Last summer when we were in Maine, Dorothy overdid it a bit chasing tennis balls across my parents’ back lawn. This is both an endearing and exasperating quality of Dorothy’s: when it comes to physical activity, she goes all out. She can’t just trot across a yard, or even trot quickly: she has to do a sprint, and the sprint has to be as if her life depended on it. So when Dorothy runs, her front legs are always behind her back legs and vice versa. And when Dorothy jumps, she has to jump and twist.
Dorothy last summer in Maine, taking a brief pause:
So when we were in Maine last summer and she had all that acreage in which to run around, she had to run around every inch of it and speedily at that. By the evenings, she’d be passed out in a bed, and when she would get up we noticed she was a bit stiff and then limping. We had her take it easy when she returned to Philly, and after a few days she was back to normal. But a few months later, she was limping again, and this limp kept recurring. It would appear after some strenuous activity, but then go away on its own. We did notice that each time it came back, it left for less of a time than previously, and finally we decided to take her to the vet.
On Saturday the vet was pretty sure that Dorothy had a knee injury in her back right leg, probably a torn ligament or a partially torn ligament. They put her on an anti-inflamatory medication and also gave her a three-minute laser treatment to make the knee feel better and activate the cells into healing themselves.
I did notice a difference on Sunday and Monday, although the problem soon became that since the leg was feeling better, then Dorothy wanted to return to her normal activities, and we were trying to keep her sedentary. We took her on short walks around the block instead of letting her out in the yard, so that she wouldn’t run, and Sean put a temporary hold on their daily wrestling sessions.
Then yesterday when I got home from work, her leg was even worse. Whereas before she would step down but not completely put her heel on the ground, now she was trying not to put that foot down at all. Oh dear and bother. It is all very stressful! I want Dorothy to be able to be healthy and active, but we can’t afford the thousands of dollars that surgery would cost. Plus I have this vision of going ahead with the surgery somehow, and then Dorothy running across the lawn after recovery and pulling the ligament again.
This morning she seemed a little better—she was walking more normally although still not putting her foot all the way down. Other than that, she seems her normal self—she is not at all acting like she is in pain, other than the limp that we see. So we shall take it day by day and see what happens. She was supposed to have another laser treatment today, but our car is acting sulky so we had to cancel; hopefully we will be able to make it to Saturday’s laser appointment.