The next step in old age

img_1206Back in June, Bear’s legs started getting wobbly.  Fortunately, at the time, he was already seeing the vet regularly while he was being treated for a UTI. This was just one more thing to add to the list. Our course of action: pain meds and anything I could do to keep him moving to prevent the muscles from completely atrophying.

He’s been doing ok. He stumbles every now and again, and he absolutely hates the laminate floors. And going down stairs is no longer a safe option. But over all he was doing ok. Still active, walking around a bit. Jumping up on the couch. Going up the stairs with little help.

And then Friday happened.

The first sign something was off was in the morning. He didn’t finish his breakfast. Over the course of the next couple of days, the rest of the signs settled in. He didn’t want to move. He didn’t want me to help him get up, to the point he was growling at me. When he was up, he typically just stood there, trying not to fall. With much effort, he could get going walking, but one trip and he was down. And let’s not mention the bathroom situation.

Needless to say, I was concerned. First thing Saturday I called the vet. Their next opening was Monday afternoon with a vet who hadn’t seen Bear before. I took it.

There were a couple of positives to the appointment time. First, I could observe him all weekend and see how he was doing. Thankfully, he didn’t get worse. But he didn’t get better either. Second, I could bring him to the office and get other folks opinion that I wasn’t overreacting. They had seen him just one week prior. Thankfully, they all agreed something was wrong. And finally, I could get a second opinion from a different vet at the same practice. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dr K. But hearing someone else agree/disagree is always a good thing.

Today was that Monday and Bear got to met Dr I. Overall, it was a great trip. The only downside was their tile floor. Needless to say, Bear did no walking while there. But we did come away with good news: no sign of bone cancer and his bloodwork looks good. However his x-rays did show lots of arthritis. Looks like his problems are just the effects of arthritis taking its natural course, which could include pinching some nerves.

img_1209
Bear after his first treatment.

So what do we do? Well, Bear is now on some more pain meds. But along with that, we are trying a non-medical option: Lasers.  I know very little about it, other than they shoot lasers at the dogs. (Being I have a physics background you would think I would know more. I do not.) But it seems pretty safe, so it doesn’t hurt to try.

Best part: they started today. So Bear’s already had his first treatment. And his next one is slated for Wednesday. He’ll have ten sessions total, one every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Even better part: its one more excuse to bring him to work.

Here’s hoping he perks up soon.

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10 thoughts on “The next step in old age

  1. Sorry to hear Bear’s having a tough time. i know how it feels, my border collie has a bad case of arthritis too, on top of his HD. But in typical border collie fashion, he refuses to let it affect him too much. Hopefully the laser treatments will do their job for Bear. -Ellie

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