Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy birthday, Max!

Max turned 7 today, although he is a puppy at heart. He's the world's biggest baby and I just love him to death. Today The Boy and I are going to take Max to the park to let him play and by play I mean with other people. Max doesn't like to play with other dogs. He prefers people. I bought him some new toys and some special doggie treats for him to enjoy later.

The Boy says I spoil Max too much. It's true, I do. It's hard not to. I can't help myself. My poor guy has been through a lot the past few years. What can be so hard on a dog, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. A little over 2 years ago Max suffered from Fibrocartilaginous Embolism or FCE. Basically, it's like a stroke to the spine. He lost use of his back right leg for a week or so. It was horrible to watch him deal with it. Normally Max is a happy go lucky kinda dog, always wanting to play and run around and eat. When this happened, all he did was lay down for days. He didn't want to play fetch. He didn't want to eat. He just laid there. He was depressed. Not even food got him excited. His leg would drag behind him when he walked and so that started to get scratched up and bleed. We had to keep it taped up until he was able to raise it off the ground when he walked. It was a sad sight to see him walking around with his leg dragging on the floor after him. I just wanted to follow him around and hold his little leg up for him. Slowly but surely, he began to regain use of his leg. It's still a little bit weak. He falls down a lot and sometimes his leg shakes when he's standing, but my little guy is a trooper! Within a week of his injury he was back to wanting to play again. It broke my heart, because we weren't supposed to let him walk a lot, let alone play, for a month or so.

Flash forward to June of last year. We had taken Max to the dog park to play fetch. Keep in mind that this is one of the first times I'd taken Max to the dog park since the whole FCE thing. I'd been wary of bringing him to such a big open space to run around in. I didn't want him to over exert himself and hurt his leg. I finally thought his leg was getting to be strong enough to go to the park. We had been there, playing fetch all of 5 minutes, when Max jumped up for the ball. He starts to walk back to The Boy and I when I notice he isn't using his back right leg. Yes, the same leg that was injured due to the FCE - the same leg! He wouldn't put it on the ground. He just kept it raised and was limping around on his other 3 legs. I was so scared. I didn't know what to think. Was it the FCE again? The Boy picked him up (which is not easy as Max weighs about 100 pounds) and we took him to the vet right away. The vet examined him and knew right away that Max had torn his little doggie ACL and would need surgery. He had the surgery 3 days later.

As my little guy gets older, I worry about him more and more (Yes, I'm a big worry wort). His leg is weak sometimes and all of the injuries he has had makes him more susceptible to arthritis. He walks with a limp too. He moves like an old man sometimes. The Boy says I worry too much, but Max is my baby. I'm his mom. I'm supposed to worry.


Angela said...

that's alright girl, i know just how you feel, 'cause i see my dogs as my babies, too. i would do ANYTHING for them, and it's sad when something is wrong because they can't use words to express their pain and frustration! :(

my sister has a newfoundland, and they're normally worker dogs, so to have one all domesticated is nice, but she doesn't use her back legs as much as she would, say, if she lived on a farm. so all the time they were just sitting there, tucked underneath her and it was a struggle for her to get up. it was sad because she couldn't walk for at least 30 seconds to a minute after standing up - indicating that they were probably falling asleep under her.

anyway, my BIL is a big health nut and he and my sister took the dog to the vet, who suggested giving her glucosamine - the kind people take. the vet said it would help, and that if she couldn't take the pill, they could buy the liquid one. so far it is working and helping to keep away arthritis (which is common for dogs) and now she gets up and runs like she is a puppy again (she's 4 years old, 170 pounds).

maybe you can ask the vet about some sort of joint supplement for max? either way, i hope he gets better!! he's lucky to have you as a mommmy :)

That Girl said...

It's hard to watch our animals suffer because they don't understand why they hurt. My parent's dog just finished having her second knee surgery - she now has 2 steel knees and feels a hundred times better.