Turned out all that slow walking I was doing the past couple of months might have been more than my natural dachshund stubbornness. Heather and Mike increasingly observed my back legs shaking when I was standing still, and sometimes limping during and after a rousing game of fetch. When Schatzi stayed at my house back in August, my discomfort boiled over. I tried to ignore her, but I had to nip at her a few times to let her know in no uncertain terms there would be no unbridled wrassling on this particular visit. I needed to take it easy.
Heather called the veterinary about an examination, but since my personal physician, Dr. Aimee Kimmel, was not available until the middle of September, Heather put me on “bed rest” for a five days. That meant no hijinks with Schatzi, no chasing my ball, no knocking Wiffie under the furniture, no tug of war with Lamby, no jumping in or out of my camp chair, no going downstairs and, most importantly, no long walks. Every day, just a few brief excursions outside for a pee and a 10-minute (tops) afternoon stroll just to get some fresh air and take care of business. When I finally saw Dr. Kimmel, she endorsed Heather’s prescription and extended it for another month. If this were baseball, that’s like being moved from the 10-day to 60-day IL (injured list). That’s a long time.
Despite my relative lack of activity, so far my treatment hasn’t included special hospital rations – that is, portion reduction in my meals or snacks. Heather has been holding steady in that department, thankfully, although I will approach my next weigh-in at the vet with some trepidation. Other aspects of the plan aren’t so bad. For instance, since I’m not allowed to go downstairs, Heather moved my downstairs crate into the living room, so I can still get inside it for my morning biscuit. I immediately liked running up and down the short ramp they put over the steps by the front door. And, while I have missed the long walks and especially playing fetch, I do have to admit that these short afternoon walks are surprisingly to my liking. Every day, I have been prancing along enthusiastically, eliciting many smiles and comments on my gait from admiring passersby, and more-than-happy to be getting home for dinner that much quicker.
Rest and medication seem to be working, too. Heather noted just yesterday that I am showing more energy and more power in my stride. Sometimes I forget that I’m supposed to be taking it easy, and I jump out of a chair to the floor without help or coax Mike into having a brief tug of war with me and Lamby. Heather has kept a watchful eye on me, and she scolds us before things can get out of hand, shutting me down but deflecting the responsibility: “No throwing!” she yells. “Dr. Kimmel says NO!” Doctor’s orders! End of story.