January 25, 2013

Big swims and tired puppies

Gordy is growing up!  He's from the Arson x Miikka breeding of 2011 and he will be breaking out in the derby in the near future.  He looks just like his dad Arson and has his mom's sense of humor.  We are excited about him.

Darbi coming back with the bird after two VERY big swims today.

Her leg is doing GREAT so far.  I almost can't believe it.  

We've run a few big land tests with her since she had her foot injected and I cringe every morning expecting to see her limping (she's off her Rimadyl) and there has been no limp.

It's remarkable.

Fingers crossed that it keeps up.

The fun today was almost too much for Rip.  He had to crawl into the 4 wheeler for a nap near the end of the day.  I think he's found his new favorite spot.

The weather has been great in Texas and we're having a great time with our crew of dogs.

January 17, 2013

Darbi's Leg

I wrote this post a year ago.


It's about Darbi's daughter Ahti hurting her ankle and how I saw the greatest vet ever - Mr. Wonderful Ortho Vet.

Well...I had a long visit with him again today about Momma D.

As you know, her foot/wrist has been bothering her for some time.

You see, Darbi had a similar injury to Ahti many years ago.  It has developed into mild arthritis in her right foot.

We tried a long term arthritis medication with her this past summer that did NOT work at all.  I "lost my dog" is how I put it.  She was lethargic and a shell of herself.  This is why I think she ran poorly on our Canadian trip last year.  We took her off the med and then put her on Rimadyl.  She's not on it every day and we noticed an improvement right away.

Although her limping was very periodic and mild, I wanted to be sure she was comfortable.

At the recent Canadian National, her limping "broke through" the Rimadyl.  She was quite sore by the 9th and 10th series and I knew then that we had to make a plan.  One couldn't tell (nobody said anything to me) when she was going out for the birds, but I could very much tell as she was coming back to heel and coming out of the holding blinds.

I asked the Luckiest Man Alive if I should retire her in December and his response was "that would be cruel".  I know she's old, but she loves it now more then ever.  We only train her on one set up a day and some days not at all.  We run her on the tests that will keep her mind and her marking sharp and she is thriving on it.  She barks in the truck when we pull in to a trial or training grounds.

So...I called Mr Wonderful Ortho Vet and we went to see him today.

As with Ahti, he didn't need x-rays to assess and diagnose Darbi (although I had them).  He diagnosed her with Seasamoiditis.  Inflammation of the seasamoids in her foot.  She also had pretty large arthritic changes in two toes.

Now this is the kicker...
He told me MANY front leg injuries in Field Trial dogs begin as some sort of change in a dog's foot...or seasamoiditis.  With this a dog will change how they put their foot down and it will lead to problems up and down the leg, like shoulder and elbow problems.

It was such a fascinating hour with him that there is too much to write about what I learned.

Our course of action: we injected Darbi's right foot at the two main points of inflammation with a steroid.
I asked him about Adequan and he said "I could pee in her ear for a week and you'd see the same thing as if we put her on Adequan".  Yes, he actually said that.

He told me to take her off the Rimadyl and that I'd see a big improvement in one or two days.


If the injection doesn't work, they can also inject with cortisone or Hyaluronic Acid...but he thought I'd see improvement with the steroid alone.

I can't wait to see what happens.

I've always said Darbi will tell me when she's ready to retire.  Her heart is not ready yet and I truly believe that her body isn't ready either.  In the near future, one or the other will tell me it's time.

Mr. Wonderful Ortho Vet checked her out head to toe and was amazed at her condition overall.  Great hocks, good ACLs, good elbows and shoulders...everything else checked out A-Okay.

Every day with her is a gift that I cherish.

January 10, 2013

Puppy mark

A gorgeous day training today (for January!).

As the sun was going down, we closed the day with puppy marks for Rip.

January 4, 2013

Warms the heart

We are back in Texas for Winter Trip 2013.

It was cold training today...well, cold to me, but compared to my former home of Alberta, it was downright balmy.

I got a picture today of Ahti and her two "boys".

It really warms my heart.

I just need to find something to warm my feet too.