I talked with Suzanne Fariello of the Cambridge Valley Veterinary Service and heard the final diagnosis for Red and his leg. Dr. Fariello sent his x-rays to an orthopedic specialist and he said they were not conclusive. There was the suggestion of a very slight fracture in the paw, but nothing certain. He said he thought he found some evidence of arthritis in the foot. No signs of any chips. Red either suffered a bad sprain or a hairline fracture. Sprains can be as or more painful than fractures, she said. Both are treated in the same way – rest. Dr. Fariello says Red can't work for at least three weeks, and then has to reintegrate the work slowly.
She agreed that there is no need for further tests, and she also shares my belief – she is a great vet – that dogs ought to be given the opportunity to heal themselves if possible. The fact that Red is comfortable, eating, sleeping and no longer limping rules out tendon or ligament damage. We decided against pain-killers or anti-inflammatories. So this ends this chapter, I think. No need for further concern or updates. Red will work again at the end of the month. He's quite full of himself again, ready to go.