I expressed concern on Tuesday about Buzz's front end. He's been slowing down a bit again, and as I took note of his activity, it became apparent that he wasn't putting full weight on his front end if he could help it. Going down stairs was a "go fast" approach, seemingly to just get it over with. Getting up was increasingly more difficult, because he tried to propel himself from his rear. That's not the easiest task if he's on his side, or a hip. I said I didn't know if it was his carpals (likely, because that's a point he licks after exercise, I've been trying to ice it to see if that makes a difference... so far, no conclusive data) or his shoulders, or another body part up there. Dr. E felt some heat in his left elbow, which was kind of concerning, as his elbows looked great on x-rays in May. The one downside of sending those into OFA is that we can't look at them now. There's a hip xray and a back xray at the vet, but no elbows. I think Dr. E needs a digital xray machine!
One of these days I'll ask for a copy of his acupuncture points, but instead of putting 7 needles across his back, there were only 5 . Instead of 1 needle on each front leg, there were 4. He still put 1 in each rear leg. Last night was also the first time we tried it laying down.
The most effective approach is to feed him while the needles are being put in. This greatly reduces his stress, and makes him jerk away far less. Last time there was no jerking, tonight there was just one, when he put the first into his carpal. Laying down also seemed to relax him more. I feed for about the first four minutes, and by then he seems to relax enough to just wait and be pet for the last four. He's hooked up to electricity for a total of eight minutes. Last night 4 points on his back and 2 points on each front leg were hooked up. I was surprised at how well he did relax. He's always a little edgy after Dr. E turns up the electricity, but it usually fades pretty quickly after we get settled.
I hate trying to be objective in my observations, but I REALLY think that last night's treatment helped him. Can it work that well, or that fast? I don't know! He took the stairs at a NORMAL dog pace today, all three times. He was controlled in his descent.
I do have Vetprofen (generic Rimadyl) for both dogs this weekend. I rotate between Traumeel, Zeel, and a prescription drug depending on activity. My vet and I have discussed this in depth, and we both feel comfortable giving this for trial days. They're old(er) dogs, and it is not on a continual, day-to-day basis, so it is pretty safe. Neither has ever shown a negative side effect to it.
Wish us luck this weekend! Buzz has four runs each day, more than he's had in a while. I need to remember that while secretary duties ARE important, I need to focus on MY DOG when we're warming up and in the ring. I don't usually have an issue with that, but I've never been a trial secretary before. My dog(s) and I are a team, we need to ensure that it's evident.
Obedience and Rally weekend, here we come!
When I do write my testimonial for Dr. E, I'll likely post it here for feedback, so look for it, hopefully soon. I need to collect dates and be more scientific than I am on here though!