Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bear's 1 Year Update | Dealing With Chronic Lameness

Bear is growing up WAY too fast. His last update was 8 months go check it out for more adorable puppy pictures.

At one year Bear is around 73lbs, he's not done growing and since he's 75% Black Lab I'm sure he'll fill out and gain some more weight. His growing has definitely slowed down...although we did have Xrays done in May and his growth plates are not closed quit yet.

Why did Bear go in for Xrays in May? If you saw my last Fitness Update I did touch a little on my "lack of motivation" and the fact that Bear had a hurt leg that was keeping our family very busy with him.  

Bear is a very high energy dog...he LOVES to run and play but has very little control as most puppies do. On May 9th my husband was watering our grass in the yard (we have a quarter acre lot so lots of room for Bear to run around in) Bear was out with him running full out in the yard - but had zero control. He was slipping and sliding because the grass was wet and that only seems to make him run faster and faster.

On one of Bear's turns he missed his footing and his feet came out from under him, he feel and landed on his left shoulder...didn't yelp or cry but he did get up and wouldn't put any weight on his left leg.

We were extremely worried that he broke his leg but he came inside and went to sleep so he didn't seem to be in any pain. We thought we would wait till morning and then asses if he needed to go to the vet.

Bear woke up at 2am crying - Bear has NEVER woken up during the night for anything, even when he was 8 weeks old and slept for the first night in our house. We rushed him to the emergency vet and they took Xrays but said nothing was broken and he would be OK in one week.

We put Bear on "bed rest", he only left the house to go to the bathroom and we would leash him in the yard so he couldn't run and play.

Two weeks later his limp was still there....we ended up taking him back to the same vet that treated him in the first place and they diagnosed him with "chronic lameness" and recommended and surgeon consult.

We agreed and saw a surgeon the next day - he proceed to tell us that he thought Bear had elbow dysplasia. He wanted to run several tests that would have cost us thousands and thousands of dollars - and after all this testing he wanted to operate but the operation would only be good for 2-3 years and then he would have to under more surgery.

I was in absolute disbelieve! Bear took one simple fall and they seemed to want to do all this unnecessary testing and treatment on our poor 10 month old puppy.

After our appointment I contacted our regular vet for a second opinion. She was able to see us right away and said she very much doubted that Bear has elbow dysplasia and said it was more likely that he had soft tissue damage in his elbow. We put him on several supplements and medication plus she said to continue his "bed rest" for at least one month.

It took a long time but Bear is doing so much better! We are absolutely thrilled with his recovery...although it's been very difficult on my husband & I. Of course Bear didn't seem to understand that he was hurt and couldn't do all the things he normal would do. He had so much pent up energy and we couldn't even walk him to get rid of it.

Luckily we made it through a very difficult month and Bear is almost 100%....I would say he's about 85%. He's back to doing most things he was able to do but I do limit his activity.

He is still on joint supplements and herbal mediation plus I do ice is elbow after he's been running a lot or playing with other dogs.

I highly recommend that if your dog has a freak injury like ours did to get a second opinion if you think the treatment or tests recommended seem unreasonable.

Unfortunately even though Bear is on the mend, he developed a fear of people as the emergency vet was quit rough with him. We are now having to do a ton of training to get him to trust humans again and I would say he is doing a lot better than he was in May. He's finally letting people pet him again and he's not so nervous walking into the vets office anymore.

Freak accidents happen but thank goodness for pet insurance...I will say that the Xrays and multiple visits to the vet cost A LOT! If you have a young pup that has high energy I would definitely recommend looking into some pet insurance.

Bear spent the day before his birthday at Pets in The Park. It was a local fund raiser for an animal shelter. He was a bit nervous when we first got there but relaxed after about 20min. He had so much fun visiting with other dogs and walking around the festival. It was great being around other dog owners who understood that Bear was a little shy and it took him some time to warm up to people.

However, near the end he was running right up to people and having a great time....I don't think he really wanted to leave. It was a very well organized event and I can't wait to go again next year.

Bear turned 1 years old on June 26th! I can't wait to see what this next year brings with our little guy.

Lets keep the cuteness going! Check out 7 Most Gorgeous Pug Mixes pictures.

Leave in the comments below what breed of dog you own.

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