Tuesday, April 6, 2010

$538 vet bill and I got nothin'

Hawky had x-rays done today. I had a $538 vet bill today. And, as of today, I still have no actual diagnosis as to what is causing the front limb lameness he's been displaying for months now.

Here is what I do know...

He is showing mild arthritis in his elbow, shoulder, hips and most of his joints but nothing that would cause lameness.

The IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) he was diagnosed with three years ago has become worse in his lumbar and hip area but the effected vertebrae in his shoulder and front end are not the source of his lameness. However, the loss of mobility he is showing in his hind end is a result of IVDD.

His right hip show very mild displasia.

He has fantastic "knees". Or so I was told.

So... the diagnosis is that he has an "itis" of some sort (inflammation)... possibly tendinitis in his shoulder. The treatment?

Well, he's recommending drugs for his "bad" days and Pulse Signal Therapy or K Laser Therapy for long term reduction in pain and swelling as well as physiotherapy and exercise such as swimming (Yay! He LOVES to swim). However, he doesnt feel that I can expect Hawk to ever be fully "sound".

Do my question to the blogger sphere is:

Has anyone had any experience with pulse signal or laser therapy?


PS- I had the chance to meet a "blogger buddy" for the first time today. Natarojo and her sister were both so warm and friendly... It was truly a pleasure! I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people I've met through blogging and for the great sense of community we share:)


  1. I haven't had experience with pulse signal or laser therapy with my dogs, just knee surgeries and hip displasia. I hope Hawky dog will be okay, and give him a big hug for me!!

  2. Nope can't say I have any experience with either one - however Kaiser has had mysterious front end lameness for a year or so too, our vet thought it might be something like that. We put him on some forced rest this winter (dec,jan,feb) - he hated it of course. AND a joint supplement.... so far he is sound this Spring and has been running hard with Roper.

  3. I don't have experience with those but I am familiar with mystery front end lameness. Hazel had some kind of chronic lameness in her right front (though it was difficult to tell which side) that would show up and stick around for anywhere between a day to a couple months at a time. Then it would go away for several months. Very strange. She's also young, almost 4 this year. Spent $900 on xrays last year. They were clean as a whistle...which is good but also somewhat disappointing because you still don't know what's going on, right?

    I was thinking about the physio route and while saving our pennies for it we put her on a 2 week course of anti-inflamatories/pain relief (Meloxicam) and reduced her exercise from 2.5 hrs/day to a little under 2 and kept the intensity lower. She was also on a glucosamine supplement for about 6 months. She's been fine for about 8months now but I have no idea if any of that helped or if this is just a long good period. Only time will tell, I guess.

    I'd be interested in hearing how this progresses for you and Hawky dog. Sorry for the long winded comment...this hits close to home for me!

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  5. Oddly, with all my critters past and present, you'd think I'd have experience with these therapies, but I don't. Sorry.

    I have no idea what's up with Hawky Dog. Perhaps it's neuro related? And remember, medicine can only tell us so much right now. We're still discovering and learning every day.

    Soft hugs and lots of ear scritches for Hawky Dog!

  6. It was so nice to meet you as well! Funny how sometimes people end up almost being in our own backyard and we never really knew it, or fell into any of the same horsey 'circles'. My sisters saddle hunt continues!

    Let me know how progress with Hawky dog continues! Too bad he was still out of it from the vet when you were out. Maybe he'da knocked TIka dog downa peg or two! she needs it sometimes... lol!

  7. That is quite the vet bill! Sorry it didn't give you the exact answers you were looking for. No ideas about the therapies. I did get to see my aunt's 11 year old cattle dog today, Annie. She is very arthritic and on a joint supplement. She had knobs on her front legs. It's hard to see them in pain, we want them to feel the best they can! I am going through that with my horse right now.
    Hugs to Hawky!

  8. Take this advice for what it's worth: I had an in-house demo of the therapy laser a few mos ago, but after polling my colleagues, I was NOT sold! (The rep offered to let me treat my own heel spurs w/it - didn't help one bit, I was still as lame as ever.)
    Dogs are so tough; the lesions that we see on radiographs do not always correlate to the degree of discomfort the dog is experiencing. I have had the most success w/my older canine patients, giving them judicious cortisone injs & keeping them on NSAIDs like carprofen or meloxicam. Good luck!

  9. Thanks for the help! We put him on a some drugs but took him off a few days ago and he is actually doing a lot better!