Monday, October 15, 2012

Beagle Diet Progress - October Updates

     So it's been a while....

     As far as my knee goes, I'm feeling a lot better. I only take the pain medicine every now and then. At first I would take 1/2 tablet every morning. You only take it once a day because it's really strong, and actually the Doctor said that the 1/2 tablet was slightly more than what I should have but it was okay. I was also taking another medicine everyday too for pain. And the Doctor gave me these chewable supplements to help my knees and other joints feel good despite my arthritis.

     I feel old.... there's really no getting past it. But I don't have to let it keep me down.

     I started going for slightly longer walks in the morning. It's much cooler now since the Summer is over. A little chilly some mornings but I can handle it.

     Anyway, during the past few months while I've been recovering from my partial-tear ACL injury I've watched what I ate and I've tried to stay motivated. Mom tries to remember to pick up the food dish at night before it gets too late. She said that for people, you have to stop eating a few hours before you go to bed otherwise you just pack on extra weight from the food you ate because you didn't have enough time to digest and use it. She thinks it might be similar for Beagles -- well, for dogs in general but in my case for Beagles specifically.

    The thing is, I'm not hungry during the day. I try to eat but I just don't want anything. Mom laughs because if she offered me something other than my regular food she's certain I'd be hungry for it!

    I'm trying to drink more water too... I don't know if Beagles store water-weight like people, but Mom talked about that too and so she makes sure the water dish is always clean and full. Zoya makes a mess... she drinks from the water dish but it's like she has no clue what she's doing! Slop! Splash! Slop! Splash! Slop! Splash! and then when you check, half the water is on the floor around the dish and the other half is all over her face!

    Mom knows this though, that's why she tries to clean the dish as soon as Zoya finishes.

    So we lost track of my Beagle Diet.... we were tracking the days and weeks but we lost track because so much time was spent just HEALING.  It's okay.  It doesn't matter where you start or continue something, what's important is that you start and/or continue it to the end.... right?

    What else is knew...?

    Mom and Dad had to go away for a week last month, and that wasn't too bad. I don't like when they go away though. The boarding place is nice, and they make sure Atom, Zoya, and I are all together... but I want my own bed and my own toys and everything. Also... there's no TV in the pet hotel. We have our own room that we share, and we get to play in an indoor play area.... but there's no TV. I like the TV. Mom leaves it on all day for us.

    Anyway, I went for a short walk this morning. It was about 15-18 minutes. Mom guessed but she lost track because she wasn't sure what time we left the house. It was me and Zoya though, and we took a few pictures. I feel like I'm still making progress. Even though I was stuck for so long after I hurt my leg, I don't feel like I gained weight. I don't know if I lost much, but I feel okay considering I'm still "big"....

First, a few with fun stamps and decorations...
Me and Zoya

Me and a rabbit...

Me and another rabbit... 

Me and Zoya just hanging out...

Watching cars drive by as everyone leaves for work...

Just me... I think this is a good angle for me.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week 10 ~ Jake vs the Beagle ACL Injury

     Today is the last day of Week 10 since I started my diet. I'm losing a little weight actually, even though I've had to cut back on my walks. It stinks though.... I would rather be able to walk more.
     The doctor said that the partial tear in my left ACL is what hurts me. Mom said that it probably happened that day a couple weeks ago when I got hurt trying to race Zoya and Atom to the door. The mailman came, then UPS, then FedEx -- all right in a row with only minutes in between their knocks on the door. It was exciting and I couldn't help it! I just wanted to run and see if the packages were for me...
   At least it's not a full tear, right?

    Mom took some videos during our walks to help remember how I'm walking now so we have a comparison later.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jake's Obstacles: Hip, Knee, Back Pain

    So remember I was talking about whether you should keep exercising if you have pain? I got hurt... The vet doesn't know if the "hurt" is from my hip dysplasia or if it's arthritis which I have developing, or if it's a partial tear in a ligament. (UPDATE: The vet has since said that she believes it's a partial ligament tear, not one that's a full tear requiring surgery but this will be painful and I should take it easy for the next 6-8 weeks while my body heals.) I personally don't care why I hurt, I just know that it hurts and I don't feel that great.

    Last Friday Mom took me to see my doctor and they took some X-rays. Since it hurt so bad to stretch out for the X-ray, they gave me some anesthesia to help. I've been told to take my Mobic (Meloxicam) every morning for a while, and the Doc gave me Tramadol too, which is like Vicodin Mom says. I get the Tramadol twice a day for a bit, then we'll try and go down to once a day if I can tolerate it.

When Mom and Dad saw that I was struggling more than usual,
they decided to take me to the doctor.

Nothing seemed to help, so Mom made an appointment for me for last Friday.
Atom wouldn't leave me alone... he's such a camera hog!

I couldn't get in the car myself, like I usually can so Mom picked me up to help.
This is me on the way home after I had my X-rays.
Usually I sit in the seat but I felt more comfortable on the floor behind Mom, so I stayed there.

I got a bandana while at the vet.
I think the blue looks nice on me.... it's hard to tell but I was a little out of it.
They gave me anesthesia to help me relax so the could get good X-rays.

Right when I got home. Atom harassed me for a bit, I just wanted some water.
The bandage on my arm was from the IV catheter for anesthesia.

Zoya harassed me a bit too, but she just stays at a distance and gives me harassing glances.
Not really effective, Zoya, not really effective.

And Atom was at it again the moment I got comfortable.
I'm actually on Zoya's bed here, but mine was in the other room.

Trying to get comfortable.
It's hard to relax when every time you move there's pain.

Smiling for the camera!
    So here are my radiographs (X-rays) from Friday. It's hard to see much of anything if you're not trained to see it. They got X-rays of my hips, knees, and spine.

Beagle hips, Beagle knees, Beagle pelvis
You can almost see the hip dysplasia but it's not 100% clear to untrained eyes. The femoral head (the ball-like end of my femur that fits into the hip socket) isn't completely round or smooth so even though it's supposed to rotate in the hip joint, it's not a smooth rotation. 

The socket, itself, is not completely formed as well, so it doesn't nicely encase the femoral head. This more or less predisposes me to early arthritis and occasional pain if the hip joint gets stuck in a funny position or if it rotates roughly in a bad way.

Along my knees you can see how it's a little "fuzzy"
My hips are like that too but not as much. My doctor said that's a little arthritis and remodeling (the bone regrowing) likely from the bones rubbing a bit.
I feel old when I look at these...

Knees and hips again.
My knees felt all right, my doc said, but the X-rays showed the remodeling and arthritis so they obviously bother me at times.

Beagle spine...
There's a small issue in the thoracic region of my spine that is slightly visible in my X-ray but it's not a serious problem, at least not yet.
There's a slight dip in my back which the doc says is common in Beagles, but she did say that my weight doesn't help. She didn't know I was working on my weightloss for 9 weeks now, so when Mom said that my doctor sounded impressed. I guess a lot of people start to help their dogs lose weight but they don't stay consistent. 
Mom said those are the same people that don't workout themselves and order out too many times!

My left knee.... see the "fuzz"?

My right knee... the left one seems worse but that's consistent with
my pain on the left side more often.

Beagle belly!
The doctor laughed when she took an X-ray of my belly because my stomach has food in it.
I'm a Beagle... I like to eat.
My spleen looked big in the scan but that could be from the anesthesia so they said we will check it again later.

Diet Accountability Pics - Week 8 Day 7

I was told no long walks for at least 6 weeks. But it helps me to stretch my legs a bit so Mom walked me for about 10 minutes on Tuesday after talking to the doctor again when I didn't feel better.
The doctor looked at my X-rays again and that's when they saw the small tear in a ligament. It might not be a tear but it probably is. 

Mom and I were looking at my blog today and Mom noticed that the last time I posted in my blog I posted the picture when I got hurt trying to race Atom and Zoya to the door. UPS was here with packages and I wanted to be the first to check them out. In the scuffle, I got hurt and I went to hide under the end table next to the sofa.

The next day, when Mom took me for a walk, I started giving her trouble about going up the stairs. I didn't think I could make it! And then before I knew it, I could barely stand up! I am pretty sure that is when I got really hurt...

The ligament tear is just the straw that broke the camel's back, I think. The other problems were there and they were going to continue to be problems. This just makes it all feel worse.

This is from Tuesday. You can see, I don't want to put weight on my back left leg. It hurts a lot! I also have a lot of trouble getting up once I sit down, but on the short 10 minute walk I did take a lot of breaks. Mom helped me get back up each time.

Accountability Pictures - Week 9 

These are from Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Week 9 Day 1 of my Beagle Diet and Exercise Regimen.
So far, I am down 5 lbs. I went from 50 lbs. to 45 lbs.
This is going to get harder to lose weight until I can walk more... But I am determined to do my best!

Mom only walked me around the block, but we accidentally ended up on a sidewalk that just ENDS with no wheelchair ramp or anything. I couldn't step down... so I just stopped.
Mom helped lift me down off the sidewalk and she walked me in the street the rest of the way, until we reached a wheelchair ramp that I could walk on.

Week 9 Day 1.... and my Beagle Weightloss Journey Continues....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Week 8 Day 2 - Diet Progress

     I'm sorry that I haven't been updating my blog as regularly as I was. I have to use the computer when Mom isn't working or studying since all the web browsers are telling me I can't update my blog unless I use Chrome. Today I am attempting to update my blog using my Mom's iPad though.

     I didn't go for a walk on Tuesday because Mom was out in the morning and it was too hot when she got back. I did go today and yesterday, though, for 30 minutes each time. I also have some pictures from last week I haven't shared yet so I will include them here.

     I haven't taken new weight and body measurements yet, but I think I will do mine when Mom and Dad take their measurements next weekend after their detox is over. I'll post my progress measurements then :-)

Should I Exercise if I Have Pain? 

     My leg started bothering me. Well, my hip, I guess. Mom said she got a video of my walking funny with my leg clearly hurting, but she hasn't loaded it to YouTube yet. When she does I'll add it to my blog so you can see too. When we got home I did not feel like going up the stairs. Mom had to come back down and get me. Sometimes you just have an off day.... But that's okay!

     Here's the thing - I know my hip is going to bother me sometimes because I have hip dysplasia and arthritis. But that doesn't mean I have to sit around and do nothing. If I don't exercise my hip and leg, even when it hurts, I will eventually be unable to use it and I will always have pain then. The muscles like to tighten up and grow lazy so even though the joint hurts, the muscles can hurt too. It's important to exercise within your limits even if you have pain. I know exercise isn't going to fix arthritis or my hip dysplasia, but exercise WILL help me deal with the pain when it comes and a little weightless will take pressure off my back, hips, and joints which will ultimately reduce the pain too.

     So I push myself a little. Not to the point of causing damage or injury, but enough to work the hip joint a little, get some fluid moving through the joint to help with mobility, relieve some of the muscle tightness, and work out some energy so I feel better through the day.

Beagle Diet Accountability Pictures

Week 6 Day 7:

My hip started bothering me a little, I just wanted to relax when we came in the door.
But Atom had other plans! 

Zoya didn't see that Mom and I turned, she just kept going the wrong way.
When she finally realized she was all by herself, she looked around and ran after us haha 

Smelling stuff...

 My workout buddy - Zoya

Week 7 Random Pics:

Sunny in the morning...

Sometimes I get sidetracked with smelling everything...

Just walking with Mom and Zoya...

I don't mind if the grass is wet from the sprinklers!

This is funny!
Zoya saw that the ground was all wet and the sprinkler was on but a little clogged or broken. 

She walked AROUND the wet spot on the pavement so she wouldn't have to touch it!
Zoya's a prima donna haha!

I walked right over the wet grass and right up to inspect the sprinkler!

It sprayed my belly and my face when I tried to take a drink!

I got a drink, though, so I won!
Jake 1, sprinkler 0! 

After the walk, there were lots of knocks on our door. We had lots of packages delivered.
I like to race to the door, just in case it's for me.
But I hurt my leg while trying to race Atom and Zoya.
So Atom was all excited about packages, but I just sat under the table because my leg hurt.

Week 8 Day 1 and 2:

Pictures from yesterday morning...

Not too sunny actually, I thought it might rain.

It was very humid... Zoya heard my panting and thought I might die haha
Not today, Zoya... Not today! 

Sniffing around...

I was so tired that it took me a long time to walk up the stairs after our walk.

Testing out some other Apps.

From this morning - Week 8 Day 2

While I was waiting for Zoya to do her business....

It was sunny and warm but not too hot this morning...


Even Beagles stop to smell the flowers sometimes!

Squinty eyes! Too sunny!

When I get tired, I walk closer with Zoya in case I need help to continue going haha

Exploring a bit, smelling stuff Beagle-style...

But after my walk, I could barely climb the stairs...
Mom had to come back down and walk up with me at a slower pace. 

Mom helped me write in my blog while she ate breakfast...
I want fruit too, but I don't really like it. I think I need to get used to it.
Although - I should point out that citrus fruit and berries really aren't good for dogs, and grapes and raisins are a definitely "no!" for dogs.

Accountability Pic for today!

 A little collection from my poses under this pink tree...