We managed to arrive on time to Buzz's first recheck appointment. Overall it went wonderfully well, except for the initial "Bailey is here for her appointment" scare! Jenny needs to stop scaring me! I only brought one dog, that would have been a problem if I brought the wrong one.
Anyway, Dr. Julia had me on the edge of my seat when she felt him and said "he might be ready for strengthening," but then changed her mind. He's doing VERY well, but he's not doing that well. He had some "spinal manipulations" (aka the MN legal version of chiropractic adjusments) and we were sent home with the same exercises. His exercises are pretty easy and I do them almost religiously. I've also given him all of his oral meds and injections ON time so far. Go me, right? (Having a calendar plastered to the refrigerator helps, a lot.)
So, we continue with the weight shifting (she gave me some tips on being more efficient), bows, and treat stretches. Cross those darn fingers we get to start strengthening (and thus, going less frequently) after this Friday's appointment. (I was hoping we could do a Monday or Wednesday but it seems everyone takes those evening appointments.) I guess Buzz gets to come to watch the NSDTR NATIONALS conformation event with me!
Bailey did 2/3 of her diagonal leg lifts to 30 seconds tonight! I'm still not sure if they count or not though because she was wobbly at first, then recovered. The last was only about 15 seconds, then she started trying to lean on me.
I love to read. I don't read as much as I would like to, and when I do it's mostly girlie stuff (Nora Roberts/JD Robb, and the occasional John Grisham, et al, if it's not a dog book of some sort).
When Eric and I went to Wheels and Wings yesterday (and the day before, in the rain, to watch the truck pull...) we happened upon Motorbooks at just the right time! It was after 3:00PM and thus you could fill a bag with as many books as it would hold, for only $30 (plus tax), a box was $60 but it really did NOT hold twice as much! I was so excited by this because before 3, everything was "just" half price, so 2-3 books equaled $30. We went our separate ways and I grabbed almost every dog book I could, that was not written by Kyra Sundance. (And Eric found a billion books on home repairs, cars, free calendars, mixing drinks, etc!) I came home with some pretty neat books, and some that... well, I wouldn't have paid actual money for!
See Spot Run by Kirsten Cole-MacMurray and Stephanie Nishimoto is first on the list to be read. It looks like fun and actually seems well put together!
Retails for $19.99
Whole Health for happy dogs by Jill Elliot DVM and Kim Bloomer is next on the list. I'm pretty fascinated by what I paged through, and super excited to read it!
Retails for $15.99
The Safe Dog Handbook by Melanie Monteiro, for no reason other than the other two looked more exciting, is third on the list!
Retails for $19.99
Dog Lover's Daily Companion by Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire doesn't appear to be a "read me page for page all the way through" type of book, so I'll probably look at it from time to time unless I find differently! Definitely not something I would have bought under different circumstances.
Retails for $19.99
Bailey had a recheck with Dr. Julia on Friday and I scheduled to bring Buzz along too. We'd never determined the cause of his exercise intolerance, despite a visit to the Cardiologist, and Dr. Enochs was still sure it was a pain response that just wasn't being managed with NSAIDs. Dr. Julia found lots of things out of whack with him and used the word "kittywampus" many times while doing her evaluation and chiropractic adjustments.
The short of the long is that he's an old dog with a changing body. He's in a lot of pain, so her plan is to manage pain--with Adequan injections ($ouch) and Previcox ($ouch2... it's a darn good thing I get discounts at work), increase mobility and then hopefully strengthen! We're also using a drug called Amantadine--believed to work by restoring the balance of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. She noted on his evaluation that there was some delay between stimulus and reaction to stimulus. So we started a regiment of prescription medications (I guess waiting until he's over 12 years old before needing regular prescription medications was nice of him) and have a recheck in one week.
Adequan is one injection subcutaneously every 4 days for 4 sessions, then once a week for 4 sessions... after that we'll see how it goes. She's hoping to get it down to once monthly. Apparently it's licensed for subcutaneous use in felines but not canines, though it appears to work the same. Dr. Julia said something about money being a restriction in their pursuit of FDA approval for SQ use.
Previcox is at half of his "normal" dosage for now, one half tablet every other day. He's been on Previcox before, but it didn't seem to have much effect. It had more than the no-effect-Rimadyl though.
The Amantadine is given once every other day too. She said it will take up to 8 weeks to see results with that medication, so I guess we're in this for the long haul too.
In wonderful news, Bailey's making some great improvements. We have not been cleared for fun activities yet, but she did write "I'll evaluate your request for tracking after our next appointment." She makes me laugh a lot. Bailey and I won't be visiting Dr. Julia again until she can do diagonal leg lifts for 30 seconds, so that's my motivation to keep working with her and get to 30 seconds. We're at about 15 right now, she wants us to shoot for increasing by 5 seconds each week. She's still pretty unbalanced at times and tries to brace herself with a wide stance, so it's been definite work for both of us. I often feel like this would go smoother if I had another set of hands and eyes, but we do what we can.
If I needed more motivation... I get to order a FitPAWS Peanut. I don't think she understands how much trouble my dog is going to have with balancing on something. My dog is not brave, but we can fake a lot of things. I don't think we can fake being brave on a wobbly ball though. That means I'll actually have to train my dog to do something (other than walk on a loose leash), I guess we'll just see how it goes though. The end result will hopefully be Bailey balancing on TWO legs on this peanut ball, that's a darn lofty goal.
I have two old dogs that are working towards being pain free. I love the resources available to me, I just wish Dr. Julia would move closer to me.
Bailey's picture of her on a hatbox is displayed at the Rehab Center. That makes me laugh. So does the fact that Dr. Julia uses words like "kittywampus." I also told her again that the biggest benefit of this whole activity restriction thing is I actually taught Bailey to walk on a loose leash. She thought that was pretty funny, but it's never really been important until now! I couldn't put a GL on her, or an EW, and I couldn't just put her x-back on and let her pull me. I actually had to train her to walk nicely and respond to leash pressure. It was annoying as all get out, but it's a really nice thing to have now. I think that should be a selling point for TC Rehab, don't you?
I read about Steve's rehab and I become semi-motivated to write about Bailey's. Their ups and downs have weirdly coincided. Bailey doesn't see Dr. Julia until NEXT Friday, a whole three weeks since her last appointment. After I got the picture of her sitting on the hat box, I emailed it to Dr. Julia and the reply was "HOORAY!"
I've been not good about doing all of her exercises every single day. She's supposed to be doing paper slides, opposite leg lifting, sits, bows, treat stretches, and quad stretch morning and night. We're supposed to do pivots right and left on the pivot box midday. I usually get at least one set in, sometimes two, and rarely three. I've made a pact with myself that I will get all three in for at least three days starting yesterday. I only did part of tonight's set because she seemed sore from our walk, but that still counts!
I don't think Bailey or I understand the paper slides very well, but we do them as best we can. Dr. Julia showed me how to do Logan Basic last time, to help me help Bailey more, but I can't seem to do it well enough to make a difference.
Rather than sounding like a broken record though, I'm happy to say my pupper is doing well. She's doing so well in fact, I've discussed with her doctor, trying to wean her off Fluoxetine. She's been SO good after the initial stress of lack of exercise and such, that I'm really, really thinking about it. We've had zero incidents at the cabin with being evil to cats and guardy. Creatures are responding to each other when necessary. She's been relaxing nicely out in public... but the real test will come when she's allowed to actually go to classes again (I'm being optimistic here). Until we can evaluate that, she'll remain on it.
My goal from the visit with Dr. Julia? Cleared for tracking practice. Her sacrum has stayed where it needs to be the last two visits. It was "barely" out of place the visit before that. That was my biggest concern. We couldn't build those necessary muscles if the body wasn't staying in the right place.
Improvement. Lots and lots of improvement for the girlie dog and I.