Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greyhound Worries

My last post was about Iris, the blind kitty residing at my vet's office who needs a 'furever' home.  What I didn't mention was my reason for the visit to the vet.

I wasn't ready to talk about it, was holding my breath.  Still am.  You see our Greyhound girl, HiLite, (that's her below) suddenly was not able to walk.

 There's nothing wrong with her in this photo.  The ace bandage wrap is our version of a Thundershirt.  HiLite suffers from storm anxiety and this form of gently 'wrapping' her makes her feel secure and calm.  (Go to to learn more about a thundershirt) 

The reason I am holding my breath is because nearly every spring when I return from Arizona, I lose one of my fur babies, hence I am a little gun shy.  I realize it is all coincidental and has nothing to do with me coming home for the summer, still......!  The real problem is that since we stopped showing and breeding English Cocker Spaniels, our furkids, like us, have become senior citizens. 

We found out that HiLite, who is 14, (elderly for a Greyhound) most likely has a ruptured disc.  Our wonderful vet's kept her in the Doggie Hospital for three days and pumped her up on steroids. They let us know that if there was no improvement, it is likely permanent damage has occurred and we could be facing that ultimate decision that no one ever wants to make. 

HiLite showed no improvement by her second night.  On Day three, the Doc called and said she was standing, moving her affected leg and able to go to the bathroom on her own and we could come and get her.  He warned there might not be further improvement and it is possible that now being off the steroids, she could totally revert to being unable to walk.  

That was 5 days ago and she is still walking, Hallelujah!  She is not, however, out of the woods.  Today we had to take her back to the vet because she is not eating, and had some small, weepy sores on her back.  A bacterial infection of some sort!  Just like human's in a hospital environment, dogs are susceptible to infectious bugs as well.  I'm worried that her immune system is  compromised but I know she is vulnerable because she has not been eating well, in pain, and stressed over her whole ordeal.  She's a very sensitive girl. 

Warning.....warning........this is not a pretty picture below!!!!!!!! 

That is my vet sitting on the floor holding her to clean up the area.  It didn't look like this when she went in, only appeared to be about a half inch around and crusty, but this is what it looked like after he flushed and cleaned itGreyhounds have such amazingly thin skin that the smallest of wounds can become a big issue in seconds.  And this infection came up so fast, within only a couple of days. 

She is now on mega-dose antibiotics, as well as, Pepto-Bismol for her tummy and hopefully she will start eating again soon and nothing else goes wrong!

I'd like to stop holding my breath for her. C'mon HiLite Girl, you can do this!!


  1. Hi Karen,
    Oh my gosh you have your hands full. It looks like they are doing all the right things for Hilight though. It's so very hard when they get older and things start to go wrong. I hope she can pull through for you!
    Sending warm hugs and healing thoughts!
    Cathy G

  2. Poor little girl. When Gus was younger, he had some sudden paralysis in his back legs. He just couldn't use them. It's so worrying to see. Same thing, they pumped him up with steroids and he did get better, but I never forgot it. I hope Hilight heals up fast and is back to her happy self. It's hard to watch them when they are in pain and suffering. They are so dear.

  3. I'll think good thoughts for your girl. I feel for you - it's so hard to be there, feeling helpless, when our pets are in pain.

  4. Oh man! That poor girl! That back wound looks pretty bad.

    I went through something very similar with my first Greyhound, Treat. We think that what she had was a spinal tumor, but we'd spent so much money keeping her alive that I didn't have a necropsy done after she passed away. She responded very well to steroids several times in the five weeks from when the problem first presented to when we had to let her go. She was VERY independent and didn't want any help, but we didn't want her falling and she wasn't supposed to do the stairs or get on the furniture on her own at all. (Which she did anyway, despite our best efforts!) One thing that helped us a lot was a Bottoms Up leash. It lets you help them without putting a lot of strain on their back. There's a new harness out, too, that has handles on it so you can help them up stairs and into cars when you need to, but I forgot the name.

    That was long winded! I'm sorry! I hope that HiLite is going to bounce back and be okay!

  5. Karen ~
    Pug hugs and prayers coming your way for HiLite.
    Lauren and Mo

  6. Karen, I'm so sorry about HiLite's health issues. It has always pain me when animals gets sick and in their old age they start to have all kind of issues. I'll offer prayers to St Francis of Assisi , patron saint of animals, for her healing. I hope that she improve. Hugs, JB

  7. Oh honey girl, hang in there. All of the greyhounds here are sending you lots of healing white light.

    And hugs to you Karen, I know this tough for you, but HiLite needs you.

  8. Oh, how heart breaking. I hope she turns the corner. Pets are such a huge part of our lives. Will be hoping to hear good news soon. Best of luck Karen.


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