After another consultation, and a negative 4DX (hoping against all hope it would be an “easy fix”), we decided to pursue acupuncture. I have to say I was very skeptical. Chiropractic hadn’t worked for him, as he wasn’t holding his adjustments. Massage only worked for a short period of time. I was out of other options though, and couldn’t just stand by and watch him suffer.
Below are excerpts from notes I have written, documenting his progress.
October 15, 2009
We are going on day five of Buzz feeling really good. He had his first acupuncture treatment a week ago Tuesday and his second was this Wednesday.
Monday he willingly stood up on his rear legs and tried to steal food. I was not mad at all, quite happy in fact. The spondylosis has affected his whole rear end. He lost a lot of muscle mass and he couldn't really extend his rear legs. Standing up on his hind legs definitely extended his rear legs.
After his appointment on Wednesday, we went for a short hike in the park… At the park he seemed to be stretching out his legs and back a lot. His relaxed stance was a stack, a stretched out stack.
He didn't just end up in it; it was relaxing and felt good!
November 11, 2009
He ran, for more than a couple of steps, for the first time in over three months!
November 25, 2009
Buzz and I walked four miles last night. Mostly trotting for him, at varying paces, we walked about 1/4 of it, and threw in some cantering for good measure. He's still not moving at a canter for long periods of time, but it is improvement!
No real signs of soreness, stiffness, or pain today!
February 4, 2010
We showed off that he can now sit up on his haunches and can almost transition to standing up on just his feet. It is very obvious that he has little to no pain, and a lot of muscle now! I mentioned that I think he has pain in his front end too. It was likely there the whole time, but I didn’t notice, because his rear end was so obvious. Buzz received acupuncture with electricity on his front end.
February 6 & 7, 2010
We attended a two day Rally-Obedience trial. He was entered in four runs each day, and I was prepared to scratch him if necessary. He showed his heart out for me, and achieved a milestone I never thought was possible after watching him deteriorate so much. Buzz earned his last four Double Qualifying rounds, with scores above 190, to earn his APDT Rally Champion, ARCH. He worked beautifully all weekend for me. This never would have been possible if not for acupuncture. I really don’t want to think about where we would be today without it, and thankfully, I don’t have to.
Together we’ve now overcome two major issues in the last two years. We didn’t let his deafness stop us, and spondylosis didn’t stop us either. He’s not ready to retire completely yet, so we’ll continue to play the games he loves, at a slightly slower, semi-retirement, pace.