Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Greyhound Patient

I have mentioned on the blog before that Lilac suffers from SLO.  For those who don't know, it's an auto-immune disease.  It makes her toenails grow in a really funky way.  It looks like the new nail is growing out of an old nail, if that makes sense.  Her nails also grow at light speed and they are as hard as rock.  We tried to keep them trimmed ourselves for a long time, but in the last year, it's just become too hard on her and us, so we take her to the vet when her nails start getting long and have them cut them.  I looked for photos to share, but the ones I found are rather gruesome and I didn't want to gross anybody out.

As it happens, every once in a while, Lilac breaks a nail because of the disease.  Usually, it's a clean break and the nail just comes off.  Sometimes, we have to bandage her foot with the nail still attached, but usually when we take the bandage off the next day, the nail has fallen off.

Last Tuesday night, Mr. Taleteller and I took Bunny and Blueberry to the baseball game.  We got home, relaxed a little with the girls and then did turn out before bed.  It was late, so Mr. Taleteller went to bed while I finished up in the bathroom before bed.   I walked into the bedroom and saw the telltale spatter around her dog bed.  Closer examination showed that she had indeed cracked a nail.  It was still attached, so we bandaged it up loosely and went to bed after cleaning the carpet.  Thank heaven for steam cleaners!

So far, there's nothing unusual about this routine for us.  Wednesday was my last day of work for the school year and I came home in a very good mood, anticipating all the fun things I'd get to do with the girls while I'm on break.  As I walked in the back door, I was greeted by Blueberry and Bunny.  Lately we've noticed that sometimes Lilac is sleeping rather deeply and doesn't hear us come in.  So, I walked into the living room to check on her.  My heart stopped. 

She was awake, but struggling to get up.  I had flashbacks to her episode last September, and even worse, Treat's episode that marked the beginning of her brief battle with a spinal tumor.  I am usually a positive person, but I can tell you that right there in that moment, I was overcome by a lot of less than positive thoughts.  I prayed that I wasn't going to start my break by having to let another dog go.  I called my husband, who of course didn't answer his phone.  It seems every time I have an emergency here, he's in a meeting and not answering.  So, I went into auto pilot.  I took Bunny and Blueberry outside to the pen so I could work more with Lilac.  My brain started analyzing how I was going to get her up off the floor. 

Then I really looked at her and how she was trying to get up, and my mind connected the dots.  Her bandage was off, left across the room near the fan where she'd no doubt spent part of the day resting.   She doesn't have great strength in her back end and now she was trying to get up on one leg and not use the one with the broken toenail.  A breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I can deal with dragging an almost sixty pound dog out the door as long as we're just going out to try to go potty.  I felt myself calm down and then I started analyzing what my plan of action would be.  I brought Bunny and Blue back in and gathered Lilac up somehow and carried her, against her will, I might add, outside to the nearest grass I could get to.

 She stood on three shaky legs and gave me her most mulish look.  We were not in the grass, nor in the area where she likes to go to the bathroom.  I sighed and picked her up again, carrying her across the driveway to the grass near the turn out pen.  She still refused to go, but she'd had an accident in the house, so I figured that she just wasn't going to go.  I carried her back into the house and laid her down on the big comfy bed.  I got her a bowl of water with ice in it and her food bowl.  She did drink a bit and she ate a few bites of food.

That night and the next day, she had to be carried in and out of the house.  She licked at the toenail and turned it around backwards, just after the vet's office closed.  I thought seriously about trying to just pull it off, but she will have none of you getting near her feet and it's the one thing that I think she might possibly bite over, so I left it alone.  Soon, she showed signs of wanting to move.  I picked her up and carried her to another dog bed.  She stood and glared at me.  I carried her back to the first bed.  I swear that she rolled her eyes at me and huffed.  The next thing I knew, she gave a little yelp and then hobbled over to another dog bed that was in front of the fan.  I looked and sure enough, she'd finally gotten the nail off. 

Next, I found myself in an argument with Bunny over whether or not she was going to eat said toenail.  I'd saved it on the table because I planned to take a picture of it to show on the blog.  All I know is that the toenail disappeared.  Either Bunny did eat it or Mr. Taleteller threw it away. 

Lilac immediately seemed to feel better after losing the nail.  I am hoping that we don't have any more broken nails for a while.  She's not the best patient.  As a matter of fact, she's downright difficult to please!  Thank heaven she doesn't have a little bell to ring!
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  1. Woo, Lilac, we like your style. Get carried and still complain about it.

  2. That is a very complicated situation and kind of icky. SHould I send momma, poop detective, over to fish out the toenail when it re appears? Hehehe.

    You are a most strong and committed mom to carry miss Lilac about. I am sure she appreciates it.


  3. Oh Poor Lilac, hers just can't seem to get good help round there...hehehe. I bet her thinks ya'll is just a bunch of morons...hehehehe. Furget da pikture of da nail, I wanna see a pikture of mom carrying her out...hehehe.
    Okie dokie, I'll be serious. Mom,you are so good to your girls and your deep love fur them clearly shows. I haves to admit when I was reading my heart was kinda going bizerk. But, thankfully it was only a nail. And deep inside me...I was thinking bout MY plan of action as well...what was I gonna do if one of da if Lilac was sick or sumptin. You know, I loves these girls too and I've nevers meet them. Oh dear, has da Puddles gone mushy.

  4. Oh, poor Lilac. I'm glad she's feeling better. For everyone's sake.

    wags, Lola

  5. Poor Lilac and poor you as well! I hope the missing toenail was just thrown away. =)

  6. I am cringing at the thought. Poor thing! And what is it with dogs wanting to eat nails? It must be that crunch!

  7. I am sooo glad that Lilac is better now. I know you take very much grrrreat care of her. Poor thing. I do admit that I would like to see a pic. of Lilac being carried about.

  8. Whew, that was quite an ordeal. I know exactly the initial scary feeling and then the "what the heck am I going to do to get her outside" feeling. I'm glad that she seems to be on the mend now. We've had only one cracked toenail in our many many years of dogs... It was just a few months ago and resulted in 8 wks of antibiotics to clear up a bone infection on the tip of the toe bone. It sounds like the infection part doesn't tend to happen with Lilac - that's great news!

    Lilac is one lucky girl to have you taking care of her!

  9. That must have been quite the fright, and we're glad she's doing better. The lost toenail kind of reminds me of marathoners who lose their toenails, or the new one grows on top. They consider this loss a kind of "badge of honor", although I don't think they're actually eating their own toenail.

  10. Lilac, would you please, please, please write a book? I think the rest of us doggies have a lots to learn from how well you've trained your pawrents. Plus, I bet it was nice for your mom to get in a little workout in such a pleasant and helpful way. Although maybe next time you should try to scare your mom a little less at the beginning.

    I'm glad your toe is feeling better but I feels a little disappointed that I didn't get to see a picture of your toenail.

    Wiggles & Wags,

  11. Oh how awful! My dogs nails grow at an extraordinary rate, but they aren't gnarly or anything. What does SLO stand for?

    Glad to hear Lilac is feeling better. You take such great care of all your pups.

  12. Woof! Woof! Sending you my Golden Thoughts of No More Broken Nails. For sure you guys are going to have a FUN Summer now that mom is home. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  13. Pool Lilac.....and Poor Mama!!!!

    Smileys & Snuggles!
    Dory, Bilbo and Jacob

  14. miss lilac,
    holy cow, don't scare us like that!! i'm glad it was just your toe nail and not somethingie really scary, but it does sound like the toe nail thingie is pretty ouchies. :(
    you sure have a very nice mama to carry you around and make sure you are comfy cozy. :)
    the booker man

    pee s -- can we see pictures of your stuffed bunnies? those sound like totally cool toys!

  15. Hope you are feeling better Lilac. so sorry to know about this problem.
    we are really impressed that your mummy could actually carry you out, you are a big girl ,right?
    Please ask your mummy to go check out this site:
    will be glad if it helps in anyway.
    bud n gin

  16. My mom'a toes got all khurly whilst reading this -

    What a way to start a break - The Great Greyhound Workout!


  17. Oh, poor Lilac... and of course mom not carrying you around to the right places the first time... BOL!


    PS. Mom googled the Italians... she said to tell you thank you, and that was very nice! But Iker is still her favorite... :-)

  18. Lilac, I wouldn't want anyone fiddling with my foot either if I broke a toenail. Stanley lost two toenails in as many days when we first got him. One grew back funny, and the other is a little nub.

  19. Poor Lilac! That sounds like no fun.

  20. I am glad Lilac is ok now. I think she DOES have a bell :) And she knows how to use it!

    Emma Rose

  21. I'm glad that Lilac is feeling better.

    Bunny is a good housekeeper. LOL

  22. Poor Lilac and what a start to your Mom's vacation. Glad everything sorted itself out!

    take care
    Clive and the NSLM

  23. Ugh, I can only imagine what went through your mind! I'm the queen of the worst case scenario myself, and routinely fret over what turns out to be nothing! Like greys, Frenchies are totally prone to all sorts of weird ailments and afflictions, so I figure it give us license to freak out!


  24. You got us so scared, we all breathed a sigh of relief with you, but that's good writing! Poor Lilac and .... what you have to go through... so worth it though :)
    So far I thought Bunny was the queen, but I'm suddenly getting a feeling all your girls are spoiled rotten. Good job. Mwah

  25. We had a greyhound named Beebe that had the same problem with her nails. She was a wonderful girl and was actually fairly decent about the whole nail thing where I and my husband were concerned, however when something was going on with them that caused her pain, she would growl at the other hounds to stay away. We dealt many times with getting her to stand in a warm water and Novasan (sp) solution...and many times water and iodine with lost toenails. They grew back very oddly of course. Anyway, I know exactly what you are talking about.

    Something else, in case you didn't know, is that when there are blood splatters and you don't want to get out the steam cleaner simply pull out a bottle of peroxide and they lift the blood right up like it was never there. Very easy to do. You can either pour a little over the spot and let if fizz then wipe, or soak some into a paper towel and then squeeze it out...or try wiping it. I learned this from my volunteer time with the greyhounds at a vet's office. The vets use it on their white lab coats and other place all the time.

    I am really *so* glad to hear that Lilac is doing ok since the nail has come off. These things just scare the daylights out of me even though I have lost so many hounds over the just never gets easier. Even a sudden limp with no fall can just turn my stomach into knots.

    Lots of hugs to you, I feel for you...what you went through and am so glad Lilac is still doing ok. Scritches to all of your girls.

  26. This is the first time I'm reading about SLO... and how it affects the breed... poor Lilac and her broken nails... poor mama too.

    Licks, hero

  27. Aww, poor Lilac. That sounds like quite a production. Bunny, stop trying to eat your sister's nails!

  28. Sure you had another scary moment!
    Glad to know the nail went off and she felt better!
    I know it was a relief for you too!
    Take care
    Kisses and hugs


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