Aftermath: Porthos sprained his wrist, and receives new dog bike trailer

The injury to Porthos’s right wrist, which short­ened our last camp­ing trip to Geor­gian Bay, is a sprain. We vis­it­ed a local vet the day after it hap­pened but could­n’t get any X‑rays of the injury because her tech­ni­cian had already gone home by the time we arrived. After some dis­cus­sion, we decid­ed going to the vet­eri­nary emer­gency hos­pi­tal would­n’t yield a prac­ti­cal­ly dif­fer­ent prog­no­sis. There was no indi­ca­tion that any sig­nif­i­cant bones were frac­tured based on his lack of reac­tion to limb manip­u­la­tion. We left with a pre­scrip­tion for meloxi­cam, and she told us to lim­it his activ­i­ty lev­els to reliev­ing him­self out­side.

I’ve been car­ry­ing him between rooms all long week­end long. The lay­out of our house is strange and annoy­ing. It’s called a split-lev­el home, and it gets this name because it fea­tures mul­ti­ple lev­els that are stag­gered, typ­i­cal­ly with short flights of stairs between each lev­el. It’s great if you’re into Stair­mas­ter-style work­outs, but it’s a roy­al pain if you’ve got an injured dog that insists on fol­low­ing you around the house. Despite that, I’m used to much more reg­u­lar exer­cise. I’ve been walk­ing Porthos twice dai­ly, almost every day, for over nine years. It’s a habit that’s unpleas­ant to inter­rupt. To avoid break­ing the habit, Lily pro­posed we upgrade to a dog bike trail­er with han­dle­bar attach­ments that con­vert it into a stroller. After a quick search of Face­book Mar­ket­place for the mod­el Lily want­ed, I found a list­ing for a “brand new, in-box” item for $300 less than retail. Now we’re the hap­py own­ers of a Bur­ley Bark Ranger, our sec­ond wag­on by this brand.

Last year, in the days lead­ing up to our first bike trip along Hamil­ton’s lake­front, we bought a Bur­ley Tail Wag­on. It’s a small, light­weight trail­er but lacks the acces­sories for con­vert­ing into a stroller. Com­pared to the red Dutch­Dog Dog­gyride (pic­tured above), it lacked a leash and attach­ment points for secur­ing our dog inside. This lack of a secure line allowed Porthos to jump out of the mov­ing wag­on last year. I plan on sell­ing the Tail Wag­on since it’s now redun­dant.

Ear­li­er today, we vis­it­ed his reg­u­lar vet for a fol­low-up about the wrist injury and to exam­ine its progress. The vet took X‑rays of Porthos’ leg below the elbow and found no evi­dence of frac­tures. She also applied a prop­er splint because we were using an old pool noo­dle up to this point (you can see it in the first pic­ture above). I would trim it down, split it down its length, and secure the halves on either side of his leg with lots of self-adhe­sive ban­dages.

It’s a tremen­dous relief that our ini­tial assess­ment was cor­rect and noth­ing is frac­tured. But sprains aren’t a laugh­ing mat­ter, espe­cial­ly for old­er dogs. The weeks of down­time and recov­ery that lay ahead wor­ry me.

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