One step at a time…

Trip at Rocky Mountain National Park

Whew, it’s been a busy few weeks. I just spent 10 days in Colorado for sessions I and II of the Medical Acupuncture for Veterinarians course. By the end of April, I will be a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. It’s very exciting, and was so neat to learn the different things that acupuncture can help with. I can’t wait to help my patients with it–I think it’s going to be a great adjunct for pain management in the practice. I’m also looking into laser therapy as well.

Trip has been my first guinea pig. She ran well at the USDAA trial before Colorado, including in her day of “jumpers” type runs. Maybe a bit off, but the courses weren’t really conducive to opening up, so hard to judge. Her dogwalk contact is definitely off–that’s what not practicing a running dogwalk for 2 months will get you. Definitely have to polish that up before Nationals… Anyway, Trip made the trip with me to Colorado, and I was able to have a couple of different AP/rehab vets look at her. While there, she seemed to have a lot of pain in her neck/shoulder region, as well as abnormal neuro reflexes. So, I made an appointment with a local neurologist, and we had that visit yesterday. At that visit, Trip had NO abnormal neuro signs–only significant finding was pain on palpation of her cranial cervical vertebrae–she actually vocalized, and it was repeatable. So, possibilities are disc disease, soft tissue injury… MRI is the next step. I’m going to hold off on that for now, and try to focus on medical management and getting her ready for Nationals. She is really not a surgical candidate if she did have disc disease, which in my mind is worst case scenario–she is too “normal” to risk making her worse with surgery. So if she did have a disc, I would do what I’m doing anyway… e-stim acupuncture on her neck/shoulder region 2-3x/week. The medications she is already on, though we’re tweaking them a bit. Continue strengthening/rehab type exercises (I think I see improved muscle tone in her rear legs already). And train her like normal, and see how she does. So THAT is the current plan. Trip is doing GREAT with acupuncture at home, though the more I do it the more I’m sure shaving her will start to look like a good idea 🙂

Ticket also ran well at USDAA–earning several legs, but still needing ONE Starters Jumpers for her AD. She did the table without a refusal both days, as well as the one day of AKC when I got home from Colorado. So eating and lots of rewards coming from the table seems to be helping. She was NOT happy to be left home, and she’s definitely not used to hanging out in a crate all day (she usually comes to work with me). I have it on good authority that she was losing her mind. All the rain did not help, since it kept her cooped up and prevented even chasing the tennis ball as an outlet. Poor Ticky, she’s happy her mom’s home (both of them) 🙂

I did a decent job of continuing my fitness plan in Colorado. I went hiking for two of the days I was there, including one brutal hike in the snow with elevation changes. Definitely underestimated the difficulty of snow–even Trip thought I was nuts. I think that particular hike might have contributed to some of the pain she had on exam. I also continued C25K while I was there. I was concerned the altitude would be an issue, but no problems. I’ve got one more day left of Week 5 to do this week–it’s definitely getting harder. Will have to continue the cardio and trying to watch what I eat, but I admit it does feel good to be running again. Weekends are the hardest–with dog shows, it’s hard to get motivated to run when you’re exhausted, so I’m definitely focused on getting my 3 runs in during the “work” week.

The girls and I are headed back to LA this weekend–one of my favorite shows in New Iberia. It’s a teeny, one ring, one judge show, where we always have a good time, good food, and I get to see lots of good friends. The Triplettes will all be together again, so hopefully we will get some updated family pics of the now 2-year olds. Trip will be running–I scratched her last weekend, but I’m hopeful she’s feeling good this weekend. Ticket, well, I just hope she has some standard legs in her. Can’t wait!

Thing it won't be THIS cold in LA...

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