Before I go into bones and paws, a report on another health-related episode. Last weekend, Una suffered from a very upset stomach. After a very restless night and the following day, I’m able to witness that the amount of food in various states of digestion is unbelievably large at any given point of time – I saw all of it exit the said dog over a 12-hour period. I’m glad I have laminate floors, not everything ended up outside… Yuck.
Gnawing a bone was probably the cause, despite the fact that Una had already gnawed the other 5 bones from the same frozen batch without any problems. Well, Una is back to normal now, and remained in good spirits through the ordeal!
But that was that, now let’s start on my original agenda.
We truly have a wonderful vet, the orthopedic specialist Silvia Jauerlig at Aisti. I have communicated with her via email several times after our first visit, and she has been very helpful, answering questions and discussing Una’s bones with me 🙂
We also have one wonderful vet clinic manager, Anna in St Petersburg. Besides taking care of Una before she moved to Finland, she has been helping in any way she can in the process of diagnosing Una. Among other things, she has translated blood analyses from Russian into English for Silvia, and has answered all the questions I have kept asking. Thank you for your patience, Anna!
Today, we had a control appointment with Silvia. She wanted to see Una trot, and said it looks good, no lameness. My home diagnosis about Una’s nail was probably correct. Una actually lost another nail yesterday or the day before, from the second toe of the left front paw. I was a bit worried about this, and Silvia said there is a very small possibility that this would be a symptom of the autoimmune disease that causes a dog to lose her nails one after another. This is the disease that is relatively common in standard schnauzers. My sister knows all about this 😦 However, Silvia’s opinion was that two nails is most probably just a coincidence.
Una’s nails are not normal, anyway. They are very brittle and break easily. Silvia said I will probably always have to be careful with them if we walk on hard and uneven terrain. I asked about nutritional supplements, and she suggested zinc.ööööööööööö <- (That was Luna, walking over my laptop, delivering her expert input on the issue. I don’t have the heart to dismiss it…)
This is what Silvia wrote about Una’s bones: “The abnormal radiographic pattern of the bones can be caused by dietary secondary hypoparathyreoidism, but in my opinion there is now with normal food and recovering to normal weight no increased risk of (pathological) fracture.”
I specifically asked about hiking, being worried that Una would be susceptible to stress fractures (rasitusmurtuma). No, Una should not have an increased risk for that if we increase her exercise gradually. A big relief!
We discussed Una’s sensitive pads on her paws, and the fact that she licks and gnaws them. She does this also on a patch of skin on her left elbow and on her hind leg, near the paw. We got some Vetramil lotion (honey-based) to use on Una’s elbow, pads and nails. It moisturises and speeds up healing. Silvia suggested that we book an appointment to the dermatologist at Aisti, to rule out skin problems. And I agree, I’m happy to get that checked out by a specialist. It’s good to know if this behavior is purely learned (a kind of stereotypic or obsessive behavior), or if there is a somatic reason behind it.
So, all is well and we can continue swimming and hiking to increase Una’s muscle mass. On Silvia’s opinion, this is the best treatment for Una’s bones: strong muscles protect them, and her tendons, too.
Hiking it is – doctor’s orders!