Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Out there on my own

Moderating some of the joy of Bondi's two recent photo competition wins has been the increasing amount of jaw pain he has been experiencing. Until recent weeks the pain had been infrequent - or at least his audible reaction to it. But every other day now he cries out when it is jarred  or over-extended (when eating, or lecturing Munson). This evening it was jarred badly by an over-friendly puppy jumping up to lick his mouth, inevitably head-butting Bondi from underneath. The long cry brought a hush over everyone nearby in the park.


More frequently Bondi is having to avoid the throng of dogs bounding around or playfully tussling to find a spot where he can sit without disturbance. He doesn't appear to mope but it gives me plenty to think about.

Later that evening he had some shorter episodes where just arising from a nap wrenched something around the jaw and the cry would pierce every wall in the house. I would run to check him, quickly followed by Munson who solicitously sniffs him over. I'm so upset that I get a stress head-ache and need to take some pain-relief of my own. I hate taking pain-killers  and it frustrates me further that I can't tell if the medication the vet has supplied in recent weeks is having an effect. Is it reducing the frequency or intensity of the pain? I can't know. This week we've switched to codeine and the vet has asked me to vary the dose within certain limits to see where we're getting the most benefit.

Until the jaw-pain started, giving Bondi oral medication was a snap - I'd just open his mouth and push them swiftly into his throat. Now I can't open his mouth to do that, so I get a pinch of grated cheese and mould that around the pills in the palm of my hand so that he'll lick it all up.

For a while we've been proceeding on the basis of the pain being arthritis, with the caveat that it would have to be treated differently to the arthritis in his front joints. Last week's veterinary consultation indicated some wasting of muscles at the back of his jaw and on the top of his head where they connect to the sagittal ridge. This might be an outcome of the adrenal condition / "Alopecia X" that affected his coat so badly in recent years. As it happens that issue is being reviewed since his coat is showing signs of deterioration.


Through all of this Bondi is still the beautiful friendly fellow he has ever been.

1 comment:

  1. I'll toss LOTS of healing Sibe Vibes into the wind -

    I KNOW they'll find woo Down Under -