Friday, April 29, 2016

Iliopsoas sprain

We had our third appointment with Chimera's awesome new chiropractor today. After his first appointment a couple of months ago, I had seen a huge improvement in his movement and signs of pain. However shortly after the second one he had deteriorated again. I had meant to call them and let them know, but I just dropped the ball. Dr Wallace found that his left shoulder was worse again, but also that he had a new iliopsoas sprain on his back right leg. Thank goodness we caught it early. I read Dr Patricia McConnell's blog and her Border Collie Willie has been having problems with his iliopsoas on and off for years. It can be an awful injury.

She referred me to a nearby clinic that does laser therapy and we made another appointment with her in one month. I got pet insurance for Cai about six months ago and they should cover some of this. It will be my first claim with them, so I'll update here how it goes.

In the meantime, Chimera is on strict rest. He is not allowed to run, jump, or climb stairs. No fetch or retrieve training because he runs to get the object. He will be crated when I am gone, pottied on leash (to stop him from doing his usual sprint back to the door when he's done), and he is banned from getting in the furniture (I will probably have to use tethers a lot to keep him from jumping up). No heeling because he does a beautiful head-up position, which makes him lean back and puts pressure on the iliopsoas. His only exercise will be on leash walks and training that keeps him mostly stationary.

I guess I'll finally work on his stays, and maybe make more progress with matching to sample.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tall grass

Tiny dog + tall grass = adorable

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Chiropractic visits, bucket game

I forgot to update about Chimera's visit to a new canine chiropractor on March 22nd. We saw Dr Wendy Wallace at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital. I was quite impressed by how gentle and attentive Dr Wallace was. She gently ran her hands over Cai's neck, back, shoulders, and hips, and used very subtle pressure to shift things around. He was in so much pain at the base of his neck, at his left shoulder, and at the base of his tail that he growled and tried to snap at her. I had to hold his head still so that she could fix him up. Apparently he could immediately feel the improvement because when she was done, he still presented his back to her and let her pet him.

That night he was already back to his prompt response to cues to sit and lie down. (I only tested them once each!) Over the next three weeks I still only sparingly asked for those behaviors, but he was back to offering his default downs when he wanted something. But within the last week he started getting snippy while I was brushing him. Fortunately yesterday was our recheck.

Dr. Wallace wasn't surprised that he had started regressing, as it was a normal timeline for things to start getting tensed up again after an initial adjustment. Cai was doing better along his neck and above his tail, but still had pain around his shoulders

We had been practicing the Bucket Game in the meantime. I brought Cai's bowl and high value treats to our appointment. Before the doctor came in, I put him up on the exam table and we played the game until she came in. I explained how it work and she immediately took a liking to it. She agreed to wait until he was looking at his bowl before doing any adjustments, and would stop if he looked away. (She had already been this gentle and was watching for stress the first time we came, but she liked that this was an operant behavior that helped him focus.) We did have to put the bowl away and I held his head when she worked on his shoulders. On the bright side, there was less growling and snapping than last time, and I was able to use much less force to keep him still.

She asked us to come back in another 3-4 weeks, but she's booked up for the next 6 weeks! We're on the call list in case someone cancels.