April 27, 2017

Stella 's Left Ischium

We were up before 7am with a cool wind blowing strong through the open windows. If it stormed last night, I never heard a thing. With rain predicted for the next three days, the daily routine of the hounds will change.

Stella barely took a step off the carport floor, felt something wet and sat down. She had to think what her next move would be. She didn't move from that pose until we went back inside.

Sadie did almost the same thing. This was the second trip outside since it was daylight but she never left the gravel drive. I can see cases of bloodhound boredom these next three days as forecasted.

I took a look at Intellicast radar a little after 9am. That looked clear even though the skies outside were covered with dark gray clouds. If it was dry, then we could still get a walk in. Based on the ground, it did not look like it rained much at all while we slept.

With tail wagging Stella took off out into the lead. She was trying to gradually veer toward the left of our route with hopes of returning where she went yesterday. About the time I started to say something, I felt small drops of rain. Looking at my jacket sleeve it was sprinkling harder than I could see or feel.

With the rain becoming a little heavier, I could tell it was time to turn around and head home. Sadie had not left my side the short time we walked. Stella had to find one more spot to pee before she called it a morning.

We gave it a little time to see if the weather would blow through and it looked like it was doing just that. Once again Stella tried to talk me into feeding all of them about an hour early, close to that 10:30am mark again.

After they were fed at noon, we saw the rain was gone, the yard wasn't that wet and Sadie thought it was a great time to walk. So we tried it again. To cold for Heidi so she sprinted back inside for her position on the couch for the afternoon

Stella trotted out to the front with Sadie. She seemed normal and looked normal. You will see what I am talking about later in this post. It was late last night that I thought we might be going back to the vet this morning. I'll explain later in this post.

With all the growth the past few weeks, the bushes are once again hiding most of the wooded area. You can barely see the chewed tree limb from last winter. Since we are getting just the right amount of rain, everything has gotten nice and green without a lot of rainy days.

So you might be asking what a "Ischium" is and where did I come up with that. It's part of the pelvis that you sit on or in this case that Stella, Sadie or Heidi sit on. The are sometimes called the "sitting bone" and are on each side of the tail. As Heidi's use to be when she was ultra thin, too skinny, those two ischiums are pretty visible.

The pictures will show below that Stella was having some swelling around her left ischium as of Monday morning. I'll tell more of the story below. How did I find the word "ischium" ??

Last night I did a google search on their images for "canine skeleton". On that picture I was able to identify the bone I was looking for and noted the name. I found it strange that when I went to petMD online they did not recognize that word when I did a search on their website and asked me if I had misspelled it.

Sadie was heading down the path home, stopped suddenly and looked over at the small wooded area behind the neighbor's house. With a strong 15mph wind I am sure they were picking up a scent of that large blonde cat seen last month.

Stella was practically begging me to let her head that direction and it took me a few times telling her "let's go" before she moved in the direction of the house. You will notice her left ischium protruding out and you might think that is not normal ... but since she is so skinny, that is the way it is at this time on both sides. It was like that for Heidi too when she was having problems with her lack of weight.

Monday afternoon as we were walking along the back edge of the field, I noticed that large lump to the left of her tail. I waited for her to take another step to see if it would disappear and was part of her hip rotation as she walked. It did not disappear, so I took a picture of it for reference.

When I felt it on Monday night it felt like all bone. There was nothing soft around it and when I pressed on it lightly, she did not react. With her getting that rabies shot Friday night a little after 7pm, I thought this might be a side effect of that shot but found nothing online telling me it was.

About the time I thought about taking her to the vet on Tuesday, she had been wagging her tail that morning. She was shoving Sadie out of the way with her hips when standing at the door. She does that when she wants to be the first inside. Her tail was upright and as soon as we started the walk she started running just a little faster than a trot.

So I figured things were fine and no need for a vet trip.

Yesterday morning during breakfast that lump looked smaller but I thought I'd wait until she moved around before I would claim it was better. While she was walking that afternoon it did look slightly smaller. When I got home I pulled up this picture next to the one taken on Monday afternoon to verify that yes, it was smaller in size.

Here you can see that both sides are the same size. This picture was taken early this morning. So comparing it to the one taken Monday afternoon I can see a lot of difference. Whatever it was, it's gone.

Last night as I was standing over her looking from a top view so I could compare the left and right side, both ischiums looked equal in size. Once again since she is so skinny right now I expected to see them more visible than normal. For example, now that Heidi has gained her weight back I do not see hers.

The thing was when I felt it, she reacted by turning her head toward my hand and maybe a slight whimper. That is when I went to the internet to find all I could about this area and what might be the cause. At that time I was planning to be at the vets office as soon as they opened at 8am.

I did not come up with a lot of information about that specific bone, the cause of swelling and if there were issues. Some of the worse things I read were about hip dysplasia, and bone cancer. Yet, she was not limping, she had been trotting in the backyard just a few hours earlier. Plus she did not yell in pain when I pressed on it, just a slight whimper.

This morning it looks like the swelling was totally gone. I felt around each one, they felt the same. As I pressed on the left one a little she did not response but wagged her tail and wanted her back above her tail rubbed.

I'll keep an eye on it and look for swelling or limping. She has no problems walking up the two steps into the house, hopping on the couch or climbing on the bed. Her gait has always looked like she might have a small limp but she is always dragging her feet when she walks slow, so it's hard to tell if she is favoring the leg or just walks that way.

All I know is when I saw her wagging her tail, barking and howling for breakfast, then pushing Sadie out of the way with her hips I decide a trip to the vet was not needed today.

I am thinking of putting her on the Taste of The Wild dog food with bison as the main protein. That has 35% protein and 18% fat which would help her regain the weight she has lost, barring there is nothing else wrong with her.

It's a quiet day here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana today.

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