Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Strategy

Riley has been mostly fine since her mysterious, but very painful, two-day lameness two weeks ago.  Of course, she was fine when we arrived at the vet on the third day.  Since I had no idea what I was dealing with, I went ahead and stressed the foot to see if we could determine what it was..... or just get lucky and never see it again. 

The first day I took Riley jogging and we ended up going three miles with no problems.  The next day, I tried a little agility.  She was still sound so we did more agility.  The session ended up being a fairly vigorous training workout.  Of course, Riley is a high energy greyhound.  A three mile jog one day and agility the next does nothing to curb her energy level.  She really needed to run so I closed my eyes and let her do her laps.  She was still sound.

Well, the next day we were headed to another agility trial and I was hoping I might actually get to compete her.  On the first day (Friday), I warmed Riley up with one hour of walking.  I decided I better let her run a little so I put her in a stay, ran to the other side of the field, and released her.  She caught up to me and then did several spins before I recalled her out of her craziness.  And dang it!  I saw a couple of funny steps.  She was then immediately fine again, but Riley appeared to have pain when I flexed her foot like this:
So I pulled Riley from the trial all three days.  It was again very disappointing.  Other than the trial at the beginning of January, Riley and I have not competed since last May (due to sprained toe and then hock fracture).

I took Riley back to the vet the following Monday.  Again, she was fine, but our working diagnosis is this.  We do not think there is a foreign body leftover from the puncture that happened in mid-December, but we believe the puncture did some damage to the toe/metatarsal joint. The 2nd knuckle from the outside is definitely larger (I am pointing to it in the picture below). The outside toe also appears to be slightly splayed out more than it used to.  Maybe something connective is torn in there.
I am going to restrict her to leash walking for 4 to 6 weeks and treat her with K-laser (cold laser). Then we will see what happens from there.