I woke up yesterday to a three-legged lame dog. *Sigh* The more animals you have the more interesting life gets. In all truth, I didn’t notice the lameness until we went out after feeding horses to play ball and Frisbee. It’s possible the dog was hopping on three legs prior to that, but if he was it didn’t register with my brain. It’s more likely he was walking fine UNTIL we went out to run around. I dunno. I have three dogs, two balls and one Frisbee all going in three different directions simultaneously with a carefully orchestrated rhythm that insures no two dogs get back to me at the same time. It’s a canine juggling act. Anywho, on the first return Hazer came back limping. Not just “ouch, my paw hurts” limping, but literally holing his left front paw up off the ground gimping. That didn’t deter his desire to play Frisbee at all, it just slowed him down some. Naturally, I took the Frisbee from him and looked at his paw. Cautiously. Hazer isn’t known for accommodating pokes, pries or … hell, Hazer doesn’t even like to be looked at. He tolerated some exploration, but grew increasingly impatient with the fact that I wasn’t tossing his Frisbee again. My inspection of the suspect paw was interrupted twice so I could kick Neena’s ball again and lob the tennis ball for Gus. That didn’t do much for Hazer’s patience.
Cattle Dogs are notorious for their high pain threshold. Both Neena and Hazer have had some pretty serious boo-boos and both have showed complete disregard for their pain. As their human it’s my job to evaluate these situations carefully, not take their word for how they feel. They could be bleeding out a lung and if asked, would say they’re fine and just throw the Frisbee again, damnit! They’re like a four year-old child who wails and sup-sucks the entire way up the stairs, insisting they’re not tired and they don’t need to go to bed yet. Yeah, right.
The jury is out on the diagnosis. I made sure he had a very low activity day yesterday and that he did minimal stairs. He seems a bit better today, but I’m watching him carefully. Lyme disease can show sudden and acute lameness symptoms and he’s had Lyme several times. If he’s not fully recovered in a couple of days I may have him looked at by our vet. Time will tell.