Friday, July 15, 2011

Coulee Update

I'm keeping a personal journal about Coulee's feet, complete with weekly photos, so we can keep track of what is happening, yet not bore all of you with the details. I've had people ask me how she is doing though, so I thought I'd do a quick update.

The disease is affecting her front feet almost equally now, but her back feet aren't quite as bad but there are definite signs of it on all her toes. They seem quite tender these days and she often seems to be walking gingerly around the house. We took a break from walks a little while ago, but the tenderness didn't seem to be going away. So now we go on walks every second day or so and I give her tramadol when she seems to need it.

I've limited river time but do let her go in for about 5 minutes to cool off on most walks. Her one sign of age seems to be heat intolerance! You can see she isn't comfortable on the rocky shore, yet walks more normally on the grassy areas of the park so that is where we stay for the most part. The toy usually comes out for a bit, then goes away after a few throws. It comes back out at the river so I can get her to swim (and try and maintain some muscle tone). I throw it upstream so she mainly swims in place against the current and then doesn't need to run far along the shore to get back to me. I'm not worried about making her feet worse, I just don't want them to hurt. At the same time, I'm trying to make sure life is still a little fun for her.

For a while I thought they weren't looking too bad, but then I went back 3 weeks and looked at the pictures and they had actually gotten much worse. Thank goodness for keeping track of things. When you look at something once or twice a day it is easy to lose perspective.

She is still on oil and zinc and she is on a hypo allergenic diet too, just in case. So far I don't think anything is helping. We've also been putting Uremol20 on her feet and for a while I thought it was helping, but now I don't think it is or maybe it just can't keep up.

We have a dermatology appointment at the end of August (probably right as her feet start to heal again - LOL) so we'll see what the next step is. I'm concerned as they seem to be hurting her more and overall, the disease is definitely getting worse. The cycles are coming more frequently AND lasting longer.

She ran more than usual today... We'll see if that makes things worse or not. Frankly I don't see much of a difference between walk days and rest days, but instinct says I should be. I did some research on tramadol though and it seems pretty safe to give on a long term basis. So if a little pain meds = a happier life, I'm OK with that.


WigglyZack said...

Sorry to hear Coulee is still having problems. FYI - my old Cavalier Riley was on Tremadol pain meds for ages because he was pretty much crippled and it had no side effects. A comfortable life is definitely a good thing!!! I hope things improve eventually. It is so hard when nothing seems to work and the vets can't figure out exactly what it is....

Constance said...

Molly also took Tramadol with no ill effects, and it did help. I agree, keeping her pain controlled is important, and will make her happier. Poor Coulee. Hopefully something will start working.