Today we found out that Sadie has immune-mediated polyarthritis, which is kind of like rheumatoid arthritis for dogs (although hopefully she doesn’t have the erosive kind that destroys the joints). It’s an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself, causing inflammation and pain in multiple joints, which explains why for the past week she’s been limping on different legs, feeling lethargic, and shivering more than usual. If you want to know about polyarthritis in dogs, this is the best explanation I’ve found on the internet (PDF I uploaded). Apparently, it’s relatively common in small and toy dogs, which I didn’t know. I don’t know how common it is in miniature pinschers specifically, and I’m trying to stop googling this shit because it freaks me out when I see stuff like “polyarthritis especially crippling in young dogs.” I don’t need to hear that right now. But anyway, if your dog is limping around on different legs, this might be the problem (I didn’t find anything about polyarthritis when I consulted Dr. Google before our appointment today and, honestly, didn’t know dogs get autoimmune disorders, which is probably dumb but there it is).
Her orthopedic specialist at Alameda East (they’re expensive but they’re the best veterinarians in Denver as far as I’m concerned) said that most dogs go into remission after being aggressively treated with Prednisone and then very, very gradually tapering off the drug. It’s best if the dog stays in remission, because flareups become harder and harder to treat.
She had her first dose of Prednisone tonight. I’m not looking forward to the side effects (drastically increased thirst, urination, and appetite), but I trust that she should be feeling better soon. She’s only 2 1/2 years old. She needs to get better and stay that way. I really, really love my little dog.