Tuesday, February 20, 2018

It Never Rains ... though Rain Did Have a Lot to Do with It

So we did notice and get to the bottom of Cookie's uneven stance. We treated, got her chiropractic adjustments and paid close attention to the right hind leg.


Then I noticed that she seemed to have been dropping her front left shoulder when walking.


It's not easy to make a conclusion about a dog's gait when you're both stumbling through the messy terrain. Did she just limp or did she break through the crusty snow? Did she just drop her shoulder or did she step into a hole left from busting through the crusty snow the last time? Ugh. Gait assessment in this kind of a mess is hit and miss.

But then I felt I noticed her favoring that leg in the house as well. Was she favoring the leg or trying to avoid tripping over a toy?

One time I thought I even saw her doing the "head bob."

It took a while before I was able to conclude she indeed favors her front left leg at times.


Eventually, I did conclude that her front left leg or shoulder is sore. Because going out with mommy is all fun and games and I wanted her to take it easy for a while, I enlisted daddy to take her out, explaining my reasons. Daddy didn't see any problems but took my word for it. Going out with daddy is serious business and Cookie is less likely to do something silly. That is until daddy decided that he was too boring of a walking partner and took Cookie bunny poop hunting in the deeper snow. Bunny tracking and bunny poop hunting is something Cookie, and I love doing but, frankly, if I wanted her to do that, I would have taken her myself.

The long and the short of it is that all that bouncing in the crusty snow made her leg worse. It got sore enough that even daddy could see it.

What is happening with that leg?


Primary injury or an issue secondary to the hind right?

Because of how a dog walks, the front left leg could have been compensating for a sore high right, though that one didn't seem sore anymore.

Since pouncing after bunny poop made it worse, though, it would make a primary issue more likely.

Luckily, because of the first issue, we had a follow-up physio appointment scheduled right after that weekend.


Yes, it happened during the weekend; doesn't it always?

I talked to the therapist, describing what has been going on. We almost didn't make it because we had some bad freezing rain. Fortunately, somebody canceled an appointment later in the day, and by the time we had to leave it started thawing out.

Cookie's leg at that time was sore enough that I broke into my secret stash of NSAIDs and gave her some.

The good news is that the hind right was looking and feeling better, making it be a compensation issue less likely. Another good news is that it appears to be a strained muscle(s) in the shoulder/neck area.

Cookie got her hydrotherapy, laser therapy, and massage.


At this time, I was able to withdraw the pain meds, and she seems to be at about 90%-ish. We'll follow up with further PT appointments and try to keep her from re-injuring it. Not easy with off and on freezing rain type of weather.

How did it happen?


The most reasonable hypothesis is that Cookie injured the muscle(s) when she busted through the deep crusty snow. In places, it's quite deep, and you cannot predict where. That's pretty strange because the ground is relatively flat and the snow looks pretty flat and yet there are spots where the snow is almost up to my hip for no good reason.

So between the horrifying conditions outside and Cookie's sore leg, she doesn't get to have a whole lot of fun lately. Hopefully, the mess thaws out for good and Cookie's muscle(s) heal quickly.

Poor girly.


Related articles:
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Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
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Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy, and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update 
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Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
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Cookie's Wellness Exam
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Thyroid Replacement Therapy: Cookie is Hypothyroid (Part III)
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Thyroid Replacement Therapy Re-Check: Cookie Is Hypothyroid (Part IV)
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: Tick Tag Results Evaluation
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Cookie's Fur Analysis: Lithium
You Don't Always Have to See a Limp



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18 comments

  1. Why is it that it always happens on a weekend or after hours? I'm so happy to read that Cookie is doing so much better now. I wish there was some was our pets could talk to us and tell us exactly what is wrong with them.

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    Replies
    1. That, Edie, is a great question. But that seems to be the rule, doesn't it? If somebody could figure out why ... perhaps it could be fixed.

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  2. That's too bad 'bout the crusty snow and stuff. Hopefully it will all melt and be gone, super soon, so that you can get outside and lots of runnin' around, playful fun. You had some laser therapy, Cookie? My brother Nissy had that after gettin' his bionic knee and it really helped him A LOT. purrs

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's awful. Today hubby still found area that is up to his knees ... it's all over and you can't predict where for some reason.

      Yes, Cookie got some laser therapy; she does like that. Doesn't like the underwater treadmill ... finds it not stimulating ;-)

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  3. I hope Cookie will be on the mend soon. I once twisted my ankle in the same way - stepping through snow that was deeper than I thought.

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    Replies
    1. Aww; sucks, doesn't it? Deep alone would be okay but the way it melted and froze and melted and froze ...

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  4. I would have wondered about the compensating gait too. If a poorly paw is playing up then a dog might put too much pressure on another pay and that plays up too.

    I bet you two can't wait for Spring and some safe and drier outdoor time. Get better soon Cookie!

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    Replies
    1. Compensation doesn't seem to be the case; looks like a direct injury. We don't mind spring but we need proper snow, not this mess.

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  5. So sorry to hear about Cookie. I'm glad she is on the mend now. Wish her a speedy recovery!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kamira. We managed to go injury-free for two years. I was hoping it would have lasted longer.

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  6. I always worry about my dog when she limps. Once I had a dog that had osteosarcoma, which started off as a limp that just didn't get better. There are a lot more and better treatments out there than there was a decade or so ago.

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    Replies
    1. I can see how that would be the first thing that comes to your mind. I tend to think about the worst-case scenario too. Of course, it's not always the worst thing. So far this seems like a muscle injury so hoping that's what it is.

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  7. Aweee poor Cookie! My Lyla has the worst time on the snow and ice with her preexisting leg and muscle issues along with arthritis! We are all eager for Spring and sunshine! I am glad she seems to be on the mend now too!

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    Replies
    1. Good fluffy snow is not a problem. But this crusty mess is. We like winter but not like they've been lately.

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  8. I hope she heals quickly! Snow and ice can be so treacherous at times.

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    Replies
    1. Ice and this mess that doesn't even qualify as snow any more certainly is a big problem.

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  9. I hope that Cookie is feeling better soon! Those sore muscles can cause a lot of sneaky issues. I'm glad you were able to figure out the correct source of the problem and get her on the road to healing properly.

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    Replies
    1. Follow-up appointment again on Tuesday; hoping to get this fully healed quickly so Cookie can get back to her normal lifestyle.

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