Monday, October 8, 2012

Optimistic, But Guarded

Seven's appointment with orthopedic specialist, Dr. Corse, went well.  He looked at her x-ray and noted that she indeed did have arthritis in her carpal joint.  He then did a thorough orthopedic exam, but found no pain in the carpal joint.
He said that the carpal joint is a forgiving joint and dogs can have ugly x-rays and show no clinical signs of joint disease.  The truth is that Seven did not develop arthritis two weeks ago.  She probably developed it during her racing days and has since done agility on the affected joint for the last two years without any signs of lameness.
So what caused the lameness over the last couple of weeks?  We do not know. It could be an unrelated injury, but an arthritic joint is more prone to flaring up if it gets tweaked which is easy to do if the individual is living an active lifestyle.
Dr. Corse told me to put her back to work and see what happens.  He needs to see her lame in order to diagnose it.  He did not want to do more x-rays of the wrist because again they just do not mean anything to him if they are not accompanied by clinic signs of the joint also being painful.
He thought keeping her on Adequan, joint supplements, and fish oil for life is a good idea.  He did not think I should scale Seven's training schedule back at all... but I am going to.  Since Wednesday, I have been easing her back into work.  Walked her the first day.  Then an easy half mile gallop on Thursday.  Friday, we walked again.  Then on Saturday evening we did an agility course.  She was sound that night and the next morning.  Yesterday, we just did some obedience training.  So we will see...

I did get one nasty comment about my last post about Seven.  Sometimes a comment is nasty just to be mean, but other times it is a valid misunderstanding and if one person posts it, ten other people are thinking the same thing. Brad, I think your comment was a little of both, but in response, I am allowed to complain.  If your greyhound eats your favorite underwear*, has separation anxiety, or gets cancer, it is okay for you to hate all of those things and still love and appreciate your greyhound.  I would even listen to you complain with a sympathetic ear because I understand things like that can be frustrating, disappointing, and/or sad.

I am not a bad person just because I complained about things that affect whether or not my dogs could "perform". In fact, you disrespect my dogs by suggesting they "perform".  They are not circus animals.  My greyhounds are my partners, my teammates.  Your comment implies that agility is one sided and for my amusement only.  Agility is a dance and mutually beneficial. When we are flawless, the feeling is awesome.  It is addictive, but it is addictive to my hounds also.  Yes, I'm disappointed when one of my hounds retires early, but I will probably live another 50 years and there will be other dogs in my lifetime.  But I am especially saddened that early retirement is a life sentence for the dog.  Seven loves agility and I do not wish to keep her from it for the next 8 years.  To suggest that Seven only needs love is insulting to the clever, busy, hard working, tireless dog that she is.

*The underwear reference was an attempt at humor. Thought I would point it out, Brad, since you missed the humor in my "drama queen" reference.