a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tika's Back Or What?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tika's Back Or What?

SUMMARY: Tika comes up sore, again.

Went to class last night with both dogs, intending to alternate runs. Did a little warm-up with each of them. Ran Boost one run. The next run I took Tika off her leash, played some tug, lined her up, and sent her over 2 jumps to make a U-turn to a teeter. She did the jumps slowly for her, turned wide, did the teeter correctly but slowly, and then when she left the teeter, she yelped and came towards me all hunched over, head down apologetically (or in pain).

I massaged her a bit, walked her around a bit, but she didn't even pull on the leash, so I knew she wasn't faking it. I put her away and just ran Boost the rest of the class.

This is the third time she's done this--previous two times she was in apparent misery for a while, and then suddenly with the right attention-getter was completely fine. This time, though, she was still sore when we got home. Tried to do her usual sproinging as I fed them dinner, but lifted only her front feet and only a couple of inches. Struggled to get upstairs to bed. Lay straight out all night, not curled up as usual, in my cold bedroom.

Still hunched over in the morning. A bit more massaging and gentle stretching. Still hunched over. Wouldn't play with Boost as usual while I dressed; didn't even shake her purple bedding violently which she does EVERY morning to get in the mood for the day.

I decided that, after I gave Boost some exercise, I'd call the vet. Out to the back yard, toss the toy--and Tika took off after it full speed, ears up, nubber tail up, pounced on it, brought it back, played tug of war--not a sign of soreness since then.

Argh. The incidents are far-enough apart (March 2007 and March 2006) that I'm not sure that I see a pattern, except that they ARE happening and maybe I should do something. It's just that she has such a panic attack when going to the vets that I hate to take her in if I don't have to. Is it arthritis or some other spinal problem? Muscle cramp? Plus she's such a drama queen; it could be something minor that she's overreacting to, based on how quickly she always suddenly "recovers."


  1. Poor Tika, I hope she stays well. I don't mean to cause a panic or anything but it sounds a bit like Lyme disease or some other tick borne type disease in the way it comes & goes so suddenly. Not sure if you have those diseases in your area or not but something to consider.

  2. I think you're on track with some arthritis somewhere--maybe in her neck. Do you have a rehab vet or a skilled ortho vet who could check every joint and her whole spine? Once you know where the pain is you can decide how to approach it.

  3. Hey, that happened to me and the rottweiler right before the invitational. I took her to an orthopedic doc, who said she was a little sore in the right front shoulder (she whined a bit on palpation) and needed some rest, but was otherwise ok--no need for x-rays. Get Tika checked out, rule out the obvious, see if she needs imaging. I think the rottie hurt herself doing something, the injury hurt during agility, and even when she was ok after a few weeks rest, she wasn't sure if agility was still going to hurt, so she had some performance issues. In that regard, maybe dogs are like people. They have to physically heal, and then mentally heal and know that they can get back to full speed. When you're chasing a ball, you kind of forget about your performance fear, and you go for it--that may explain the difference in her behavior. Like you said, she wasn't faking...

  4. I'm so sorry to hear that.
    I hate how intermitent it is for you too - makes knowing what to do very difficult- by the time you got her to the vet odds are good she'd be fine anyhow ......

    maybe when it happens the next time head straight to vets for work up :(

  5. Yeah, we do have tick-borne diseases around here, like Lyme. And she is almost 7, so it could be arthritis.

    And that's a good reminder about dogs being like people when the adrenaline is going--I was able to run agility with my dog when my knee was so bad I almost couldn't walk.

    And the other thing that haunts me is that Remington's tumor sort of gave the same sort of thing when it would start hemorrhaging--fine one minute, then in apparent pain the next, although the recovery was never as fast as with Tika.

    I should get her checked, I guess.