a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Feet and Footprints

Monday, August 02, 2010

Feet and Footprints

SUMMARY: Tika soreness and food thief in the dark.
Tika's soreness is puzzling. The first time she hit the sore spot and came up limping where I could see it, she yelped when I touched her toe. But then touching everything again got no response (except the usual "why are you touching my feet?").

She's always better in about 30-60 seconds and rarin' to go full blast again.

Right at the beginning of Saturday's hike, she suddenly pulled up with her foot in the air, so I went ahead and put on her bootie.

(Thanks for the photo, Vici!  Tika rolls her eyes: Not THIS again!)
Last winter when she was sore, it was her toe, and this seemed to protect it from the extra catch or twist. This time it doesn't seem to do much, if anything at all. Most of the way through the hike, Boost got in her way once, near a stony dip in the trail, and up came the paw. A little rubbing and attention, and half a minute later she was completely fine again, no limping.

I've been using the bootie on her when playing  in the yard. For a couple of days, it kept her from wanting to do anything at all ("I can't walk with this thing on!"), but then she reacclimatized and now "frolics" with the usual wild, driven intensity, and is usually fine, but then, suddenly, ping!, she's limping. A little sit, a little checking for soreness, and 30 seconds later, she's fine.

Might be the arthritis in her neck pinching a nerve. I've had her on rimadyl since she first exhibited this last week. Torn between really enforcing rest for a week and just avoiding agility activity for a week. (Hmm, it's been a week already--because I didn't take her to class last Tuesday.)

Meanwhile, Sunday morning I came downstairs to discover a trail of tiny muddy footprints across my back deck leading to my dogfood bin, whose lid was off. The dogs snuffed the trail and the bin with extreme prejudice, then discovered that dogfood had been scattered on the ground below the deck, and focused on retrieving that.

This muddy evidence was left behind, inside the bin:

Last night, I latched the lid down. (It's an amazingly tight seal.) Middle of the night, Tika started going nuts. I finally gave in and let the dogs out of the bedroom--Tika shrieking the whole way as they hurled themselves down the stairs (sorry, renter housemate!). Both were barking and plunging ferociously at the sliding glass door before I could get there and turn on the light.

The bin had been dragged to the other side of the deck and was on its side, but the lid held. Once again, I didn't get a look at the culprit. But usually a good dose of dog barkification scares them out of coming back again.

The rest of the night was peaceful.

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