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.