So I carried him to the car (loud screams when I picked him up : my neighbours commented on them when I got back home!) and drove fearfully through snow to the vet. At vet, I couldn't get him out of car without him screaming like mad and just flopping, so got one of the nurses to come and help me. We carried Bob to an inspection table, where he sort of stood for a few seconds, then sagged and lay down pathetically, panting. I was starting to really worry that this might be curtains for Bob.
Vet came in and asked me to put him on floor. To my surprise, he did not scream or lie down, but stood on his legs. Vet looked him over, felt him over. Bob was delighted! Bob likes meeting new people!
Bob gave the vet his paw, while I described the problem. Then he made me out a total lier by trotting gently round the room and having a particularly athletic pee up the washstand where he managed to almost hold his back leg straight up! He then came back and gave vet a big kiss...
We watched Bob for a while to see if he would keel over. While this was happening, a nurse brought in a whippet boy to be weighed on the scales, which happen to be in that room. Bob was ecstatic! If there is one thing Bob likes even better than people, it is other dogs! Bob greeted whippet joyfully and looked like he would like to start racing round the room with him! In general, Bob was now behaving like a fit and active dog, rather than a geriatric invalid.
No sign of anything neurological. No sign of arthritis. Muscles are not wasted, though he is a bit thin. No screaming. Very slight reaction to shoulder muscle being probed but vet reckons this is pretty normal for that to hurt a bit even on an uninjured dog. His feet stand firmly on the floor, no knuckling over. His gait isn't quite normal, but there's nothing vet can pin down - nothing even to indicate where the problem lies or what to x-ray, if they did an x-ray.
Vet is stumped. Advises : don't use a harness on him, because we don't know what the problem is so don't want to accidentally put strain on something damaged. Use a towel to get him standing if necessary. Try and keep him doing gentle exercise so he doesn't get too stiff or lose his muscles. Keep on with the pain relief. Try and encourage him to stand rather than crawl because he is developing sores from crawling about, and be confident about getting him to stand even if he does seem to be in pain to start with. Oherwise he will lose his confidence and may give up. Bring him back to see Craig the orthopedic surgeon once Craig is back from holiday.
I walk out of vet with Bob prancing happily on lead beside me, and he tows me all around the car park, before hopping very happily up into my car!
I am of course over the moon that Bob is feeling so obviously better now, but also a bit boggled by the whole thing.
So this is Bob - as you can see, his leg problem is persisting. If anyone has seen anything like this or wants to make a wild guess, please comment!
After the transformation at the vet, I decided I'd try to be a bit firmer and more upbeat - no more pandering to lurcher hysterics. Next morning when he crawled over looking pitiful again. I tucked a fleecy blanket under him and lifted him up. He dangled his legs floopily and wouldn't stand on them, then when I let him down, he scooted on his elbows back into his bed. So then I did my Firm Voice and told him he was jolly well going for a walk, scooped him up again and pushed his legs under him - and he stood up without making a fuss and walked straight out!
I've given up on trying to get him upstairs: he really is terrified of stairs and it was just too stressful getting him upstairs each night. Instead, he has decided that our hallway is 'his room' so we've shut off two of the doors so he has a space for his bed away from cats without having to go upstairs. Not that he's a problem with the cats at all, but our cats are right pains in the neck and I don't want them stealing his bed in the night and leaving him on the floor.
Yesterday, I took them all out for a walk, and he met some people shovelling snow : he utterly adores people and really wants to say hello to all of them, so he pulled me over at top speed to say hello - then jumped up at one of them, got his legs right up to the bloke's chest! I was so taken aback it took me a minute to work out that I should probably stop him...
At the moment he is having all his pain relief on his breakfast. I think I might try giving him half of it on his tea, to try to take the edge off in the morning when he first gets up.
We have been in touch with Bob's breeder and from his ear tattoos, Bob was born on 28/9/01, so he's just over 9 yrs old. He is half greyhound, one quarter border collie, and one quarter bearded collie.
I am quite amazed that he is only 9 - I would really never have guessed. His teeth are great but he seems very wobbly and bumpy for 9 years old. He seems years older than either Mollydog (11) or Az (probably 12).