Monday, February 20, 2012

One Tough Bitch

Getting old stinks. Your knees, ankels, shoulder, hips - just pick a body part and at some point over the age of 30 it will fail you based on how you treated it when you were younger. I was a dancer and believe me, my knees remember this even if the rest of my body doesn't. 

Dog bodies are no different. It's hard to watch my girls age, slow down, hobble a little more. I don't know about their life before me, other than the number of races they ran. I know what racing kennels look like, turn out frequency and feeding habits of life is like at the track, so I can assume what daily life was like. What I have no idea about is what they were like as puppies and to be honest with you, I really never wondered about it until a couple of weeks ago.

Seka has progressively become more and more weak in her back legs over the past year. The trembling, the shaking and the lack of stamina is apparent to me. This doesn't mean she doesn't want to do things. She loves going places. She enjoys our READing Paws visits and our therapy dog work. On warm days, she's happy to lay in the sun and play with her squeaky toy in the afternoons. But after a spill in the backyard on February 5, I took her into the vet for x-rays. 

They knocked her out for a good set of hip, spine and leg x-rays to make sure nothing was broken or out of place and to confirm a muscle strain. X-rays confirmed no breaks - well no new breaks. Despite the many x-rays we've taken over the years, including those when she had her toe amputated, obviously didn't include a hip x-ray in that particular view. Because if they were taken, we'd seen a long time ago that she had a break in her hip that happened when she was approximately 6 to 8 months old based on where the fracture healed in the growth plate (I know, right?). 

Of course I had no idea of this injury. Seka ran four races. Seka lure coursed. Seka retrieved a ball as many times as we threw it. A hip fracture at six months old would have prevented all of this, right? 

According to the ortho surgeon at Auburn University, Seka is one tough bitch. I'm guessing that's a clinical diagnosis. 

Between Dr. Hottie and Dr. Smarty (the ortho surgeon at AU) we've been presented with two options: femoral head ostectomy (FHO) surgery or adequan injections. The FHO sounds scary to me and let's face it, it's a surgery done on lots of other breeds, but rarely on greyhounds. Seka's x-rays are out for additional opinions with Dr. Gillette at AU and Dr. Couto and team at OSU. She's feeling much better by increasing her Rimadyl, but I know we can't do that forever. 

Seka's being true to her official AU diagnosis - she's one tough bitch. Now to figure out how to be like my dog as we decide what to do next.