Monday, April 19, 2010

My aging WonderMutt

Our Paraclete Duke, Cletus for short, has been particularly lazy lately.
We just chalked it up to old age, and I knew he had some arthritis in his left leg. But this weekend, he was limping on the right side, and this morning he just licked and licked at that right paw, and was really sensitive about having it touched. So off to the vet we went this morning.
Several hundred dollars later, we have a diagnosis, and it's not terrible, but it's not great either. Our little old guy has severe arthritis in both elbows and in most of his toes on both of his front legs. Two of his claws were too long (he hates to have them messed with) and had overlapped one another--partly due to some of the gnarling of his toe joints from the arthritis. He's home now, in the bed, stoned on the large amount of pain meds it took to get him taken care of this morning.
We're going to have to put a stop to so much that makes him who he is: no more jumping on and off the bed. No more long walks. No more staying out all day and much of the night. We're going to have to work harder at taking weight off of him to help his joints out a bit, and to do that without too much strenuous exercise. And we're going to have to watch our normally happy-go-lucky WonderMutt for signs of pain or distress, signs he rarely shares until things are really bad. We're going to have to learn to scrutinize those silly-dog grins for hidden aches, and look for subtleties in his mood and behavior that I would have told you weren't there. And he's going on a regimen of meds, something we've never really had to do, although he's taken glucosamine and chondroitin for a couple of years now in treat form.
I'm not ready for this.


  1. Oh, Anne. Saw the comment you left over on my blog and have had you on my prayer autopilot since then.

    (((You and Cletus)))

    It is hard, but the new normal may still be a good normal.

    And I don't think any of us who love our animals this way are ever ready for "this," whatever form it takes.

  2. oh my friend... may god see you thru this transition... so terribly hard cuz our furry friends are so loving... all the time, even when we don't deserve it they love us... *sigh* prayers anne...

  3. Cletus is fortunate to have someone who is willing to be in tune to his needs. Oh, my two-legged momma saw your post on GIST about the Dr and says "Congratulations!" Anyway, I have a doggy brother who just had a mast cell tumor removed and our whole house (4 dogs, 3 cats and 2 humans)continues to make adjustments so he is safe and comfortable.


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