Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Concern for Jet

Tomorrow, my ten month old puppy, Jet, and I will be meeting with a veterinarian orthopedic surgeon. His office is 1.5 hours away, but he's an expert with many years of experience. My vet recommended the surgical consult after several months of vet visits, phone calls, x-rays, and consultations about Jet.

Jet developed a limp a few months ago. After visiting my vet, I stopped walking him, tried to keep him a little bit quieter in the yard (which was impossible), and waited. We figured it was a condition of his right shoulder called osteochondritis dessicans, which some puppies develop and eventually grow out of. I wasn't happy, but I was hopeful he would be in the majority and get past the condition as he got older.

Last month, instead of getting better, Jet's limp got worse. He was having trouble putting more than 50% of his weight on it. After another consultation with the vet, I started him on an anti-nflammatory pain med, and we made plans for x-rays. Surprisingly, his shoulder x-rays were perfect. More poking and prodding revealed soreness in his right elbow, which required several additional x-rays. Those x-rays suggested a few possibilities, so we sent them on to a radiology expert at the University of Minnesota for her opinion.

The news from the expert was not good. Here's what she said: Based on the available radiographs, I believe that there's a problem of emerging degenerative joint disease in the right and even potentially in the left elbow due to fragmented coronoid process and secondary osteoarthritis; this is likely to be progressive. She said a lot more than that, but that's the big, bad news in a nutshell. The words arthritis and progressive have not stopped banging around in my head since I received this news last week.

I actually shed some tears when I first received the news. The expert believes Jet likely has arthritis in several of his other joints already. The fragmented coronoid process may possibly be surgically cleaned up, thereby decreasing his lameness, but there is no way to stop or cure arthritis. Jet will likely never be the running partner I had hoped him to be. He will likely require medication for his entire life, and he may be prematurely lame if the arthritis continues to advance. The radiologist's report disappointed and saddened me. This is not what I expected for my ten month old puppy.

Tomorrow I will hopefully receive some definitive answers to my many questions. I'm sure I'll leave the consultation with plenty to think about. For example, even if surgery is possible, will the expense be prohibitive? The consultations, x-rays, and medications have already hurt financially. I don't even like to mention the money, but it is part of the reality. It's actually a very worrisome consideration.

Please include Jet in your prayers. I'm asking God for patience, and tomorrow I'm sure I'll be praying for guidance. I'm trying to keep my emotions in check until I know something more definitive. But I do feel sad. I feel sad for Jet. He is the most active, rambunctious, happy, hilarious puppy I have ever known. It hurts me to see him lame and in pain so early in life, and it's devastating to think of his zest for life being quashed because of this damn condition. Jet and I will appreciate your prayers.


midnight rainbow said...

So sorry to hear such sad news! We will keep our paws crossed for both you and Jet. Just remember though, dogs are quite resilient and may bounce back quicker than you think. Even with arthritis.

Good luck with the appointment. We will be thinking of you.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

You and Jet will be in my prayers. I hope things will turn out better than expected.

Pat Davis said...

Best of luck with your dog and keep your chin up.

Kelly said...

Prayers for you and Jet.

Grace said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your little Jet. Please keep us posted. You're both in my prayers.