Lorelia Gilmore was back at the vet yesterday with the same symptoms as before, and we saw Dr Marion. She decided there should be x-rays today and so there were.
Peri sat in the car and Gilly went not-very-happily round the corner into the corridor, and we drove away.
Peri and I went for a walk,
I saw Dr Rob and he showed me her x-rays. She has some small deformations of the ball joint of her hip and slightly bowed tibia, but what she mainly has is the first tail bone almost at right angles with her spine. It should be level with her spine. She has a very mild case of Lumbosacral disease. On a scale of 1 to 10, she's most likely a 1.
The symptoms described fit perfectly:
"Symptoms include progressive sharp lower back pain, hind leg weakness, difficulty urinating or defecating, a shuffling gait, and vocal expressions of pain ranging from whimpers to cries and howls. A dog suffering from this disease may be reluctant to rise and jump. In an attempt to alleviate the pain, the dog sometimes chews at his tail or back legs." (1)
As she gets older the disease will need to be managed closely with pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs, however she has lots of positives on her side: she is very fit, thin, very healthy in every other respect, thin, athletic, thin and brave. She is quite stoic and is able to deal with quite a lot of pain before it affects her, which is typical of the Labradors at our house. They'd given her some pain relief after the general anaesthetic, and Dr Rob said she should have been drowsy and slow, but she was jumping about and happy and full of joy to see me.
He said she should go for walks on her lead as she really should exercise and use up some energy. Although I had a little cry at the vet yesterday and I was worried today, I think I am coping well under the circumstances: there hasn't been any sign of a Georgette Heyer or a Florence Nightingale decline.
I asked if I had done anything , or if Peri jumping on Gilly could have caused it and Dr Rob emphatically said no, that it was something she was born with. It isn't hereditary either, so I can still have a new puppy from the same breeder. It is just bad luck. Poor Gilly, Poor Harki, Poor Tori: lots of Labrador bad luck. Peri's pancreatitis is held at bay by her awfully strict diet and lots of exercise!!
I think that I am lucky to have such wonderful Labradors and I am glad to look after them in any way necessary, because they are so lovely, and now I am having a little cry because I feel lucky to share their lives.
I'll stop now.
Ages ago I won a fabric softie panel from Saffron Craig. Here, at last, is the cute pink puppy which I have had for ages and finally gave to Toddler Lucy on Saturday: sooooo cute!!