It was about a month ago when I noticed orange staining on Loki's elbows, He was sitting in his usual spot when I saw him licking his elbow. Initially, I didn't think too much about it, as he can sometimes have allergies or skin irritations that cause him to lick. ( I know he's allergic to house and dust mites) However, after a few more instances of him licking his elbow, I began to grow concerned.
I decided to speak with our behaviourist and vet about it, They suggested that we look into an assessment to determine if there were any underlying issues causing his discomfort. We paid for an external gait assessment, and the assessment came back indicating that Loki was experiencing mild carpel hyperextension, hip and groin discomfort, and issues with his shoulders and elbow. The assessment showed us a beautiful video breakdown that went into depth on the issues he was presented with his gait.
Watching the video was an eye-opening experience. It is evident that Loki is experiencing some discomfort when walking, and is affecting his overall mobility. it's quite heartbreaking to learn he could be in pain and may have been for some time, but I'm grateful to now have a better understanding of what is causing his discomfort.
Unfortunately won't be sharing the original full analysis as here I want to avoid people watching it and using it to diagnose their dogs and potentially misdiagnosing their dog or others. However, Yaz has put together a really nice video talking about the process of a gait analysis and the benefits of having one done, you can also find out more from her website here https://www.yorkshirepooches.co.uk/ And of course, check her out on Instagram
We've been recommended a few different treatment options, including pain trail /management and physiotherapy. We decided to pursue both physiotherapy, and a pain trial as it would allow me to work with Loki to improve his mobility and overall quality of life.
I'm grateful that we were able to catch the issue early- ish on and hope to get Loki the help he needs. It's a reminder to all pet owners to pay close attention to their dogs and to seek help if they notice any changes in their behaviour or mobility.
We have now booked an appointment with a physiotherapist who will visit us at home to work with Loki. Additionally, we have a scheduled vet visit on Thursday to discuss starting a pain trial to ease his discomfort. Even mild pain relief could have a significant impact on his emotional well-being and reactivity. It makes me wonder how long he has been in pain without us noticing. Did you know that up to 20% of dogs under one year old can develop osteoarthritis?
The percentage increases with age, and reactive behaviour and aggression can often worsen as a result of pain that goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, my old vets didn't initially think that Loki was a cause for concern. This experience has taught me the importance of seeking out a specialist when something doesn't feel right or get a second opinion. It's essential to pay attention to your pet's behaviour and seek help promptly if you notice any changes. behaviour after all is communication
On Thursday ( 2nd march) , we have a vet coming to our home to assess Loki's condition further. The vet will take a look at the gait analysis results and examine Loki's physical condition to determine the best course of action. We're hopeful that the vet will be able to start a pain trial to ease Loki's discomfort.
Having a vet come to our home is a great convenience, as it eliminates the stress of having to take Loki to the vet's It also allows the due to his reactivity also helpful for the vet to see Loki in his familiar environment, which can help provide a more accurate assessment as he will be less tense.
We're looking forward to getting more information on how to manage Loki's pain and improve his mobility and quality of life. It's always tough to see our dogs in discomfort, but we're grateful to have a caring and knowledgeable vet and vet behaviourist to help us navigate through this challenge.
A pain trial is a common method used by veterinarians to assess the effectiveness of pain management medication or treatment for dogs that display joint pain. A pain trial typically involves administering a small amount of medication to the dog and then monitoring their response over a set period. The goal is to determine if the medication provides relief to the dog's joint pain and improves their overall mobility.
In addition to medication, other pain management treatments that may be included in a pain trial include physical therapy, weight management, and dietary changes. The vet may also recommend lifestyle changes such as reduced exercise or activity restrictions to help manage the dog's discomfort.
Wish us luck in our next chapter of lokis journey , Woofs Lorren & Loki