Thursday, February 20, 2014

LaMesa's on Injured Reserve…& We're All Going Crazy

A week ago Wednesday Dally, LaMesa, and I were playing snow tennie. We were enjoying the semi-warm early evening sun, playing around since the sidewalks were still pretty difficult to navigate. After a while I noticed she was holding up her left front leg, but I couldn't tell if it was from excitement of playing (which she does, often) or she was hurt. We continued to play for a few more minutes when I started thinking something wasn't right. So we came inside, where I rubbed her shoulders, stretched her front legs, worked her toes, and did everything I could to get a reaction out of her to see where she was hurting. She never really reacted out of the norm, but I declared us done for the day, gave her half a Traumeel tablet, and kept an eye on her.

Thursday she still wasn't any better, in fact she wasn't putting any weight on that leg, so I called our chiropractor to squeeze in an appointment. I was sure it was a soft tissue injury, but it never hurts to have Dr. Forry take a look at her (plus Dally was due for an adjustment). She was out in a few random spots (lower back) and out in the lower part of her left leg, but Dr. Forry said she had seen quite a few sprains in the same area (front legs) in dogs from running in the snow the past week or so.

Since then, she's been on rest. No tennie, no walks. It's been hard. Unfortunately we didn't do so well with the "rest" this past weekend because we were visiting my parents' farm and LaMesa had too much fun running around in the snow with her Swedish Vallhund uncle, then chasing my dad's "bad kitty" through the living room. In hindsight, we should have brought a crate with us, but we just didn't think about it.

We've been combatting the injury with icing her leg for 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as well as she's been wearing Dally's Back On Track blanket for a few hours every night. Traumeel is a regular staple, and she has been put in a crate when I go to take Dally for a walk (I can't not walk her).

For LaMesa the only positive to this injury
is the extra loving she's been getting from
mom and dad. But being injured is boring!

LaMesa doesn't appreciate the crate while we're out for our walks--you can hear her barking outside on the sidewalk. I even came home one time to see she had pulled the bottom of the crate inside some with her teeth…brat. And this was with a pig ear chewie in her crate (which she tears into with anger).

I'm trying to keep positive that she'll heal just fine and be ready for our first trial of 2014 in mid-March, but I still worry. With rest she's able to put some weight on her leg, though she turns out her toes to compensate for it. But if she walks around too much, she's back to hopping on three legs (which she's surprisingly good and fast at). I'm going to continue with the ice, BOT blanket, Traumeel, and rest for a few more days, and add in some warm compresses as well (thanks to an article Merinda recommended). If she's not showing much improvement by Sunday, I'll call the vet first thing in the morning Monday. I've put off the vet because as a soft tissue injury, I know there's not much they can do for her, but there might be a slight chance it could be something worse, so I don't want to risk it too long.

If you're interested in learning more about sprains in dogs, here are a few articles that Merinda sent to me that are helpful:

Have you dealt with a sprain/strain in your dog? Any tips?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dal-entine & Vall-entine's Day!!!

The Stump Kids got to celebrate Valentine's Day (aka "Dal-entie's Day" or "Vall-entine's Day") a week early with the Bluegrass Barkery's Valentine's Day party last weekend.

Activities included making their own Valentines:

And, of course, a turn in the kissing booth with their (boy)friends, the Brews Brothers:

Stout & LaMesa

Porter, Dally & John (it's a complicated love triangle…)

The girls eve made The Daily Corgi's annual Valentine's Day post: Day Three

Puppy kisses to you this day of love!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Common Courtesy: Shovel Your Sidewalk

This is more of a public service announcement than a blog post today, but I got to thinking I wanted to do a little (harmless) griping while trying to walk my two, stump-legged pups the other evening.
Most of the United States has been hit with winter storm after winter storm. Kentucky is no different. But some times my dogs just don't understand why the "conditions aren't right" for their daily walk. Monday I was able to pay snow tennie with them for a good 30 minutes to wear them out in the deep snow in our backyard--no problem there. Tuesday saw a quick tennie session before I headed to CrossFit with a promise of a walk afterwards, but then the ice storm came. So Wednesday I bundled up and decided we could handle a simple 1.5 mile walk for us to get some fresh air. WRONG.
Now I understand that shoveling isn't fun. Growing up in the country, we rarely shoveled, unless we were trying to make a path for the wheelbarrow at the barn. Most of the time we relied on neighbors with plows and our mechanical snow blower. But now that I live in the suburbs, I've learned the joys of shoveling your driveway, and your sidewalks, and some times your neighbor's place. It's a good workout. And I know some of the older folk can't easily shovel, that's why M and I used to do our old neighbor's driveway all the time in our old neighborhood. But it's just common courtesy to shovel your sidewalk.
If you're already shoveling your driveway, what difference does a couple more minutes make to shovel the sidewalk? 
It's a safety concern for everyone--delivery people, trash people, and your neighbors who have to walk along the side of the road for one reason or another.
Even just one swipe with the shovel can make a big difference
on the sidewalk. It's better than nothing.
There were times, due to the icy snow, that I had to actually pick Dally up and carry her to the next clean area. Sure I got some extra calorie burning there, but it's sad to watch her struggle with her 4" long legs (and "tender toes" as we say) struggle over the messy sidewalks.
It's pretty sad when it's safer/easier to walk my dogs in the middle of the snowplowed streets than the sidewalks. As a runner, I also know how hard it is to run on sidewalks or roads that are not plowed or taken care of.
If you can't physically do the shoveling yourself, I know there are always neighborhood kids looking to earn a couple extra dollars to do so (I was asked by some last week, in fact). Help an entrepreneur out.
OK…stepping off my soap box. You may return to your regularly scheduled blog reading. :-)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stump Kid Link Love 3: Step-In Handlers, Fostering Pets & Healthy Weight

Cold, snowy days mean no training and really short pup walks, so that leaves more time for reading! Again, here's another collection of some good dog-related reads I hope you enjoy as well:

Can Other Handlers Run Your Agility Dog (Agility Fusion): The headline alone caught my attention. I've had Merinda run Dally at a trial once, when I suffered a stress fracture in my foot. It took a little bit, but they were a good team. I think Dally would probably run with a particular few, with good enough treats and time. LaMesa, however…no way. She'd be too busy trying to find me. I've tried to run my friend's Papillon before…and been "Gussed" (meaning he just ran off). It's not easy to run another dog or have someone run your dog. But just the basic obedience so someone can easily just walk our dog is key for any dog.

Top Ten Reasons Why People Foster Corgis (The Daily Corgi): This will tug at your heart strings, but this post has a lot of valid points about fostering a Corgi (or any other dog or cat for that matter). Fostering a pet will not only help save a life, but make yours because you will gain friends and forever connections when your foster is adopted. My one concern would be getting attached way too easily, which I tend to do. But that's why I volunteer at the humane society. Think about it.

Keeping Your Agility Dog's Weight Healthy All Year (Agility Fusion): As a Corgi owner I'm always concerned about Dally's weight…year-round. Winter is always a concern because I feel like we're less active than we usually are during the summer, so I try to do things like walks through the park so the girls can go off leash and run through the tall grass--I call it "cross country training." I also cut back on the girls' kibble and add more veggies in their dinner. I also worry about my weight during the winter, which can affect our performance in agility, so it's important to remember yourself, too.

Hopefully you enjoy these posts! Share a favorite read in the comments below.