No joke, our dog, Liberace, is now taking 6 medications a day. Why, you ask. 'Cause he's so old, you're keeping him alive with drugs? Oh, no...because he is the canine equivalent of me, the medical enigma (we're sure to discuss this on many a later occasion).
He had one knee ligament 'restrung' with nylon at about 4 years old. He just destroyed his knee chasing sticks one night at a bonfire. See, there were about 20 people there and no one paid attention to the fact that before they had thrown the stick for 2 hours straight, more than likely 2 or 3 other people had thrown the stick for several hours. The realization came to us the next morning as each person who emerged from their hangover mentioned that they had thrown a shoulder out or aggravated an old football injury "just throwing a stick for Rachie last night."
He had the other knee done 2 years ago when he was 6. It had been taking so much strain from being the strong one all this time, that it finally gave out, too.
And neither of those surgeries ever explained the wonky walk he's had since puppyhood. Three times we had him checked for hip displasia - all before the knee thing happened - and the various vets all said no. Regardless, about a year ago, he started with periods of immobility due to pain in his hips/knees. We took him in and they gave us glucosamine & painkillers to be given as needed. He refuses to eat the first glucosamine which pretty much means he gets a pain pill every morning so that he can stand. Especially if it's going to to be rainy, he sat out on the concrete too long, or he played too hard the day before.
When we took him in for this weird rash last year, they gave us some more intense glucosamine supplements (which he also refuses to eat) and told us that the rash and his inability to lose weight was due to a thyroid condition. Here we go!!!
So then, he was getting a pain pill just about every morning, thyroid meds morning and evening and an antibiotic 3 times a day to clear the rash. Since then, we've (read: I've) been to the vet with him no less than 5 times with the funky rash which he then licks and scratches to the point of infection. They're pretty sure he's allergic to flea saliva and/or some tree, grass, weed or pollen that he "gets into" by, you know existing as a dog. Have I considered acupuncture?
The other day I noticed him itching. Then I noticed the clumps of fur on the rugs and when I tracked the do down, he'd given himself a sculpted poodle tail by removing pretty much all of the fur in 2 spots along his tail. There's no picture because he'd also gnawed his hindquarters to baboon red and it's so not photogenic!!!!!!!!!
Today's visit to the vet resulted in a new food (venison & potato at $2.84 a pound) which we are to give him for 3 months while we narrow down what he's allergic to. They've taken blood to see what shows up there and whatever they find will result in a referral to a veterinary allergist (closest one 1-1/2 hours away in another state). Meanwhile, Rachie is to get:
his morning pain pill to get him going; benadryl to prevent the hives or other allergic reactions (which cause the itch, which cause the scratching, which cause the infection...); thyroid meds morning & evening; 2 different antibiotics twice a day for 30 days; 8-10 drops of some sh*t in his ears twice a day (somehow he got an infection in his ear this time - flea saliva to hives to itching-to infection or just-for-fun, who knows?) and then the topical spray to put on the bare parts of his tail and hindquarters 2-3 times daily. The gummi-vites in the background of this photo are not for the dog. They are for my children if I have time to get them out of the bottle before we head out the door in the morning.
Just a little fun I'm having that I wanted to share. But now I have to run. We're dog sitting the neighbor's 12 year old lab, Digger, who has CANCER, takes no meds, and wants to go outside and play!!!!!