Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shoo-dogs Update

Zac is free! Well, sort of. He was finally released from his treatment at VetHab today. I have lots of homework and he'll go back for regular rechecks, but Dr. Sherman feels that Zac is pretty much healed up. To recap, Zac was injured over a year ago and developed a skip in his gait on his right rear leg. He'd pick it up and carry it now and again. Diagnosed with a probable iliopsoas strain, he mostly recovered over several weeks and was pretty much okay all winter, with just a very occasional skip. Then in April he reinjured it somehow and was again laid up. He got better but never quite back to where he'd been over the winter. I took him to several different vets, specialists, therapists, etc. and never was able to get a good solid diagnosis. I kept getting an "I think it 's probably the iliopsoas" and no good explanation for why it wouldn't heal completely. So in mid-August i took him to Dr. John Sherman at VetHab and he diagnosed him with a chronic gluteal strain and recommended a course of treatment and rehab. Zac began with a shockwave treatment, followed by 3x/week of PT (water treadmill, etc.) for 3 weeks. Then he had a second shockwave treatment and another 3.5 weeks of PT. The idea was to almost reinjure the muscle and then control how it healed back up to avoid the adhesions (broken up by the shockwave) that were causing a chronic problem. I have two more weeks of controlled exercise and PT to do with him at home, and then he gets to go back to work. It's a shame that he'll miss the Edgeworth trial for the second year in a row, with the same injury, as well as the other October trials. But, i should have him ready for Rural Hill in November and the new trial in SC in December. He'll go back for a recheck in 3-4 weeks and I'm sure hoping we get to say goodbye to this injury permanently. We'll have new motto after all of this - "Warm up, warm up, warm up!"

A quick update on the rest of the gang --

Spottie keeps on trucking. I'm trying to get her in better condition since she'll need to take Zac's spot at the trials. She's definitely slowed down a bit at almost 11 years old but she should be able to handle it since she takes pretty good care of herself when she works.

Gael has been having a very good time lately - I've started working her again and she'll be running some in the fall trials (if i feel brave enough!). I'd sworn off running her but she's just so darned much fun to work, and she seems to finally be feeling less tense and worried when she works. She still makes my heart sing with admiration when she's working so sweet, it's a thing of beauty. I may not run her much in trials but i think i'll keep working her. We both enjoy it.

Jet is top dog these days, doing all of the work around the farm and enjoying every minute of it. She's such a good, strong dog and handles everything that comes her way. I'm looking forward to seeing how she does at these fall trials, especially the ones on more difficult wool sheep. She really shines on them and her tendency to pull up short on her outrun doesn't hit us quite as hard in the scores.

Billy is still growing up and has firmly planted himself as a member of the pack. He's such a sweet, sweet dog and i'm looking forward to finishing him out this winter. As strongly as he's bonded to me, i have a feeling he'll give me everything he can with the sheep. Time will tell!

And Bart, well Bart is still here and still bouncing. I swear his name should be Tigger as i've never seen a puppy with more spring to him. That's not a good thing when you're a puppy who has been diagnosed with OCD in one shoulder, so i keep trying to hold him down. He's about due for his next Adequan shot, so that means he's gone about 10 weeks with only one tiny limping episode, this past weekend.

Trial season is upon us! I've been busily packing the camper and making plans, and envisioning straight lines, tight turns and slick shedding. We leave Friday for the Montpelier SDT in Orange, VA. It's held in conjunction with a sheep and wool festival, which is always fun, and many times expensive with the great shopping. The trial itself can be frustrating as the field is small, the hearing not great, and the very dogged hair sheep will probably be uneven from group to group. But it's a chance to get the dogs out and shake off some trial dust, and visit with friends and trial folk. Then next Friday to Sunday is the Edgeworth Open SDT in Gordonsville, VA, at the home of Florence and Tommy Wilson. This is one of our top trials of the year, on a beautiful field with a 600 yard outrun, super wool sheep and stiff competition. The following weekend we travel to Lexington, VA to David Clark's trial. This will be the second year for the trial and it's in a new setting, which looks gorgeous from the pictures I've seen. The sheep will be wool sheep again, Montadales I believe. November brings the Rural Hill SDT in Huntersville, NC and we've been promised fresh wool sheep to run on. Then the new trial in SC in December, on more wool sheep, Texels as i understand it. It's going to be a busy fall!


1sheepdoggal said...

Thats great news about Zac! I like him he's such a sweet boy, (shhhh, dont tell Jet I said so, she knows shes my fave)When are you going to start doing your training articles again? If ya needs some topics, I can suggest one for ya. How about some thing along the lines of inside flanks?? Hint, hint. End of Oct is far away. Have fun at the trial the weekend!

Robin French said...

Thanks! I'm actually working on a training article right now and should have it finished pretty soon. I'll address inside flanks next. And yes, please send topics!

Michelle Bernard said...

Where is the SC Trial?

Robin French said...

Cowpens. Check here

Michelle Bernard said...

Duh! Tnxs.

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion for a topic. How about a standing stop vs. a lie down. How do you decide if a dog can work completely on his feet or if a lie down is necessary.

Anonymous said...

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