Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Breaking Down

Unfortunately, Katie has dislocated another toe, but his one does not pop back into place (meaning the connective tissues in the joint are torn). Adding insult to injury, this toe injury occurred on a rear leg... as if Katie does not already have enough rear end problems (neurological, missing toe, and lots of arthritic changes in the remaining toes).

Dr. Toby examined the problem and suggested we see if Katie can live with the dislocation (versus amputating the toe). The dislocated toe joint has broken down completely and is not repairable. The other toes are breaking down as well and may not be able to support the burden of a missing toe. The interesting thing is that the injured toe never had any swelling so that makes me think it was probably being held together by scar tissue anyway. Normally a dislocated toe swells up immediately from the trauma. In the above photo, left to right, the first toe is the dislocated toe. The two middle toes almost appear to be headed for the same dislocation, but both have large knuckles and bony changes (especially the third one). Hopefully the additional scar tissue and calcification will hold them together for the rest of Katie's life. Left rear foot is below.This foot belongs to Katie's neurological leg. As you can see, one toe is missing (amputated 2 years ago) and a bursa has developed. You can also see bony changes in the remaining toes, but they are in much better shape than on her right foot. I believe the other foot takes a beating from compensating for the neurological leg.

Since Katie's newly dislocated toe has been painful, I have been giving her Deramaxx and I think it makes a big difference. I had kept her from moving around too much so I had not watched her move until the vet saw her. She actually was moving sound... well... with all things considered. She did not appear to be limping and was putting weight on it. Dr. Toby wants to see if Deramax can keep her going. We both agreed she is probably in pain elsewhere so the Deramax is probably a good idea anyway. Otherwise, he thought she looked great and complimented her healthy teeth.

Katie is just such a spirit and so tough. Never complains... just don't forget her Kongs and Bully Sticks!The sight of the toe creeps me out, but Katie does not let it stop her. I think it bothers me more than her. She has resumed her rehab exercises. A couple of days ago, she worked out for bites of ribeye that the husband begrudgingly gave up.

What bothers me the most is that I am putting a stop to her wheelies. In the afternoons even when it is 99 degrees (37 degrees for my Celsius friends), Katie is prone to spinning, running, and bouncing around the yard. I love to watch her. It makes me feel good to know she feels good. I hate to stop her, but I think the risk of injury is just too great.


15 comments:

Michelle said...

Poor Katie! She can't catch a break. I hope the Deramax helps!! :)

jet said...

Poor old girl! The 'wheelies' are very cute. Hope the toes hold together!

KF-in-Georgia said...

Poor Katie! Hope the Deramax continues to help.

Jacey does wheelies in the morning in my bedroom--which is not big enough for that. I've fussed and told her to stop, told her she'd hurt herself.

So of course I turned around the other day and she stood there...on three feet, pitifully holding up the front left. In just a minute, she was walking on it normally. After that, I caught her sort of absent-mindedly holding it up just once, then she went back to walking on it without a problem.

And the next day, she was back to doing wheelies in my bedroom.

Good luck with trying to hold Katie back.

Tarmars said...

I'm thinking about you and Katie. Those old dogs are so special and it is hard to seem them degrade. You are doing such a great job Katie. She still has a lot in her life to enjoy!

greytblackdog said...

Honestly, toe injuries suck. I love watching Katie do wheelies. Maybe you can train her to only do them once a week on command. :) Hugs to that sweet girl. That first pic is to die for cute.

Sam said...

I'm so sorry about Katie's toe. I had no idea that a toe injury could be so serious, but now that I see with a senior dog how tough it could be. Here's hoping she can live comfortably with the dislocated toe and resume her wheelies soon.

KF-in-Georgia said...

Jen, a Greytalker has posted about a problem with her dog: http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/258846-isis-may-have-had-a-stroke/

Later posts showed that it wasn't a stroke. The doctors are saying "FCE," so I put a link in that thread directing Isis's mom to your posts about Katie and Katie's rehab.

IHeartDogs said...

Hugs to you and Katie. *sending healing thoughts and prayers for sweet Katie*
Loved the vids.

houndstooth said...

Oh, man! That toe picture creeped me out, too!

It is great to see a dog her age running around like that! I am not sure you're going to be able to stop those wheelies, though. She seems too into it to give it up!

whygreyhounds said...

This is the hard part of growing old. The main thing is Katie is happy, she is with you and loves you, that is all she needs in her twilight years.

Love her twirly zoomies! Those toes don't look like they will withstand much of that now. I hope the Deramax helps keep her comfortable and pain free.

We sens our healing thoughts & prays to her from across the seas.

Greyhounds CAN sit said...

I feel for you Jen. It's so hard on us having to stop our dogs from doing things they love because they could hurt themselves or make injuries worse. We can't explain to them why. It sucks. Good luck to you and Katie.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks for all the kind words!

Anonymous said...

Pic of Katie and flower is really cute and it makes me smile seeing her do "wheelies". L, M

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

It's so hard to watch them break down:-( Hang in there Katie!....weird my word verification is "nospinth" as in no spins:-(

Jemma said...

Poor Katie girl. We're sending her positive healing thoughts!