(Denzil aka the shameless little flirt)
One of my goals for the year was to develop a long-term plan for Denzil. I set a date of mid-March.
Well, it's the end of March, and I've actually followed through on this goal (yippee!).
A couple weeks ago Denzil and I went back to our vet for a consult on his knees. No tests, just a quick checkup for Denzil (soundness and flexion tests) and some good discussion between the vet and I.
Based on the x-rays we got last time, and the state of Denzil's current soundness, the vet thinks that his lameness is caused by torn (but not ruptured) cruciate ligaments and a bit of arthritis. Denzil's lameness got quite bad at times this winter - I think in part to all of the snow and ice we had. Leaping through the snow and frapping on frozen ground is not good for the boy.
Denzil has been on Deramaxx every other day for quite a while, plus an omega 3 supplement and chondroitin, glucosamine & MSM every day. He seems to do well on this, unless he overexerts (which Denzil likes to do as much as possible.) We just had blood tests done, and Denzil doesn't seem to be experience any ill effects from the Deramaxx, which is good news.
Given all of this, where did we land? Basically, neither the vet nor I think that Denzil's knee problems are surgical. Our plan of attack is to continue with the supplements and Deramaxx, and control Denzil's activity for 12 weeks to see if the lameness starts to get better. He's not on crate rest - just no frapping or running, with all exercise on-leash and some conditioning to rebuild muscle in his hind end.
We've been at this for two weeks now, and Denzil is doing really well. His lameness is greatly improved and he seems a lot happier - much more like his usual busy self. It's great to see. We're still working on a sustainable long term plan, but it's encouraging that he seems to be getting better. If only I could explain to Denzil that he's a "veteran" now and needs to slow it down a bit. Slow down just isn't in his vocabulary....