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Very Rare Does Not = Never


Saffron
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A cautionary tale:

At 9, Pilgrim started to have slightly shaky rear legs. Should I be concerned? Is it a big deal? I've seen many older greys with "Elvis" legs. Otherwise, she checked out fine at the vet.

At 10, the shaking got worse. She started to lag behind and not be keen on longer walks. Was it worse on her right side? Hard to tell.

Vet consult (when she annoyingly did not shake at all!) Pilgrim sees the vet at least 2X a year because she is a senior now. No signs of lumbosacral problems. Arthritis in her spine? She has a rather messed up spine (lost the tips of 2 vertebrae during her nerve sheath tumor scar revision when she was 4). She still runs and twirls in the yard.

At 10.5, shaking is even worse. If she stands for any extended period it starts. She is a Therapy Dog and her "clients" are worried about the shaking. So am I. Vet and I begin pain control. It gets better and then declines again. Still running and twirling, but for such a short time.

At 11, Pilgrim semi-retires as a Therapy Dog. She no longer dives joyfully into her Therapy Dog bandanna when it appears. She is no longer loving it, so it is time to retire. We can't do 30 minute visits any more at facilities and TD visiting should be joyful and happy. We still do occasional individual visits when she doesn't have to stand for long. She needs Tramadol for those.

And we do a hip and spine X-ray. I wish I'd done it earlier.

Guess what? Unilateral hip dysplasia of her right hip + arthritis. The X-rays are clear even to me as a lay person! Vet speculates that this is due to an injury in puppy-hood, not congenital. Pilgrim never raced. She was a "washout" pup direct to the adoption kennel from the farm.

Pilgrim is now on better pain control. She does what she wants, has short walks rather than being asked to keep up with the younger boys, and still twirls and runs in the yard for a couple of minutes. I let her control when she wants to twirl and run rather than force her on long walks.

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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Interesting. Glad you found the cause and her pain is better controlled.

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

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"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Thanks to you both!

 

I guess the take home message is don't assume that "Elvis legs" aren't painful! I feel bad for Pilgrim because I think I could have done a better job with pain control earlier.

 

I was lulled into thinking she wasn't hurting because I had another grey with "Elvis legs" that were caused by painless idiopathic neuropathy (he did have other symptoms too, however). Pilgrim's vet and I were both stunned by the hip dysplasia in the X-ray. Greyhounds just don't have hip dysplasia!

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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I am the world's worst at second guessing, but I have lost two dogs I shouldn't have lost because it took me too long to insist on a referral and the vet had misdiagnosed them. Same vet. We aren't with him now.

 

The point is, nobody can get it right 100% of the time. We have to trust our vets because they simply know more than we do, and they have more experience. But even they can get it badly wrong at times. Doctors are the same. Don't beat yourself up. ;)

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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While not hip dysplasia, my senior Grey does have unilateral hip arthritis as a result of an injury that also caused some nerve damage. She also has Elvis legs when she's really excited or getting tired. Since we knew about her nerve damage & arthritis before the shaky legs set in I've never doubted the possibility that it could be pain related. However, based on the circumstances of when her legs start shaking & the fact that when she calms down the shakes go away, I'm going on the hypothesis that her shakes are usually not directly related to pain.

 

Saffron, in the long run what is important is that you have been looking for a solution from the beginning. The arthritis related to hip dysplasia has likely been building during that time. You were already doing some pain control & now that has been ramped up accordingly. Dogs are not good at telling us what's wrong. You couldn't have known before now. You finally learned of the problem precisely because you were not taking the problem for granted but were still pursuing answers.

 

You've done well by Pilgrim.

 

.

Edited by kudzu
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Thanks everyone for the reassurances. Don't we all wish that dogs could talk? They can also be so stoic that we have to anticipate the possibility of pain and medicate -- but be careful not to overmedicate them either.

 

We are very lucky in that we have an excellent vet who is working with us on Pilgrim's pain control. Pilgrim is a lucky girl.

 

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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Oh Gillian, I am sorry to hear of Pilgrim's issues. Letting her manage her activity is exactly what we did with Wink. We are wishing Pilgrim the best here. :)

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<p>Finn, Wink, Birdie, Snap and SmokeyJG Quicknfast 7/25/99-5/16/08, JG Quickwink 7/25/99-9/22/13, Iruska SweetDuv 7/19/03-11/9/16, Delbar 6/11/11 and Catahoula Smokey
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Thanks, Liz. It was so nice to see you at the last GAS Reunion!

 

I just noticed from your signature that you lost sweet Wink in September and read her thread in Remembrance. I am so very sorry. Wink was such a lovely girl and you gave her a wonderful life.

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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I have hip dysplasia!!!!

 

I didn't even know people got it.

 

Unless I am part Labrador...I do enjoy a nice swim in cold water...

 

Was never painful until 2 years ago when the cartilidge finally shredded and the femoral head started to disintigrate. Now I have one fake hip and a second one to follow.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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