This post is well overdue.. but honestly, I get sick of blogging about all my dogs' bad health, and this post unfortunately will be no exception.
Firstly, Ink: At the end of the last update, I was taking Ink to see Mark at Murdoch, to try and work out what I have missed that is causing her not to be able to extend comfortably. Mark is a super orthopedic surgeon (the best in Perth, in my opinion), and is also a really nice guy. He examined her from tip to toe, and was concerned about the amount of discomfort she had on hip palpation, esp the L hip. He asked when I had last radiographed her, and it had been a while as I hadnt done her since she was speyed at 14 months (and they were not perfect at the time). He recommended I re-radiograph her hips, and her knees as she was painful on palpation on her fabellas (back of the knee joint). Her front was also tight and uncomfortable (probably soft tissue).
So..I took her into work and our lovely orthopedic surgeon, Jon, anaesthetised and radiographed her hips and knees. Her knees were clean, but to my surprise and disappointment, her hips had deteriorated significantly, especially her L hip. This corresponds to the fact her L stride is always the one that is shorter, and her pain on palpation of muscles around the hip and knee. Mark told me that in his opinion she would not be able to do agility, certainly not at a high level. I had one last try, a vet from Bunbury who had been recommended as being very good with soft tissue manipulation etc as she has not had any benefit from her trigger point therapy. Dr Flip was very nice, and examined and treated Ink thoroughly finding 'lots' of soft tissue issues around her pelvis. Unfortunately, after 2 hour+ long visits, her conclusion was the same as Marks'.. not able to be an agility dog. So...there it is. At age 3 she is having to be retired, I guess. Beyond depressing. I wish herding was an option with her and Shim, but it is too far away from where I live (and too expensive). If anyone reading this wants a dog to play herding with... let me know!
And, just in case you thought that was it.. Shim pulled up very very lame after playing with Terra in the park last weekend. Completely non-weight-bearing, with a very swollen back of her R knee. Didn't seem particularly sore, but clearly she was as she was so lame. My initial diagnosis was a repeat of the gastroc muscle tear she had last year, but I wanted to rule out cruciate ligament rupture as well before I went down that path.. So back to (tolerant) Dr Jon, and another exam (no xrays this time, luckily). He agreed her knee felt stable and also agreed the gastroc was inflammed and swollen. She is still completely non weight bearing, and is being treated with NSAIDs, leash walking/rest and Equissage therapy twice daily on the affected leg which she really likes. I was going to trial her next weekend but obviously she has been scratched from that.. last time it took a good 2 months for her to come right. *sigh*
To try and talk about something positive.. the Red Dog is still lovely and having some nice runs. Dr Flip had a feel of her for me when she was treating the other 2 and thought she felt great, which was so nice to hear after all my woes. She gets a lot of TLC so she will hopefully stay that way.. if I didn't have that dog (or loan for her), I am pretty sure I would no longer be doing agility. We had a good trip up to Geraldton with Karen where she didnt have a lot of clears, but did manage 1/2 in both excellent agility and jumping, both with 1st places overall. We are still working on COLLECTION and turning OVER the bar as opposed to landing THEN turning.. this is a work in progress. She informs me it is so much more fun to just go straight. Her AF is coming along, more work to do there to ensure she can be correct in all scenarios. She is looking consistently nice when the jump is straight and 4m past the AF, but unfortunately it wont be like that every time! Bars, and keeping them UP is still an issue but this is not really a surprise given her forward drive.
Here are some recent runs :