Wednesday, February 24, 2010

River - The Red-Headed Stepchild

The poor kid has been neglected with all that's going on with Ruby. We have some updates to share though.

On December 5th at the Hounds for the Holidays trial in Milwaukee, WI River achieved his Novice Agility Jumpers (NAJ) title. He also earned his first Novice Agility leg that day. He placed 2nd in both runs.

Over the New Year's weekend we attended an agility trial in Columbus, OH. River made his Open Jumpers debut but was very distracted, as were quite a few other dogs, by the basketball players in the courts next to our rings. So our first run of the weekend was an NQ and totally understandable. He earned two more legs in Novice Agility and achieved his NA title on January 3, 2010. He also earned his first leg toward his Open Jumpers title that day with a 1st place run. Things are starting to come together for the little dude. =)

Since that trial we've been sticking close to home and River was entered for one day at the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever trial in Manhattan held out at Jimmy and Annette's place. Our friend Anne Riba was the judge and she had some very nice courses for the baby dogs. River had a qualifying run in Novice FAST, kept popping his weaves in Open STD so we NQ'd but he had a very nice run in Open Jumpers. I've noticed that his times have been getting faster as he trials more. This Open JWW run was almost 5 YPS! Yay for the baby dog!

Our last trial Feb 13 & 14 was also out at Jimmy & Annette's. On Saturday River QQ'd in Open - 1st place runs in both JWW & STD - finishing his Open Jumpers title and earning his first leg toward his Open STD title. He was a very good boy. We NQ'd in FAST though; the send was an almost straight tunnel out to a jump and he's just way too fast, I couldn't get there to tell him where to go next. He did end up with a lot of points though.

On Sunday the little man made his debut in EXC JWW with only one refusal. Our Open STD run didn't go very well but it was all my fault. I told him "good boy" while he was weaving causing him to pop at the tenth pole and he took the aframe getting a wrong course call on the way back to the beginning of the weaves. We had another wrong course later during the run because I didn't turn my shoulders enough to indicate a turn. I don't have video yet for these runs but I will post them when as I get them.

I'm VERY happy with how River is doing in agility. He's a very sweet boy and has loved joining Ruby on her long rehab walks. We have a three day trial next weekend and I hope we finish that Open STD title. =)

Good News...

Ruby had her first UWT (underwater treadmill) session last Wednesday, Feb. 17th and Teri saw her for the first time as well. Ruby only did 10 minutes, you could tell it just exhausted her but she did great & Kris and Teri could see how she was compensating for her front right limb. She was also flipping her left wrist slightly. Kris showed me some isometric exercises to do with her as well, some stretching and told me how to better incorporate the hill work we'd been doing.

Over the weekend, I upped Ruby's walks on the flat to 15 minutes and kept the hill work to 10 minutes. She's allowed to do some supervised off-leash running but I have to stop it as soon as it gets too wild. She definitely has more energy and really enjoys her walks. She's back to trying to pull me along and striding out very nicely. Also no limping...very happy with her progress. =)

We went back to Kris' for another UWT session on Monday, Feb. 22nd. She was very excited to be there, barking at us to tell us "Let's get this party started!" Kris increased her time to 15 minutes and upped the speed a bit. Ruby did great again. This time not "cheating" and really using all her limbs evenly. Kris showed me some more exercises to do with her and said that she's really pleased with her progress. Her elbow didn't swing out after her UWT workout and her wrist isn't flipping anymore. She thinks Ruby may still be able to run at the Loves Park trial coming up in three weeks and she'll definitely be ready for Nationals.

We head down to Kris' again tonight for another UWT workout and she's going to put her at a slight incline this time. It will work her hind end more but will also make her reach forward with her front legs and really use them correctly. We'll also decide tonight about Loves Park & see what Dr. Herlihy thinks as well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Update on Ruby and River & Ruby's Scary Incident

Saturday, Jan 30th: To make a long story short we spent 3.5 hours at the St. Charles ER Vet after she got hit by a car near the house. It's a 30 mph zone but people speed all the time. This is my typical luck though, wrong place, wrong time. We weren’t supposed to be home this weekend; I pulled from a trial in Lewisburg, OH

Most of her wounds were superficial. She may have a hairline fracture in her jaw, right side - her mouth is really swollen but xrays didn't show anything. She'll be eating ground food for a while. She wouldn't put weight on her right fore but again xrays showed nothing (they sent them to an orthopedic surgeon/consult, Dr. Robbins in Buffalo Grove ), her elbow joint is very clean and pretty. She is still limping on her right foreleg though - kinda curling her wrist under and bringing her limb around like a person swims, know what I mean? After seeing Dr. Herlihy for a laser treatment Sunday she thinks there may be some nerve damage. She's still too swollen to tell exactly where it could be located and there is a chance that once the swelling goes down it will disappear. Of course there is a chance that it could be permanent too. We’d def know more on Tuesday after chiro and another laser treatment. This is caused by either a nerve being pinched, due to the swelling or something being knocked out of whack or a nerve may have been torn or severed (worse case scenario).

She's on crate rest, Metacam and Clavamox. Her appetite is completely normal. We're going to start her on UW tread as soon as her sutures come out - she had a really deep laceration to her left wrist (it scraped bone but that won't cause arthritis or anything) and a smaller cut at the bend of her right elbow - and massage.

Tuesday, Feb 2nd: I think she adjusted every vertebra in her back and pelvis area (whiplash). Dr. Herlihy did some research on the type of injury Ruby has. This is the nerve being affected with some info. She definitely saw some progress in Ruby’s gait and the swelling has gone down considerably. She tested her reaction to pain and that was great as well. There’s still swelling over the shoulder area where this nerve attaches to the spine and that’s where she still needs to be adjusted. Hopefully when the swelling goes down she can adjust there and we’ll see even more improvement. I’m hopeful.

Her sutures WERE looking great; she decided she was bored/pissed/a brat/whatever and removed the ones in her wrist while I was running River in class (she was in the car in her crate with her cone on). So after Dr. Herlihy’s treatment (chiro and another laser) we went back to the St Charles ER. Oddly enough the sutures in her elbow were coming undone as well so the vet redid those too. Turns out they weren’t done very well and I’m sure just a couple of tongue swipes from her undid them. I talked with Kris on the way there and she said to have them stitch it back up for sure (we were maybe thinking second intention healing) and wrap it as well since it’s her wrist joint. They put in sutures made of a stretchy material too JIC. She needs to get these out in 10 – 14 days and then UW tread to get her using that leg correctly. She’ll be getting massage from Teri when we go down to Kris’ too. So now Miss Ruby is in her xpen with the cone of shame and the Bite-not collar behind it AND her leg is wrapped. If this doesn’t work she’s going in a straight jacket and I’m getting a ‘script for Valium.

Wednesday, Feb 3rd: I got some news from Dr Herlihy. She finally had time to look at Ruby's xrays. Her elbow is out, the radius to be more exact and she thinks she will be able to adjust it. The problem is that the area she has to apply pressure to is where she has stitches right now. The impact from the car must have hit that and caused some wackiness with her nerves there too but she still thinks it's the Brachial Plexus causing most of the palsy/lameness.

More good news is that she didn't see any tear in her elbow ligaments; they may have just stretched a bit. She really wants me to get her on the UW Tread ASAP so we can get that strong again. Her gait already looks better to me. She's trying to use that limb more correctly and not bringing it out to the side. The elbow still sticks out a bit, like when she's sitting and there is still limping and weakness but when everything gets back into the correct spots I'm sure things will look entirely different. She just looks crooked to me. We go back to Dr. Herlihy tomorrow or Sunday for more laser and if she can some small adjustments.

Saturday, Feb 6th: Her movement has improved a lot. Dr. Herlihy is very impressed and encouraged by her progress. Only laser treatments today as she was still too swollen for any adjustments. She's allowed to go on short leash walks (5 - 10 minutes) a couple times a day. We have to start getting that muscle tone back.

Wednesday, Feb 10th: Ruby had a full adjustment, some pretty major stuff in her upper shoulder/neck area. The sutures in her elbow came out on Tuesday night so Dr. Herlihy was able to adjust a couple of spots in her elbow but not the radius that is out; she wants to wait on that a bit, give it a little more time. Some more laser therapy on her elbow/shoulder area and where she has sutures. I have to keep an eye on her to make sure her gait doesn't get worse instead of better, she did say there was a chance that could happen since the impact can really have an effect on those nerves. She didn't rule out Ruby's return to agility in March but I'm getting ready to pull from those trials if need be.

Thursday, Feb 11th: She was limping a bit in the morning but I wanted to wait and see how she was in the evening - the chiro seemed to have really tired her out and she didn't move a muscle all night. Also trying to keep her to just a walk is difficult, she's feeling better and she was a little excited at the new snow we got last night, she may have overdone it a just a bit.

Now: Thursday evening she seemed much better. Her gait is back to where it was prior to the adjustment but again a little limping this a.m. I've left a message with Dr. Herlihy regarding this but haven't heard back yet. Ruby is scheduled to have an evaluation with Teri next Wednesday (Feb. 17th), a session on underwater treadmill and we'll go over some exercises to do with her. Ruby's sutures in her wrist should come out tomorrow; we have an appointment at 10:30 with the vet in St. Charles.