a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Update on Jake's toe

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Update on Jake's toe

Just got back from Dr. Rausch, who x-rayed Jake's foot & says it's not broken. He referred me back to my regular vet, whom I do like a lot, for follow-up treatment.

Xray shows a bit of a bone spur and thickening of the tissue, some of which he thinks is scar tissue. Bone spur can be as a result of an injury, such as a dislocation or serious sprain, or just regular arthritis--and it would take at least a couple of months for it to grow, so whatever this is, the original injury didn't take place just 2 weeks ago, although he might have aggravated it somehow 2 weeks ago. (And, yes, that was ALLLL one sentence!)

He suggests at least 5-6 weeks of no heavy-duty running or jumping (so, Jim/Nancy, no class for Jake probably the rest of the year :-((((( )

Gwen & others who've had to keep their active dogs inactive--I dunno how I'm going to get through this! At the moment he's got free run of the back yard, which he just demonstrated to me moments after we got home from the vet--and a squirrel appeared just as I opened the back door--involves some quantity of extremely intense running and jumping. (No yelp this time, thank goodness.) I'll have to discuss with my vet whether I need to keep him crated & on leash. Sigh.

Dr. Rausch suggests discussing with my doctor various nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucosamine & such, and acupuncture. He interprets the result as essentially arthritis, which might be career-ending and might be something that recedes and allows Jake to do whatever he wants to do with no (or minimal) pain. I will have to decide what to do about competition when/if the toe feels better and stops hurting at least once or 2x a day, which it currently does.

There don't appear to be surgical solutions. Dr. R. says that if this were a young, active, competing racing greyhound, that amputation of the toe would be a reasonable choice to prevent ongoing & unnecessary pain & that would slow the dog down. But neither of us think that's a good choice in this situation.

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