Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miller is making me down in my back!

Ok so I am wondering when someone is going to massage my back and stretch me out? LOL! I am trying to keep up with all of Miller's therapies and hope I am doing them right. The problem is I am getting very down in my back which will not help me when it is time to run! I have to do range of motion (ROM) stretches on both of his back legs which he absolutely hates. He is getting better and I can tell a big difference in the injured leg versus the non-injured leg but he still is not thrilled at all about doing this exercise. It makes it hard to tell when he is hurting versus when he just doesn't want me messing with his foot and leg. I still can not do abduction with either leg so am just doing flexion and extension and holding for five or so seconds. I do ten of those per leg. I try to massage first on his back in the loin area as he loves that part the most. I will break it up and do 10 minutes per side but he rolls over as he likes it so much so I am not sure if I am getting enough in on each specific side. I really worry that I am not doing things right or that I am hurting him. Tomorrow we get to add in another set of stretches including weight shifting. I am not sure that he is totally pain free so am not comfortable moving into full out stretches until the PT sees him on monday and lets me know he is ready. I still haven't found someone local to do ultrasound on him so I need to get on that. We added in a 10 minute walk today and hope to get that in tomorrow as well. He seems very happy to be getting so much attention and truly loves the massage part. I am really looking forward to taking him back to the PT to see if we have made any progress. Then I will probably have to head to the chiropractor before we head out to AZ. I am so ready for mom to be here because she really has the touch that miller loves. I have had to get tony involved too in the stretches as one has to be done 10 reps 5 times a day. Each rep consists of a bend to left hip, right hip, left back toe, right back toe and each of these stretches are 10-15 seconds. This is what is killing my back. Tony tried doing the stretches sitting down but my arms aren't long enough so I will probably have to remain standing.

My fear is that I am not doing enough or not doing something right. I hope Miller is going to be okay since we have made the commitment to go to AZ for sure now. I really, really don't want to go all of that way for him to come up lame on the very first run. I notice things now that I never noticed before about the way he walks or the way he jumps on the couch or the bed that probably was there before but I wasn't looking good enough. I feel like I over analyze every little thing that he does. I hope this isn't the beginning of Miller being constantly having little nagging injuries. I know I need a better warm up and cool down routine for him so will be working more on that. Miller stresses up so I try and not do too much jumping and getting him riled up because he does that on his own. We are going to have to change that somehow and get him more warm and limber. I currently just walk him around about 5 or 6 dogs before we are suppose to go in but that is not enough. I am hoping the PT can help me to plan out a good warm up and cool down that will warm his body up but will not send him over the edge.

Okay, have written enough for now. Need to go get ready for another night of metal!!!!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Miller update from KC part two

Okay sorry I didn't get an update done last night. We worked on miller last night and then I had to work with the puppy. I am going to be one busy person! The other dogs can't seem to understand why Miller is getting so much special attention. I try and take him upstairs and put him on the bed and he seems to be the happiest there. We are currently doing ROM on both of his hips and using cookies to have him bend and flex to his hips and to his hock. I am SO sore though! I only did one session with him last night and man my back is not happy at all! I need a massage for sure! He LOVES the massage part but will really fight me on the ROM part.

Okay so here is the lowdown. Got to KC an hour before my appointment but that is fine. The weather was completely crappy and I wanted to be able to drive 50 mph if I wanted to and I did some because of the rain. The clinic was super nice and fancy, really up to date and clean. Receptionists weren't the nicest and kind of got sick listening to them answer the phone with a frown on their face but whatever. Got to go back and meet Dr. Shulte and went over the time line of events. She went over him a little and watched his videos. Then Dr. Wilson, the orthopediest came in and went over him. He was super nice and I really, really liked him (really cute too). He ruled out miller's back, knees, hips, and spine. He also looked at Miller's x-rays and said they were beautiful! BUT, he didn't know what the heck was going on at all. Dr. Shulte showed him what she thought was wrong, his left ileopsoas (groin muscle) and they did find something on the x-ray that concurred with this diagnosis (i didn't see it but i am not a vet). She did alot of work on his neck as it was screwy too and then did lots of stretching and ROM exercises with him. We did ultrasound on his ileopsoas, and then showed me all of the exercises that I needed to do for him every day. Let me tell you, the list is very daunting so I am trying to get them all done and they add on every 2-3 days. The problem is they didn't exactly say that I could go to nationals but they didn't tell me I couldn't. Dr. Shulte said that it would set his healing back and that he wouldn't run up to his normal self but we should be able to manage his injury and then attack it full force when we got back. He is currently on a muscle relaxer for five days and two natural anti-inflammatories. We are going to have to make our trip down 3 days instead of 2 which is better for mom and I for sure.

I am happy but cautious. I don't know why, maybe because I have had so many different diagnoses? I just have this nagging feeling that we aren't there or that we are missing something but I do trust Dr. Shulte and boy do i know how long injuries take to heal. This week is probably the first pain free week I have had in a very long time and I was injured back in August. I just hope that what we do gets him fixed and that we don't fight this for the rest of his career but I am afraid we might. He is very happy right now so I know what we are doing is helping. I just need to let it go and go on and be happy that we are getting to go and run. This will probably be his last USDAA nationals as he turns 11 in 2010 and I don't know if I want to drag him to all of those extra shows and run him in every class. We only have 2 local USDAA shows so everywhere else we go has to be either in Chicago or MN or CO. It would be nice to cut back on USDAA but I LOVE it so! I feel like it is more challenging than AKC and I love the strategy involved. Okay so I need to get in the shower! More later!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Miller's specialist appointment

Okay so this is going to be quick and I will update it later. We are heading out at 8 am for our appointment at Mission Med Vet. I have miller's bloodwork and x-rays just in case. Of course the weather is super crappy and I HATE driving in rain so this may take forever. I will update as soon as I have news. There has been a report that a fellow competitor is coming to the show that has a dog with Lepto so I am fairly nervous about going now. Even if miller is vaccinated, who knows what serovar this dog is carrying and shedding. Also I had planned on taking the puppy and may have to leave him home with daddy. From what I am hearing, USDAA is saying they don't care, not their problem but enough people go forward and complain, maybe they will make it their problem. I have heard that people are going to boycott. The really bad thing is that it can affect people too so I am worried about mom getting exposed to something as well. URGH! Anyway, going to get dressed and head out into the raining mess!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another update on miller

Okay so I took Miller to my vet and had him gone over for his referral and we decided to do hip x-rays. Hip x-rays and blood work all came back normal so we are now trying to figure out what direction to go in. We were having trouble getting into any of the specialists at KSU and I had a friend who suggested that we try Mission Med Vet in Kansas City. I called and the PT called me back and we are heading over there Thursday October 29th. I went into great detail about the time line of injury and what had happened and she said tentatively it sounds like the ilieopsoas muscle. Now I know this is a popular diagnosis right now, especially in agility dogs but it makes sense, especially what is written up in literature. If it is this injury, we will have to rest miller quite a while and try stretching, icing, and heat to combat the injury. That would mean no nationals and no agility probably until January. I am at peace with this decision and will rest him as long as I need to so that he can come back and be competitive again. I feel like he still has a couple of good years of competing left in him if we can get him over this.

Now to the touchy feely part of this. I have been basically told I am being negative and giving up too soon about nationals. Well, here is my response to this. First of all, I have been working for a solid year on getting him qualified for every event at nationals. To imply that i am giving up after I worked so hard to get him in to the big show is like a slap in my face. I have been trying so hard to keep my emotions out of the decisions I am making for him and trying to keep myself out of the pity pool I so desperately want to drown in. I want to run him, I want to go, I want to win, but what good is it to have these feelings if he isn't sound. What sense does it make for me to go 22 hours and hope that he can perform or that I can get a few good runs out of him when I could be doing more damage to him. He is 1o years old and injuries are going to affect him differently now and are going to take a heck of a lot longer to heal. I am not rushing into any decision but I am being realistic here. I am trying my damndest to get him to every vet and specialist I can so that we do have a diagnosis and we can fix this, no matter how long it takes. For someone to imply and I mean imply that I am not doing all I can really, really hurts. I hope I don't ever make my friends feel as shitty as some people have made me feel about this whole situation. I am doing everything I can in my power short of selling my soul to the devil to figure out what is wrong and fix it. I have said over and over again that I will not make a decision as far as nationals goes until I know what is wrong. Then me, my vet, and whatever specialist I am working with will make that decision. Rest assured it won't be made lightly. I hope that everyone can understand this and if you can't, i am sorry that you have your head so far up your own butt that you can't see this. I am being selfish here because this will directly affect my teammate and having gone through this last year, truly, truly hate it for her. I am thinking about my dog and his career and his longevity. If that is wrong, then whoever has issues with this should put themselves in my shoes and walk a mile. Everyone in this sport has had a dog with an injury at some point and has had to make decisions just like this one so I know this isn't a new thing for people to understand or deal with. I say to them, think about how you felt when your dog was injured?

Okay I feel better now. Part of the problem with all of this is that I do blog and I do facebook about his issues and what I am doing so I get lots of comments. I need to just pull back and not tell people I guess. I think they are probably saying things that they think what is best for me but all it is doing is really hurting my feelings and really making me mad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Miller update

So i took Miller to the chiropractor yesterday. He watched him walk alot and said he looked alot more lame than the last two times (he seems better to me) he saw him. Worked on him for a while and of course adjusted different things which is good, not the same adjustment every time. The other vet Dr. S did some chinese medicine with him and some acupuncture on his knee. Not sure why they think it is in his knee as they don't think it is ligament or joint but they don't know what it is. I called my vet last night and we talked for a long time and he is going to call some vets up at KSU today and see what they can figure out that we need to do diagnostic wise. He was throwing around words like MRI or CT-Scan and I was about to pass out! Those cost a ton of money to do! At this point, nationals is not in the picture at all and we might be taking at least 2 months off, if not more. Dr. J, my vet, also knows someone that has a nice clinic in Mission KS that could do some work on him as well. It would be great if I could get him in at KSU and do some physical therapy there. If it is a soft tissue injury, we need to be doing PT right now. I can attest to how much soft tissue injuries suck and am still battling mine! I will do everything in my power to fix him and get him better so this may be a very long and interesting journey.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wanted to update everyone on Miller's back. I talked about it on my puppy blog but needed to update things here. I took Miller back to the chiropractor after week off. He seemed okay and did a course fine so we were very hopeful he would be ready for the KCGRC show (this weekend). We had class like normal and he started out great. Unfortunately, 4 or so runs into class, he came off of the line silent and was favoring his hind end again. I decided to not run him anymore and cool him out. He was really off and I knew in my heart this weekend's show was a no go. I tried to call Dr. Perkins who is a miracle worker, but she was out till next tuesday. I tried to call Dr. G, the chiropractor I have been using since he is local but he wasn't in. I have an appointment on Monday but also want to see if we can do acupuncture and maybe some chinese medicine too while I am there. I will call first thing monday morning as well to make sure I can get everything I want for him to get. I also called an animal communictor. I had heard that they were good about telling you where the hurt is so I thought, what would it hurt? Even if it is all false, at least it would be entertaining!

The lady I contacted is in Manhattan and came highly recommended. She first had us do some deep breathing and then she started. She did ask how old he was and what breed and his name and then she told me he was red. Okay, lucky guess? Even if she knew aussies came in red, they also come in red tri, blue merle, red merle, and black tri with blue merles and black tris being way more popular. Anyway, I did tell her that he was off but we didn't know where and she told me that he had arthritis in his hips and wanted an x-ray to show me. Okay, he probably has some arthritis, he is 10 so this could just be a generalization. She also told me he had something that we could diagnose with a blood test and it comes and goes and can be treated by antibiotics. Interesting for sure! She also told me something was wrong with her throat and at that time, he choked on his rawhide he was chewing on. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. She also told me he thought of himself as star, as Michael Jackson. Okay, I would prefer Michael Jordan but whatever. She did ask the ages of the other dogs and said berry was a female and was the rock of the family (true), and that harley was called a female alot (true, was called a female today). She also said the puppy is so excited to be doing agility (could have figured that out from the fact that all of our dogs do or have done agility). She also asked if I dressed the dogs up and I usually do for halloween and she said the puppy really wanted his own costume the is year (wasn't planning on doing that this year). All in all, very intriguing and maybe right, who knows. Cried a couple of times (she says he has been telling me he was in pain), told him that I loved him and didn't care what we did that he has given me everything and more and all I want for him is to be healthy and happy, even if he never does agility again.

The next step for miller is going to be another chiropractic assessment on monday with hopefully some acupuncture. I am going to rest him till probably the week before nationals and then try to work him and see how he does. I am not driving all the way to AZ for him to come up lame so want to be dead sure he is okay before we get in that car. Maybe do a few runs at the local NADAC trial the weekend of halloween to see how he is. I really, really want to go to nationals this year since I think this will probably be his last. I am keeping my finger's crossed, doing some healing prayers, and taking him to every available vet I can to get him better. I will do whatever it takes to get him back good, even if that means missing nationals and taking a few months off from agility. I will sorely miss it but we are still teaching and you never know when there might be someone there that needs me to run their dog.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Miller's back

Thought I would update my faithful readers on miller's situation. Basically, he needed a big adjustment in his back and pelvis. I am hoping this is all that is wrong, but he was not ouchy on any muscle or any joint so we ruled out alot, just didn't rule in any one thing in. We were there for over an hour adjusting so I know he feels better. My normal vet also gave me some deramaxx just in case and told me to give him one a day for a few days. I decided not to walk the past couple of days but may take him out this afternoon if he feels like it. It is so hard because he doesn't show any obvious signs of being hurt till he actually starts running a course. My fear is we are going to do all of this waiting and then sunday when we get to do a course, he is going to come up lame again and we are going to be back to square one. I don't know why I can't be happy with the diagnosis other than I just hate not knowing exactly what is going on. Lori had a good point and I am trying to remember it. She said that when they get to miller's age, the little things start bothering them alot more. I am hoping she is right and this is just a little thing. I am not ready to retire him for sure!

Here is the video of his last run:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GlOC weekend

I guess I should have known this might not be a good weekend. I should have known when we were having 40 mph wind gusts that things might not be good. Ended up leaving super early as I was really worried about the wind and of course the big grain trucks on two lane highways since it is harvest time. Got to the site super early and got unloaded and set up. I think I was the third person in there to set up as the place was pretty much empty when I got there. Went to the hotel and got checked in, no problems and headed back to the show site. Our first run of the day was standard and the course was pretty much straight forward. The judge was kind of odd, never had him before so didn't know what to expect. His briefings were very long and detailed and he made a point to let us know that he kind of thought we were backwards since we didn't have electronic timing. He mentioned several times that he ran fast border collies, so many times that i think I gagged a couple of times. To make a point here, we do have electronic timing in our area and the man that invented it is from our area. This club just can't/doesn't want to purchase electronic timers which isn't out fault. Anyway, ran harley first since Tony was at work and boy did we muck it up. Tony is still undecided about what he wants in the way of contacts (i prefer 2 on 2 off) so he told me to let harley do whatever. Well, that is exactly what harley did! In fact he did his best superman impression on a couple of contacts and even jumped off of the teeter again (this is becoming a habit for him). I was told to let him so through gritted teeth, I continued to run. Harley and I are out of sync so it was a "hot mess" as sara pointed out to me. I had to run Miller next so got him out and warmed him up like normal. Got on the line and started out and Miller took off silently. Weird, I thought, but whatever, he has been running silently in class too. About four obstacles in, I heard him make a yelping noise and as I sent him up the a-frame, I noticed he was three legged lame. I had him come down and stopped the run. Of course the judge said he thought he injured his neck and the timer said she saw him stub his toe, and someone else thought it was his back. He walked back to the crate fine and I walked him out and had several people look at him. Nothing was very obvious, he wasn't ouchy in any areas so I put him up and decided maybe it was a cramp or he had stepped on a rock, as there were lots of rocks in the dirt. Got him out before jumpers and put him over the practice jump and it was very clear that something was not right. He wasn't driving to the jump and was either stuttering or refusing to jump it. I decided that it wasn't worth it so put him up and ran harley. Harley had a better run, only taking a bar down and having one wrong course. I took Miller back to the hotel and really went over him with a fine tooth comb and could find nothing wrong. Decided that maybe he would just benefit from a rest.

Saturday, I got Miller out and warmed him up as usual. He seemed to be okay, was barking at me and carrying on as usual and jumping normally. Decided to run him and see how things went. He started out slow but okay, barking his head off. Got about half way through the course and I noticed his bark changed. He refused a jump so I quit. I didn't want to run him if he was hurt. The pain seemed to be in his back leg and it was evident by the video, but he wasn't sore on touch or manipulation and didn't have heat in the leg that he seemed to be favoring. There was a masseuse there so I took him to her, but she did "sports massages" which he loved but i don't think really could have pointed out soreness. He didn't seem ouchy on anything she went over and really seemed to enjoy her touch which is very weird for him. He is usually very weird about strangers touching him. Scratched him from jumpers and decided to scratch him for the rest of the weekend. This morning he seemed a little stiff and didn't really want to jump in the crate in the car. Other than that, seems fine which is so weird.

Am so worried about him and not sure what to do. Am going to make an appointment for as soon as possible to see what is going on. Will probably go to my topeka chiro first since he is close. If he can't find anything, will head to Dr. Perkins in KC. We have less than a month before USDAA nationals so need him to be okay by then. Have two trials coming up before that but will pull him if I need to. Can't get my money back for the one in two weeks but could probably get my money back for the one at the end of the month. I don't want to prematurely pull him though so may just have to loose my money on that one too. He is a very stoic dog and a very laid back dog so crate rest is no problem for him. He would rather be in a crate than be out. I can also sleep downstairs so he doesn't have to climb stairs. I guess the chiro will probably help me make decisions. No more walking in the am or pm, and i know that will really confuse him. I just hope this isn't something that is career ending. He is 10 so any type of major surgery is going to be hard decision. Hope he is just off in his back as he does have a part of his back that needs to be adjusted alot. I will do whatever it takes to get him back. I am not ready to retire him and have so many plans for us as a team.

As for the weekend, Harley had great jumpers runs, with one bar or one mistake each run but both runs very controlled and very nice. Tony and Harley are really getting so close to getting back to qualifying. Standard is a disaster. Until there is some consistency in contacts, they are just going to get worse and worse.