Three weeks after River’s first vet appointment, I awoke early to get ready for her follow-up. She was not thrilled. While I got ready, she continued to sleep – giving me the evil eye every time I tried to coerce her out of bed.
We still managed to arrive a few minutes early. This time, we got to see Dr. K. It was like River had her initial visit all over again, which is good – confirms a lot of what Dr. A had already told me. She got another good checking over – and this time she didn’t try and maul anyone. She was a lot calmer – something even the vet assistant noted. Over all, Dr. K confirmed River looked good. Her ear infection was all clear, so now it is a matter of keeping her ears clean to prevent any future ones. We then discussed her legs before they took her for x-rays.
It wasn’t long before they returned with the results – most likely River has really, really bad genes. The vet beliefs all her back leg problems to be genetic and not the result of an accident of some sort. She didn’t give me the official term, but essentially her knee caps just do whatever they want to. Because of that, whenever River moves her legs, they twist in whatever direction they want to, sometimes in, sometimes out. On top of that, she has hip dysplasia in her left hip.
What does it all mean? It means even though she shows no pain now, she will. Severe arthritis is in her future. On top of that, her chances of tearing her CCL are really high.
Dr. K didn’t recommend surgery, and I’ll agree with her on this. Right now River is doing great – and I don’t want to put her through unnecessary pain. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be an option in the future. For now, her best recommendation was to keep her lean and fit. She recommended long walks and jogs. But no agility work – turning on a dime is not good for her. But long, steady, straight exercise is great – keeps the muscles strong to support her legs.
This is something we can do. I’ve been working on River’s leash manners. And knowing it only helps her means it is crucial we go every day to keep her legs strong.
After the vet visit, I had to stop by the office. Only because folks wanted to meet River. She made the rounds, and made plenty of friends. I even took a few minutes to check email and she decided to take a short nap. I’m sure she could have enjoyed the whole day there, just chilling. But I took her home, gave her some rest from meeting so many people.
She was tired, but I think she had a blast meeting so many folks. She’s a good “people” dog.