It’s mud season here in New England, and that means a lot of muddy paws. However, that’s not exactly why we’re thankful for clean paws today.
Last September our beagle Cricket had an arthritis flare-up that put her out of commission for a bit. She slowly got back into her favorite ball playing as we did our best to manage her condition. I wrote about our plan of action in our post “Managing Our Dogs’ Osteoarthritis“.
This winter we had her wearing boots on her back paws much of the time. When she ran, her back paws would sometimes flip over and scrape the ground, so the boots were to protect her paws and help her with traction. When we recently had fresh snow, we didn’t bother with the boots since the soft snow didn’t bother her paws. As it started to melt, I headed out to play with her one day. There were some bare spots, but we didn’t plan to play for long so I didn’t put her boots on. She doesn’t mind wearing them, but she hates having them put on and off. I planned to keep checking her paws for scrapes as we played.
She didn’t get any, and as I watched her play I realized something I hadn’t noticed: her paws weren’t turning over like they had been. She was running far more normally. There were no scrapes and the tops of her paws were not muddy like they would have been if they were flipping over and dragging! As I discussed it with the Dadz later, we both realized that she had been getting around much better. We were rarely seeing her stumble or fall over anymore, even when maneuvering the couple of steps off the deck, or down her steps off the couch.
She was due for her blood test at the vet, an NSAID panel to check for side effects from the carprofen she’s been taking. The blood test came back fine and I asked the vet if we could cut back her dose and see how she did. He approved that, so we are giving it a try. She is now taking half of what she used to. I like to be conservative with using meds, but when she had her flare-up, we didn’t hesitate to put her on the maximum dose because she needed it. Now that she’s doing better, we don’t see the need. Plus we want to be able to go up on her dose if needed again. We will watch her closely for any sign of worsening on the lower dose.
I took a little video to show you how well she’s getting around, and for my own observation. I can see there are times one paw drags just a little bit, but that’s it. The truth is, as I shot the videos, I had trouble keeping up with her at times!
Thank you to Brian’s Home for hosting the Thankful Thursday blog hop! Please visit other blogs through the links below.