his leg to pee. I thought he might have hurt himself somehow and began giving him Rimadyl to see if that would take care of things.
Unfortunately, it didn't. Since I was off work on Tuesday for Election Day, I took Lowder-dog to the vet for a checkup. He actually hadn't been to the vet in a long time; I usually just take him to the Humane Society for his yearly shots since it's so much less expensive that way. I saw a new vet at his clinic and really liked him. He was thorough with Lowder but gentle. He discovered that he had a pretty bad abscessed tooth as well as a significant arthritic flare-up in his lower back. Since Lowder-dog is so old (14!!), he doesn't think removing the tooth is a good idea if we can get the infection under control with antibiotics. It hasn't been affecting his ability to eat, and he doesn't seem to be in any pain from it. I have to say that Lowder-dog was an excellent patient and didn't even snap at the doc when he stretched his back legs in painful looking arrangements. All he did was whine a little bit and give me his soulful stare. The doc also reassured me about the various lumps and bumps and growths on Lowder-dog, saying he thought they were just fatty tumors or warts that old dogs seem to get. The vet did tell me that he didn't think Lowder-dog could hear or see very well anymore; he has some pretty significant cataracts and doesn't seem to notice low noises. He does still recognize my voice and can sense vibrations, so that must help him find his way around. I guess this all makes sense when I think about how he'll go out into the backyard and just kind of stand there. He's probably getting his bearings about where he is and trying to figure out what's going on around him. My little old man!
We left the vet's office with 4 prescriptions - one for pain, one for a muscle relaxer, one for inflammation, and an antibiotic for that tooth. You can imagine how fun it is to give Lowder-dog all that medicine twice a day! He is a master at spitting out pills, so I have to disguise them in a variety of treats. Pizza, cheese, and peanut butter have been my go-to choices this week. The antibiotic is a liquid dropper, and he fights me every step of the way. I've gone to school more than once this week with droplets of dog antibiotic on my blouse. Oh well, at least I know he's himself if he's being a little bit feisty.
He's still not feeling great, but he is resting fabulously. Soon after he has his medicine, he's on his side or back snoring away! I'm still carrying him outside since the steps are too much for him to manage, so we'll have to work out a ramp system soon if he doesn't improve. I haven't been able to hang out with the fella as much this week because Lowder-dog can't be left alone for more than 7 hours or so, but I'm hoping that won't continue to be a problem.We're heading back to the vet this Wednesday for some bloodwork, so we can get a picture of how his liver and kidney functions are. I'm hopeful that this old man has a few more good years left in him. I just can't imagine how I'll deal with it when Lowder-dog isn't there to greet me after work each day. Just can't imagine it...