Friday, 31 October 2008


I cannot remember to whom I have told what, and as the darling Hairy One has a great extended family who love him nearly as much as I do, the easiest way to ensure that all his friends know what is going on is to issue Bag End Bulletins.
Birthday visit to Rannerdale, May 2008

A recap for those who are not already fully-paid up members of the Canine Club: At 13½ years old he has developed arthritis in his left hip and has slowed down considerably in the last six months. Last Wednesday lunchtime he was standing patiently waiting for me to open the back door when he suddenly screamed in pain, shot towards the kitchen and promptly slipped on the tiled floor and screamed again. It took me a long while and a large dose of Metacam to stop him physically shaking from head to toe, poor lad was hurting and had scared himself silly. Don't know what caused the first problem - wonder if he turned a bit awkwardly and jarred his hip joint? Anyhow, I now had a scared little dog who would not walk on the smooth kitchen floor so I made a a glorious "trip hazard" of spare carpet held down with Gaffer tape.

He eventually calmed down enough to sleep on my bed for a few hours, at 5.30 I went to take him out for a little walk. He was very happy to get up and walked freely down the hall - until he screamed in pain again, and again, and again, and was running around trying to escape from the pain and I could not catch him. All very nasty. Phoned vet, was in waiting room ten minutes later, Clare thought it was probably an arthritic flare up and gave him a big dose of Pethedin and instructions to treat him with the NSAIDs for the next couple of days.
Very windswept but happy on Boxing Day 2007

The drugs worked fine for Thursday and Friday. He was obviously pain free, wanting to play tug with his ring and breaking into a run whilst out for a walk. By Monday this week I was back down to the normal maintenance dose of Metacam and it is no longer enough. This afternoon (Thursday) I took him back to the vet. Clare is on holiday (half term week) so we saw John. Very impressed with the level of care and time he took to give a thorough examination.

Result - another dose of Pethedin, different NSAID drug from tomorrow morning. Appointment 9.00am Monday for sedation and X-ray, they will be looking at his hip for arthritis and his lungs (good opportunity to check up on a long-standing condition which has resulted in an enlarged heart on the right-hand side and congested lungs - he now also has a heart murmur, not unusual in an elderly Beardie). Once we know exactly what the problem is we'll know what drugs can alleviate the symptoms and make him comfortable.
Relaxing at Blea Tarn

Right now he is laying behind my chair snoring his head off. I guess the Pethedin has kicked in and he is comfortable enough to collapse completely after the "trauma" of more than half an hour in the consulting room being examined very thoroughly.

To all our friends, please excuse the impersonal nature of this and future updates, I think it's the only way I can keep everything straight without going mad (OK, even more mad than I already am . . .)
The serious business of sleeping


  1. So sorry to hear of Ollie's troubles. Glad the Pethedin is working, brilliant stuff made me sleep through most of my labour when I was giving birth to daughter so I'm not suprised Ollie is snoring away next to you.

    Hope the next few days brings him less pain.

  2. I am so sorry that dear old Hairy One is feeling so much pain......I just hope that the vet can find something to make his life more comfortable.
    Pethadine is great for the short term but he needs something for the long term.

  3. I'm sorry too. Animals are heart breakers, especially when they get older. Keep him warm and all loved up, I know only too well how hard it is to see your best friend hurting

  4. It's dreadful when you can't explain to them why it hurts, isn't it? It does sound like you're in safe hands, though - and my thoughts are with you for tomorrow's vet visit...

    My Ollie is of the feline persuasion, but we all send our love anyway...


  5. I had to have pethedin once, great stuff, I was gutted to be well again! Take it easy, Ollie - Polly sends her love!

  6. Take care of both of you, it's very stressful when the furry human is unwell. Mackie sends his love too.

  7. Updates like this are fine, Jayne. Stop apologizing. Just look after our favourite four-legged friend.


  8. Give the hairy one plenty of cuddles from me, it'll do you both good. Dave L.

  9. Oooh poor lad, arthritis sucks big time. I hope you get something sorted for him so he feels more comfortable without being drugged up to the eyeballs. Give him a hug from me too!

  10. Get well soon Ollie, and tell your human one she doesn't need to apologise about keeping us informed like this.

    Lots of hugs


  11. Hopefully you will find some medication which works for both of you and he'll get some of his bounce back.

    I'll be sure to give the Hairy One and extra stroke when I next see him.

    /hugs to Ollie

  12. Send him some love from his Aunty Kath (who only has arthritis in fingers and knees - but can still sympathise.) Good thing he has a competent vets team on board.


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