Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day 2451

I wish we'd discovered something more definitive about Dash today. The vet agreed that he wasn't moving his rear legs normally, but couldn't pinpoint a cause. The problem could be caused by a compressed disc in his spine. It could be a very early sign that Dash has a disease like Degenerative Myelopathy. It could be nothing at all. The exam today eliminated some possibilities, but many other possibilities still remain. We took x-rays of his lower spine and hips earlier this month, but I'll need to get another radiograph of his upper spine to eliminate the possibility of a damaged or compressed disc. He definitely hasn't ruptured a disc like Dot did, or his condition would be much, much worse. The vet didn't recommend an MRI at this time, because she said if that Dash has a neurological problem, an MRI can sometimes make the condition worse. I'm not sure how much I actually learned today. Dash is still in pretty good shape for his age, but if there's something we can do to help him, I want to know about it.

Dash is not a good passenger in the car. He becomes agitated and barks incessantly. By the time we got to the vet, I felt like I was going deaf and Dash was wound up like a spring. The vet said that acupuncture might help Dash if I could figure out a way to get him to ride calmly in the car. The acupuncture session would be largely wasted if he arrived full of adrenaline and bouncing off the walls. It's sad that Dash doesn't ride well in the car anymore. He was terrified of car rides when we first adopted him. Gradually, after years of taking him to dog parks and training classes, he began to act normally. Before both dogs got cancer, they loved to ride in the car to go to their favorite dog park on Sunday morning. We don't travel much anymore for obvious reasons. It's just too difficult.

I really hope there's nothing seriously wrong with Dash. After over two years of dealing with serious medical problems, I'm exhausted. Life has changed dramatically for us after both dogs got cancer. When Dot's spinal injury compounded the problem, I pretty much became a 24x7 dog nurse. Dot is such a high maintenance dog at the moment that I really need for Dash to stay healthy for a while longer. The best case scenario is that Dash is just getting older. It is common for breeds like Dalmatians and German Shepards to develop problems with their rear legs as they age. Spot's legs began to give out toward the end of his life and so did Petey's. Dash probably has quite a few good years left, but I want to be careful. I've dealt with so many serious dog problems over the years that anything out of the ordinary makes me nervous now. One way or another, I'll figure out what is going on with Dash.

I had some minor website revisions to take care of today, but nothing to reverse the trend I've been experiencing lately. My workload seems to diminish with each passing month. I know what I need to do, but the effort seems pointless at times. You need to interact with people to get customers. I need to start having lunch with people again. I need to go to industry events. It wouldn't hurt to take a few classes either. The problem is that I don't want to do these things anymore. Enough is enough.

Tomorrow, it's Dot's day to go to the vet. She's been doing surprisingly well lately. She's sleeping better now and occasionally gets up on her own to walk around the house. It's not a dramatic rebound, but she seems to have more energy than she did last month. I don't really know why Dot has good days or Dash has bad days. I just try to keep them both as healthy and happy as I can.

Tessa is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day