Some of you may have tuned into the Moose Morning Show today and wondered why we were running a mid-week 'Best of The Moose Morning Show'. Well, the short answer is because I was working from home this morning and didn't drive to Augusta this morning.

The reason for all that is because my Great Dane, Rambo and I had a long night in Lewiston at the Animal Emergency Clinic of Mid-Maine. I'll start by saying we are back home and all appears to be well.

If you follow me on Facebook you'll know that yesterday late in the afternoon I posted asking for help from people with large-breed dogs. I needed to know if anyone had ever seen their big dog all of a sudden lose the majority of power in their back legs.

Rambo is a 6.5 year old Dane, so he's getting up there in years for a dog his size. Over the last couple years his back and hips have slowly started to give him (minor) issues. He is slower coming up the stairs, doesn't run as much and can no longer jump into the backseat of my truck without assistance. These are all things we expect as our (especially large) dogs begin to age.

However yesterday was just different. Rambo was refusing to get up off his dog bed at all. His demeanor was fine, he was still thumping his tail on the bed when you'd talk to him.. he just wouldn't get up. Finally I called to him to come outside to pee and he went to stand up and fell on his back legs. He tried again and was finally able to stand up. He went out to go pee but struggled coming back up the deck stairs. I knew something wasn't right. He came in, had a drink, a couple bites of food and went back to his bed. I convinced myself that because of his back issue he was becoming paralyzed.

That fear was even more real about an hour later when I noticed that he was letting small amounts of urine out on his bed while he lay there. Totally unlike him. Keep in mind at this point I already had a call into his regular vet and was waiting for a return call.

At this point I decided that I couldn't wait and that he needed emergency care. Keri came home from work, I wrapped up a few things I was doing and off we went. When I got him outside to get in the car he was walking around like normal...which was odd. Half hour ago I thought the dog would never walk again. Oh well, off to Lewiston we go.

When we arrived I opened the back hatch to let the dog out and planned on helping down easily. Instead, my 160 pound Dane decided to leap out on his own. He landed on all fours and never once acted like anything was bothering him. What the heck?

The vet, Dr. Scottie, was absolutely wonderful. He said that based on his evaluation and because Rambo was back to walking and acting as normal, X-rays were unnecessary as there was obviously not something acute happening. Instead we did a blood panel for tick-born illnesses that present in similar fashions. Of course they were negative.

As it turns out, my old man of a dog is beginning to have arthritis flareups. This certainly doesn't surprise me given his age and size, but boy did that first one come on super-quickly. It likely wasn't the first one, just the first one that we noticed. This explains that towards the end of the day when we were heading to Lewiston, his symptoms completely tapered off.

We will manage with low-dose pain meds as needed and just watch for intermittent lameness like we saw yesterday. I (and Rambo) certainly appreciate all the thoughts, prayers and well-wishes that we received yesterday while all this was happening. We're just glad we have answers and are home.

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