- Dog ID: 18-007
- Surrender Date: 2/17/2018
- Gender: Female/Spayed
- Adoption Fee: $350 plus tax
- Age: 7 Years
- Energy Level: Medium
- Interactions with dogs: Prefers to be the only dog
- Interactions with kids: Interaction not preferred
- Interactions with cats: Good
- Medical or Behavior Challenge Notes: Arthritis, possible hip dysplasia, obesity
March 15, 2018:
Kenzie continues to be such an easy girl to have around. She joins in the fun on walks, exploring the creek and just being a silly puppy with the other dogs. It's great to see her improve and get more active. She has lost some weight as well, which lessens the stress on her spine. Here is an update on her condition from the vet:
We aspirated her lumps, about five were half a golf ball size or smaller, one was over half a grapefruit in size. All were just fatty masses, no cancer cells. So good to know! We'll keep an eye on them for growth or discomfort. Her bloodwork was all normal, another good indicator we aren't dealing with cancer or any kind of organ issues.
Okay...and now the not-so-great news: Spondylosis. X-rays revealed a pretty severe case of bone spurs on every thoracic vertebrae. It looked like two 1/2-long pointy pencil tips growing off the ends of each vertebrae, and poking into the nerves along her back. Basically, her backbone has tried to compensate for her added weight by growing these extra "supportive structures" for carrying that load all up front, since she is such a barrel-chested creature to begin with. Our vet also said it might actually help if the bone spurs grew together and formed a "bridge," which happens fairly often. (Called "Bridging Spondylosis.) Bridging is what her body is trying to do to fortify her spine for that extra weight and degeneration. (Mostly seen in older dogs, and when this happens in a younger dog like this...it's usually weight related.)
No wonder the girl is in such pain and it hurts her so when she gets petted on the back.The doc also said it's likely she has bone degeneration in her hips as well, consistent with an aging dog with weight issues, but didn't exactly think hip "dysplasia". So that's a positive!
Here is a good article on Spondylosis to explain/show visual: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/spondylosis-deformans-in-dogs
The upside is this is a manageable condition, and with pain meds, she can live a pretty normal life. As we have managed her pain and diet, her goofy, sweet Golden side shines even more. She has a great personality, and is a great spooner and snuggler. (As you can see in the picture, she loves to noodle with me.)
Of course, the vet recommended doing all I could to get her weight down, and then check her lumps, pain level and mobility again in a month. We upped the Rimadyl to 150 mg a day, and added Gabapentin twice a day. I am making her a special diet of greens, sweet potatoes and low-fat "all natural" meat, plus adding some simple supplements like Glucosamin, Choindroiten and Turmeric. She LOVES it. She is also getting acupressure and doggy massages. Also LOVES.
This prognosis explains how she went from playful pup to grumpy granny these last couple years. Her attitude, sweetness and playfulness, despite her pain and challenges, is top notch! She has really bonded to me in a short amount of time, and I feel could easily do this with her new forever home as I've seen her warm up so quickly to my friends, visitors and family. Especially men!
Here's a great example: last night a police officer came to the house to ask some questions about a neighbor. Kenzie circled him 3 times, squealing in delight and then plopped down on his big feet. He got a huge kick out of this as he took his report carefully so as not to disturb her peaceful resting spot. I replied, "You know what they say, girls love a man in uniform." :-)
February 20, 2018:
Kenzie is adjusting very well in our foster home! She loves her daily walks on our wooded trails and is very curious and excited to sniff about and explore. She loves rolling in the snow....well, it's more of a flop, kangaroo kick and side-to-side head slide. Ha! She has found her favorite spots inside our home - by the patio doors to watch for squirrels and birds, by the bed at night, and in the kitchen or my home office where I am usually hanging out.
As you can see from her picture, she likes food! We're working on her new organic diet/supplement plan that I've had some great success with other foster dogs who have the same tumor, joint and weight issues. She seems to have both internal and external pain, and lots of fatty lumps. We'll get some better insight on her possible medical issues this week when we visit our vet.
She has bouts of playfulness with her stuffed toys and is a typical sweet Golden asking for pets and love, but is not pushy at all. She really really loves the little "doggy massages" she gets while she gets her many doses of daily human love. Surprisingly, she has taken to my dogs pretty well after being an only dog all her life. She engages them in play a few times a day, and loves to romp about outside with them. We have a big fenced in acre yard, and they follow each other around like old pals when off leash. It's great to see my dogs helping her feel at home, learn the ropes and get into a healthy routine.
That said, Kenzie is not trusting of humans or animals until they "prove themselves". She can be very growly, but is not aggressive. Just grumpy at times. I believe this is due to her pain and limited mobility. She may do best as a single dog again, or with very laid-back dog(s) like mine who wait for the new dog to take the lead and are not territorial in any way. Kenzie let them know early on that her food was...her food! She does share her babies and dog beds without complaint.
She is so well behaved overall, loves car rides, is cool with cats, let's you know when she has to go poddy, sits, stays, and comes pretty quickly when you call her to you. One of the great perks of fostering or adopting an "older" dog, they know the ropes, and mind well!