Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Highs and Lows

Monday last week (9/17) I took Vegas to see a well-known veterinarian who practices acupuncture and chiropractic and can pretty much diagnose bone and joint pain and injury by feel. Originally I had thought to get x-rays done by our regular veterinary office but decided not to in the end, instead waiting it out to see Dr. Salewski.

So after a chaotic work day and attempts to get out there (Carlton is a teeny, tiny burg nearly an hour from my house and way out in the country.), we arrived about ten minutes before appointment time. His office is in his home and when he let us in, Vegas curiously meandered her way through the house to the office. After talking a bit about what brought us there, Dr. Salewski got hands on to start figuring out what was going on.

During the course of his examination and adjustment, he was surprised a bit with how much "movement" he got in her T2 area. In doing a bit of research so I understand better, the T2 is a part of the thoracic spine. See images below.
Seeing where the T2 is, it makes sense why she's so sensitive to the tunnels. Just try drawing your shoulders together, pushing your chin forward, and "ducking" your neck. Feel your upper back/lower neck area. If you have any discomfort or sore muscles at all, you'll feel it. Something serious, you'll probably flinch. 

From there, he asked about the slight bump in her central spine, about how long it'd been that way. I didn't have a good point of reference....as long as I could remember. I keep her extra lean, just shy of bony to avoid additional strain on her joints with all the activities we do. So long story short, he feels she has a bit of spondylosis going on, which, as I learn, isn't abnormal at all, particularly in giant dogs and giant, active dogs. And it isn't a major thing; we just need to maintain back health. With Vegas, the spondylosis is in a small section of her dorsal/lumbar area of the back. I'll try to get a side profile picture of her at some point soon to show what it looks like. 

Last but not least, she was off in her sacrum area on the right side, enough so that her hip was a bit uneven. So he got her all adjusted and the "big" question: How soon before she will be back up and running/what's the prognosis? Dr. Mike said.... two weeks! WOWZA. That is so not what I expected to hear and I was at once utterly relieved, overwhelmed, surprised, and excited. 

My dear friend, Rachel, came along for the ride and to visit with Dr. Mike. She'd met him a couple times during her veterinary schooling. They chatted a bit more and talked about how else we could treat V. Rachel has offered to do acupuncture on Vegas. She got some more ideas from him on what areas to needle and even doing some V aqua acupuncture using vitamin B. We were told to take it easy on Tuesday, Wednesday to do acupuncture if we could, and by the weekend I could take her out and play agility - not a full trial, mind you, but some practice to see how she'd do. 

Sooooooo, we didn't get to acupuncture Wednesday or the rest of the week. I took her biking a time or two, a romp at the park, and pretty much business as usual after Wednesday. Saturday we went to the barn. Our first time in months and months and months. She did okay. Mostly okay. She had fun and was happy and that was awesome. She took a tunnel a couple times, jumped over one or two, avoided one or two, and took another and I called it good before she tired. She seemed like the a-frame was bothering her - probably from the impact hitting it - as she didn't progress over it smoothly. Instead she stopped at the top, something she just doesn't do. She was a bit slow in the weaves a couple times but was willing to speed up with a lot of encouragement. Perhaps all that was about is getting back into the swing of things. She handled jumps of varying heights well including some bounce jump sets. All in all, good, but also not 100% and a sure sign that she needs a bit more work, healing, and time. 

We have another appointment with Dr. Salewski next Monday. Rachel came over last Sunday for acupuncture and is getting together with us again tomorrow. Our next trial, is still uncertain as is the invitational. I just want her well. One thing I know, her retirement is imminent. I'm not going to risk the long term for the short term. So while I believe she'll heal and be able to finish her two championships, I am not going to push and pursue more. She deserves better and there are lots of other activities we can get involved in - even though agility remains the sport of my heart. 

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