Or so we thought.
Preston had his x-rays yesterday morning, which showed mild hip dysplasia in his back left leg. Nothing warranting major hip surgery - yet. Basically, they told us to keep him on the glucosamine he's taking (which stimulates cartilage growth and joint health), and to bring him back in 2-4 months for another evaluation. They said young dogs like him can grow out of the hip dysplasia problems, but we can count on the fact that it will be back when he is older (which means that hip replacement surgery may happen later on down the road). If things are still bad in a few months, we may be looking at a minor surgery to help with the friction between the bones.
Not too bad, right? We were really expecting the worst, so to know that he may be able to grow out of it for the time being was awesome.
Unfortunately, around 10:30 last night, we noticed Preston limping on his FRONT leg. He was barely letting his front left leg touch the ground, and it was sticking out at a weird angle. This was definitely a WTF moment for us both, and we obviously jumped to the conclusion that action needed to be taken as soon as possible. We took him to the emergency animal clinic in Winston, where they took him back for more x-rays. Around midnight, the doctor called us back to tell us all the different things that could be wrong with Preston, since the x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary.
He could have some kind of lameness that travels between legs. He could have panosteitis, which is an inflammation of the bones. He could have one of several kinds of arthritis. He could have some tick-borne illness (we found a tick on him several weeks ago - hello, Frontline purchase!).
The doctor then did a blood test to check his platelets, which apparently is a sign of some tick-borne diseases. I really was not completely following what was happening at this point - it was very late at night, and she was talking really loudly and using a lot of big words. They did the blood test, nothing came back abnormal, so she sent us home with a mild pain medication to have on hand. He had been on Deramaxx, which is a pretty rough drug, so she gave us one that they use on really old and fragile dogs. Fine by me, just fix my baby.
So now we wait. We are supposed to observe and keep a journal on him - is he lethargic, is he limping on different legs, is he eating, etc, etc. And - here's the worst part - we are supposed to keep him from running, jumping, or playing with Sensei. Only leash activity. For FIVE DAYS. If you have met Preston, you understand what a task this is going to be. I get his leash out, and he is literally jumping into the air (all four feet off the ground, yes), with excitement. And poor Sensei. Preston was at the vet all day yesterday, and Sensei just moped around the house. It was pitiful. And made me kind of sad. But hopefully this is all for the best - maybe a few days of taking it easy will help Preston back to normal. I know he is just a dog, but this is all really overwhelming me! What if something is seriously wrong? He seems to be doing alright this morning, so maybe that's a sign he's on the road to recovery...