If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you know Spike hasn’t been doing so well the last few days. He woke up the other morning and his hip was really bothering him. Poor thing, while he was trying to pee (lift his leg) he lost his balance and fell down. It would have been comical had I not been so sad. He turned and looked at me like I’d done something to him. It took him a few minutes to realize he was having issues. I promptly freaked out, got really upset, and almost started crying.1 He got thru it and I actually carried him upstairs. Not because he couldn’t make it on his own, I was afraid he might irritate his already unsteady hip.
Hip dysplasia is a very common ailment for English bulldogs and Spike being almost 9 (in just 2 short months) I guess its good that its taken this long to manifest. All of Spike’s siblings have passed away already according to Apple guy. I guess it was only a matter of time before Spikey succumbed to something. Luckily, he seems to be on the mend. He is limping a lot less and we are massaging and stretching his leg daily. At this point, we’re only trying non-invasive treatments. I’ve put him on a glucosamine regimen that he will remain on permanently, either thru his food or treats. I’m hoping rest and supplements are enough right now as I don’t have a lot of extra cash at the moment. If this doesn’t work, I’ll look at steroidal/arthritis supplements as well. It seems in Bullies dysplasia and arthritis go hand in hand. Often the dysplasia increases the arthritis symptoms.
As I mentioned, he is doing better. I’ve been keeping his outside walks very short and he seems to be responding. He’s been putting more weight on it and walking around more and more like normal every day. We broke out his heating pad again2 to help keep his him warm at night and during his many naps. Keep your fingers crossed by the end of this week he’ll be almost back to normal. Sadly, this means he won’t get to go on as many walks. He loves to go out and I’ll have to come up with ways to get him out w/o overworking his hip. I have no problem getting him a red Flyer wagon and dragging him around in it. lol He would totally love it too. The problem would be keeping him in it. His eagerness and excitement is unabated and he loves attention.
I’m not prepared to think worst case scenario right now. I’m still shocked at how attached I’ve become. I grew up on a farm. I raised livestock and pets and never felt this much angst. The very thought of losing him drives me to tears. I love that damn dog and my life just won’t be the same without him. And no, I have no desire to replace him now or later. If and when he does get to that point there will be absolutely no discussion of replacing him.