Heffner had his visit with the rehab vet today and we got a verdict. Poor Heffy has a rather painful (is there any other sort?) iliopsoas strain. If you want to read a little more about it, this is a pretty good article that I found online that explains it really well. I'm pretty sure that Heffner's will not get put into the non-responsive category.
Our visit went really well. We met with Dr. Simpson at Back on Track. I told her my concerns about his movement and my concerns that the conformation of his rear may have had something to do with it. She noted that he is quite straight in the rear, but didn't seem too concerned that that's what caused it. Which is a relief to me! She also noticed right away the slight way that he was standing with that back leg and immediately thought that it was either hip dysplasia (ACK!!) or an iliopsoas strain. She wasn't all that sure about the hip dysplasia because she felt that with all the various activities that I do with him, I should have seen some sort of lameness well before now. She then started manipulating his hip joint and noted that his right hip was more sensitive than his left. Then she got down to business with the poking and the prodding of the tissues surrounding the hip joint and specifically the iliopsoas. He did NOT like that at all! It was very obvious that it caused him a fair amount of pain. She then checked out his left hip just to make sure that it was only the right hip, and it was.
After much poking, prodding, and discussing of what was going on; the treatment plan was doled out. It's one that Heffner will NOT be happy with! For the next two weeks, in addition to being on Rimadyl twice a day (I've already warned hubby that Heff will be drinking and peeing a lot and we need to be on the look out for that), his only form of exercise is to be going outside to pee. That's it. No walks. No rough housing with Bess. No nothin', but being a bump on a log. Hmmmmm.....that should be interesting in about 48 hours time when the lack of activity starts setting in!
After two week, we're back in to see the vet for her to assess how he's coming along. He'll also go down to Rimadyl once a day for a week and then go completely off after that. With regards to exercise after the two week point, he will be allowed a 5 min. walk a day for the first week. Then a 10 min. walk a day the next week and continuing to slowly increase the amount of time walking by 5 min. each week. Once we hit the six week mark we'll go in for one final exam to make sure that things are progressing the way they should and I'll just continue to very slowly build up his exercise. Oy! He is really not going to like this! I'm sure that if I could explain it to him and get him to understand that this was just a short term thing and that it would help him to feel oh so much better when it was all said and done, I'm sure he'd feel a little better. As of right now, I know that I'm going to be getting barked at a whole lot from our front window as I take Bess out for her even more needed exercise! And since the dogs won't be able to play with each other aside from the lazy bitey face game that they sometimes play, this means that I will be the sole focus of their need for entertainment. Hmmmmm.....now I'm the one who's not liking this so much!
So yeah, it kind of sucks that he's going to be so restricted with his activities. I'm hoping that I'll have him mostly up to par for running off leash around the lake and doing some swimming by summer. As for the winter, his days of playing with the snow are over until next winter.:( I'm also kind of bummed because I have Christmas Eve off and I was planning on taking the dogs for a nice long, relaxing, tiring hike. I can still go on that hike, it's just that Bess is the only one who can go.:( And have I mentioned that I have HORRIBLE guilt any time I have to leave one of the dogs at home for ANYTHING? Yeah, I'm going to be completely guilt ridden for the next few months.
On the up side, this is not an end to his agility career. It's just going to be a while before we can do anything even remotely related to it. I am, however, thrilled that I haven't broken my dog!! And that he should be back to normal in a few months and hopefully pain free and totally healed up! Definitely some great news!
While this first visit was totally focused on finding the source of Heffner's off stance and figuring out how to fix it. I'm planning on talking to the vet about specifically what I'll need to do to rehab him. Also asking her what exercises I can do to overcome his conformation faults. His faults aren't career ending, I just need to be more mindful of them and I may need to do stretching and warm up exercises before and after every single class and run. Either way, my little buddy will be back in shape in no time (though I foresee posts on here that are going to be about me wanting to pull my hair out over his energy level and need for stimulation!).
As I digest this new game plan and start plotting out his "activities" or lack thereof for the next few weeks, on to the daily Christmas picture! I also wanted to add that I realize this month's posts have been fairly content light. I have a whole plethora of topics that I want to start hitting in January that are more content full. Things like breed appropriate health testing and why mentors are so incredibly important! Without further ado, Happy December 18th!!
As with all the pictures, there's a little back story. I actually took this picture last weekend. When I heard the "threat" of snow, I decided that this year I would not be caught off guard without a sled! I went out to Fred Meyer and bought two sleds (yes, the second one will be making an appearance). This one is one of those inflatable do-hickies for kids to go tubing on. Last year we got got dumped on about this time with a ton of snow. There were several days that I seriously wished we had a sled that I could use to go out and exercise the dogs with. No one was driving for the first few days and the roads were just too perfect for sledding! Alas, the stores sold out. Sadly, this year, no snow appeared and I was stuck trying to go sledding with the dogs in the back yard. My two reindeer, as you can plainly see, were NOT thrilled about the experience. Partially because they didn't want to cooperate. They're not used to daddy being in front of them with the camera when mommy is not directly next to them. Every time I sat down on the sled, Heffner wanted to come and check on me to make sure that I was okay (something that he always does when we're skijoring and I fall). Bess just plain didn't want to hold still with those stupid antlers on her head. Well too bad! We're going to get this picture whether you two like it or not!:) Thankfully we did, though my smile is quite forced. Through clenched teeth I believe I was uttering "hurry up and take the damn picture, but make it good enough to post." Yes, sometimes the Christmas spirit just flows forth from me!LOL