Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Doggy Worries Part 2

My worrying didn't pay off this time. Tika's got hip dysplasia.

I took her to the vet on Monday for her x-ray, and she was given a sedative and allowed to fall asleep (really just sleep, not put to sleep) on my lap on a couch off the main waiting room. It was really very sweet and cozy, and then the vet came in with an assistant to carry my sleeping 77lb dog into the x-ray room, and Tika's head popped up, eyes wide, ears all perky, and he said, "maybe a little more sedative then. . . "

It's discouraging, and sad, and we are bummed. On the other hand, our vet didn't ban Tika to a life of neighborhood walks and no ball-chasing. He acknowledged that she has been a very active dog, and that she won't be happy if she's not out running around with us in the woods and on the snow. He just encouraged us to back off on her miles--no more 40km weekend skis with Erik. But to be honest, we've been backing off those really long skis already, sensing that she was slowing down a little. We'll just back off even more. 

And, we'll just watch how she does. . . monitor her for signs of increasing pain. I've got a call in to our trusted vet back in New Hampshire (Dr. Kim Jones at Stoneybrook Vets), just to see how she would treat Tika in this situation. That's one thing I'm discovering here: I feel like the medical and now veterinary care we've gotten here is good. . . but I always wonder "is this what we'd do in the US?" It's really hard to let go of what you know, what's familiar. Especially in times of stress.

She's been started on pain medication (a Cox-2 inhibitor, for those of you who are curious--Previcox), and we'll likely start a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement as well. There's a special "joint" food available, but in the past Tika hasn't tolerated a lot of messing with her diet. We're hoping she'll tolerate the food, as it would save us the money for the supplements. As it is, the pain pills are about $2 a day--in Norway and the US. Getting a stash sent to us from the US won't save us any money (already checked). In fact, it seems like it might be one of the few things thus far in Norway that's cheaper here than in the US. My dog's pain pills. Excellent.


  1. Poor Tika. She loves running so much.

  2. The one positive thing I came up with in this situation, is how fantastic is was for Tika to be given a family that bothered to take her out for all those long runs and ski trips for 6 years. Not every family bothers to take their dog for more than a quick trip around the block every day- don't forget that!

  3. I'm so sorry to hear that! Tika is such a great running partner (I remember when she ran the uphill run test with me at Oak Hill - she provided very enthusiastic motivation!). It sounds like you caught it pretty early though and I am sure you will take amazing care of her. Sending you positive thoughts from MT.

    ~Jean and Joe

  4. Hi Emily. I'm so sorry to hear about Tika's diagnosis of dysplasia. In San Francisco, my husband and I had a Doberman (may he RIP) who developed problems with his legs when he was about 6 or 7 years old. We had to learn to take more care with his activity level but once we all got used to what Rufus could and couldn't do, everything was fine. No more off-leash beach runs, which was sad, but many more walks in the hills and the parks, which was great. Rufus learned to hunt gophers---he loved that! The important thing to remember is that Tika loves you guys more than anything else, so as long as you're all together, she'll be happy. Rufus never could tolerate glucosamine but was okay with baby aspirin on his bad days.

    Best of luck to all of you. Dogs are the best!