Monday, July 25, 2011

Max news!

Thank you, first of all, to all the folks who sent/commented with tips and tricks for old, arthritic dogs.

The vet says two things:

1. It's probable that the trouble with Max's hind legs is arthritis in his hips. HOWEVER. There is a rare degenerative spinal disease that tends to hit German Shepherds, so he's going in for X-rays on Thursday to make sure that it's actually arthritis.

2. The memory loss doesn't concern her yet, because it's recent, sporadic, and correlates with the horrible heatwave here. I am to keep a journal of when he goes blank and, if I get more than five or six instances in the next couple of months, to bring it back to her. My marvelously intuitive brother-in-law might be right: this might be Max saying "I hate the heat and there are ants biting my butt."

Also, he has Old Dog Teeth and Old Dog Skin Weirdnesses, but we're not going to put him under to deal with them. His heart's fine, his bloodwork is pending, but honestly? I don't see the point in putting a 107-lb, eleven-year-old dog under general anesthetic to have a couple of minor, benign skin-things removed and his teeth cleaned. They're not *that* bad.

I learned today that the fastest way to get a reaction out of people is to take your very large old dog into a liquor store on the wrong side of the tracks. There's a store here that sells 471, a pale ale I particularly like, and so I ran past there on the way home from the vet's, with Max in tow. I took him in because, in 100-degree heat, you don't leave any animal in any car for any length of time.

We walked past Mexican roofers with cases of Corona Light in their arms, gang-banger wannabes with saggy shorts and gold teeth and bandannas, and scary-skinny blonde white women with prison tattoos, and all of them were totally silent. Max was prick-eared and perky; he likes going new places. Not one person said one damn thing to me, the chunky chick in the empire-waisted flowy hippie-dress. Except one guy, who came in, stopped dead in the doorway, and said, "Woah." I reassured him that Max was friendly, so he came closer, scratched Max behind the ears, and said, "He's a big man, ain't he?" I replied that yes, he got that way through drinking all my beer, and the guy chuckled while Max drooled on his shoes.

Max is now lying on the dining room floor, and taking up most of it, because he has had a Very Big Day.

12 comments:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Relax big fella, you done good today. I love the description of the other patrons, thanks for the visual so clear !~!

NurseExec said...

This post made me bust out in a big ole grin (and I swear it wasn't the margarita). Dog luv is the best, ain't it? Sending Max some scritches behind his ears...

Mrs. Higrens said...

Delurking to say that our boxer (9, yikes!) sends her sympathies to Max. Painful joints and weird skin things are annoying!

We've recently started her on Novox (with a side of famotadine) and it's really made a difference. Stairs are no longer to be avoided and playing fetch is fun again. Not saying that's going to be your answer, but a positive reference if needed.

Our cats send yowls and purrs to yours as well.

bobbie said...

A Very Big Day indeed!

LOVE your description of the clientele... and their reaction to the 2 of you!!!

Cuddles to Max ~

messymimi said...

Hope all Max has is a touch of arthritis and heat sensitivity.

Glad Max got to make a new friend.

clairesmum said...

Claire has been on canine NSAID for years, increasing the dose and adding some carafate for more active days. Getting her mostly shaved for the summer helped a lot. She has some vision and hearing loss, and sometimes that looks like memory loss - but it's like an older person, takes a bit longer to process the sensory input, or turns the wrong way to find a voice. Hugs to you and Max. the trip to the packy (north of Boston slang for package/liquor store) sounds like fun!

marian said...

good job, max!

if he has arthritis, adequan shots might be helpful.

on the alternative front - acupuncture and fido-wobenzym supplements helped my old dog a lot!

jimbo26 said...

Well done Max .

Penny said...

I love me some Max. That is all.

CQ said...

What a lucky Max to have a person like you.

inkgrrl said...

Aww! Puppy!! They're all puppies to me, always. What breed is Max, besides Biggun?

terri c said...

Max is a lucky fella indeed!!! Am glad he had Such a Big Day!!! Please kiss him for me...