Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Training 34

Oh So LAME!
I should probably re-name this post Tuesday Troubles, since the heavy-hitting fact that Marge has come up lame once again on a different leg pretty much overshadows anything else that I'm going to write.  I'm not quite sure what happened.  We went to the beach for an hour on Saturday, but she didn't run around crazily (mostly trotted/loped), didn't climb anything dangerous, and seemed fine afterwards.  Sunday, we barely did anything, except for a short evening run in the field which, unfortunately, was most rudely interrupted by fireworks. UGH.

It's the right front leg this time - my hunch is that she tweaked her shoulder because it was the only thing that even felt a little bit weird to my untrained hands.  She was dead lame Monday morning and wouldn't put any weight on it.  She improved throughout the day and got extremely antsy because she'd been cooped up resting.  This morning, she seemed fine, and looked sound on the two short walks we took, but I'm still hesitant to say that she's 100% because of how bad she was yesterday.  I was completely unsure about what to do regarding agility class tonight, but the thunderstorms decided for me - class has been cancelled.  This is just about the only time I've ever been happy about not having agility.

I'm not concerned about our June trials, which are 3 and 4 weeks away, but I am concerned about the future as a whole - she's not getting injured doing agility (thank goodness), but this is now the second time (March being the first) that she's come up lame like this.  I'm trying to stretch her before agility diligently, and I've very recently started incorporating some strength building exercises that I read on Reactive Champion.  Am I doing something wrong?  Does this kind of thing happen to a lot of dogs?  Could it be diet-related?  Does she need a supplement or special muscle-building exercise regime?


Sounds All Around
I have to admit, the weekend was less than stellar.  More specifically, it was Sunday that was rather noisy.  I took Marge to my Grandma's house, where she promptly heard the beep of the carbon monoxide detector letting us all know that its batteries needed to be changed.  She went into freak mode, started panting, etc.  My Grandma put the damn thing in the back room so Marge wouldn't be bothered by it any more.  But.. I went to the door to call my sister inside (she was visiting with a neighbor) and Marge ran through my feet and walked out the door.  Thankfully, she stopped in the middle of the walkway and I just calmly grabbed her collar... but what a scare.

Marge calmed down enough to enjoy the rest of the visit, but when we got home, we took her for a walk.  Started out nice enough, until, as I said earlier, a succession of pops rang through the air.  She recovered, then they set off more. The walk was doomed at that point.  It was just one of those days where the crap never ends.

Today, we've been having thunderstorms.  On a good note, I can report that Marge is doing much better in terms of thunder.  She had a brief moment where she refused to take kibble, but still took cheese.  We spent some time upstairs in the kitchen playing our conditioning games, but then we went down to the basement, where Marge hung out in her crate.

B-ing Friends Again
We did have one nice encounter over the weekend.  My friend B and I left a party at the same time on Friday night, and he came over to my house (which was literally around the corner from the house we were originally at) to talk and gossip and catch up.  We simply sat outside for a while. I wasn't going to bring Marge out, but right before he left I decided hey, what the hell, let's give it a shot.  I didn't have any treats at all on me, so I was taking a huge gamble.  But, B sat there, his back was turned to her and he didn't look at her, try to pet her.. so.. her reaction was good.  Unbelievably good, actually.  No hackles, no growls, just tail wags AND face kisses.  Thanks again, B, for helping out!

Beach Pics
Since photos of Marge's fuzzy mug make this blog what it is, enjoy these shots from our beach excursion in lieu of the agility update that would have normally come tonight.



23 comments:

LauraK June 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM  

I'm so sorry that Marge is lame again- trust me- I know EXACTLY what you're going through. It's such a scary thing, especially since we don't know what's causing our girls to be lame, but I guess it's something that happens with dogs. It's always in the back of my mind that Riley is going to come up lame again, but in the meantime, I try to be really careful with her and not stress too much!

That's awesome that Marge had a nice time with B! It's always those little victories that brings a smile to my face :) Thanks for sharing. Cute pictures, Marge is such a pretty gal!

giantspeckledchihuahua June 1, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

We don't do agility or anything much here, but Stumpy and moreso, the Berner are always coming up lame. The problem usually works itself out in a day or two and hopefully Marge's will do the same.

All the little stories today show just how far you have brought Marge along. Great job!

Sara June 1, 2010 at 7:17 PM  

I'm so sorry to hear about Marge's leg. How stressed you must have been. I'm glad to hear she is doing better today.

They were firing canons yesterday at the local memorial day parade. That was just great for noise sensitive Misty. This can be a tough time of year for dogs.

Kathy June 1, 2010 at 7:27 PM  

my holistic vet says sometimes there will just be times, especially with younger dogs where they just go through a patch where they are getting hurt over and over and then they just stop getting hurt. Hopefully this is Marges rough patch? Have you had xrays done? What type of supplements is Marge on?
Glad it sounds like it is clearning up fast...but gosh I know that sick in the pit of your stomach feeling-Breeze has got me very familiar with that. I am going to be keeping my fingers crossed and hopefully she will be hundred percent soon.....
gosh it sounds like you had a really rough day... so sorry about that!

houndstooth June 1, 2010 at 7:31 PM  

We haven't had a lot of trouble with lameness in any of our dogs. Even the dogs I grew up with on the farm rarely had problems (except for the tangles one of them often had with a certain horse that occasionally ended up with her getting kicked). How old is Marge? Is it possible that you're starting to see some arthritis in her? I'd be tempted to back off agility with her and try something else for a few months that's easier on her body. Not as a forever kind of thing, but as a chance to see if she does any better. I hope that she's alright again soon.

As far as fireworks and thunderstorms go, have you tried a storm defender cape on her?

Training my Mammoth June 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

Poor Marge! I'm sure it'll work itself out quickly just like last time, but it must be frustrating not knowing the cause.

Layla's the same with smoke detectors. When they beep for low battery, I guess the pitch is just too much and she runs under the bed. She's good with all other noises - thunder, fireworks, sirens (she thinks they're a pack of Malamutes), other kinds of beeps. Just that high pitched one.

It's great that she had such a positive visit with B! I guess that means she's being dominant?

Benny and Lily June 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM  

Oh Marge, maybe you had to big of a weekend....
Benny & Lily

Khyra, Khousin Merdie, And Sometimes Her Mom June 1, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

Yikes!

No experience here to help -

It surely was quite the interesting extended weekend!

Sam June 1, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

Thank you all for your good thoughts.

@Kathy - Marge isn't on ANY supplements right now, which I think has to change. Part of the problem is that I don't know what exactly I'm looking for at all - ingredients, dosages, etc - plus, a product could promise me the world, but I have no prior experience to know what really works and what doesn't.

@houndstooth - I'd back off agility for a bit, but really, our training in agility is pretty light; we go to agility class only once a week and don't run for very long (~10 min spread out over the course of an hour). She has NEVER come up lame following agility; each of these two incidents was a week or more after her previous agility session and neither was linked to an agility trial or anything like that (interestingly enough, both were right after trips to the beach.. hmm). Marge is only three years old.

As for the capes/thundershirts.. I have not tried them, no. I'm perfectly fine conditioning Marge with treats to not fear thunder. She was great today. It's not really a viable option for her firework problems (which are SO much worse) because of how random they are. I can't imagine having her keep the cape on all day because there is the potential for one or two pops at some unknown time. To be honest, she's doing pretty well with the fireworks, too, as long as she's in the house.

I'm starting to look in to a sports vet. A visit might be beneficial so he/she can tell me if there's something I should or shouldn't be doing.

@Amy - yes, Marge is clearly being dominant by licking my friend B's face. Better call in Cesar to alpha roll her and put her in her place, right?

Diana June 1, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

Lets face it, if we walked , ran and jumped without shoes on our feet would be a lot more ouchy. Maybe she just stepped on something that made is sore for a while. That happened to Miley last week. That morning she couldnt put any weigh on her foot and then that afternoon she was fine. Try not to worry to much but I know its hard. ( LOL, listen to me, Im the biggest worrier ) Diana

The Army of Four June 1, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

Sorry to hear you got another owie, Marge! I hope you're 100% most soonest!
Great pix- especially that last one!
Love,
Ammy

Samantha June 2, 2010 at 12:33 AM  

Hi Sam! Oh I'm so sorry Marge is going through this lameness - but glad to hear she was able to hang with your pal without probs.
That's great news! Barbara, my obed. instructor, when I asked her about agility for Sammie, said to be incredibly cautious about injuries for goldens (particularly) because they can go lame so easily. Not sure about Marge, but now know of several doggehs who have developed issues due to the incredible demands of that great sport. And Marge is soooo good at it (and I'm saying that YOU are such a great trainer!). I might have pursued agility myself had I not gotten Barbara's caution...but...I know nothing, really, about it. I just know that I have the ultimate admiration and respect for the dogs who go out and do this amazing sport. I'm praying that Marge recovers... SOON!!! And thanks again for your amazing post yesterday.
Hugs xoxoxo
Sammie and Mom

Jules June 2, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

Bug has injured himself doing everyday stuff too - not performance related. I think if we weren't doing performance we wouldn't worry about it as much.

KB June 2, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

We've experienced similar fleeting incidents of lameness in our dogs over the years. In one of our departed dogs whose lameness was in only one leg, we eventually found out that he had a bone chip that would occasionally lodge in a bad place. We had the chip surgically removed, and he was a running dog until he was around 11 yrs old.

The one who concerns us now is R who had elbow dysplasia surgery when he was 1 yr old. He occasionally pulls up completely lame on that limb and scares the heck out of us. About 90% of the time, we can find something stuck in his paw or a cracked nail that explains it (so always check the paw first). But, there's that 10% of the time when we have no explanation that scares us.

So, I know the feeling of worry. Unfortunately, often you can't really get a diagnosis until things get quite bad with a regular vet. A good orthopod can often figure out the more subtle things but they tend to be expensive.

We do adaquan injections monthly with both of our dogs because we want them to be super active for as long as possible. The injections make a noticeable difference. We also give them fish oil (but a very specific ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 components that I can give you if you're considering this). Clinical trials have shown that lots of this fish oil can make a big difference in joint health.

So sorry about the fireworks. As I listened to the idiots around here shooting their guns over the weekend, I thought of you and hoped for no fireworks in your neck of the woods. I guess that my hoping didn't help...

Crystal June 2, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

Maisy has had a lingering issue with mild lameness on her right front for almost a year. Last time we were in, my (holistic) vet gave her some Ligaplex II, which is supposed to help strengthen muscles. It seems to be working quite well so far... she seems less tender on it, and I haven't noticed the occasional misstep for a week or so now.

I'd definitely consult with a vet before doing anything- I like to get advice before I supplement- but I do like supplements! :)

Channon June 2, 2010 at 10:45 AM  

It's so frustrating when you don't know the root cause. I hope these were two isolated incidents that just happened to happen close together...

Love the photos!

Sugar the Golden Retriever June 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM  

Woof! Woof! reading your post make my mom miss agility classes. Do I miss it? Mmmmm I'm just delighted to junp on park benches. Lameness ... I get it and understand it well. Hope you can visit my blog today n vote for mr to be on TV. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

AC June 2, 2010 at 11:00 AM  

It sounds like Marge is holding it together, despite all the scary noise encounters. I sometimes remind myself to be thrilled that Kona coped with a situation, even if she was still scared. Being relaxed and confident would be nice though =)

I don't have much experience with dog lameness, but my own problems seem to echo what some of your other readers said. I'll have something hurt that doesn't have an obvious cause. Usually, it was just a tweak that goes away on its own. Only occasionally does it come back, and only when it gets really bad can a doctor even guess at the cause.

I don't get too concerned about my own aches unless they reoccur, or knocked me out and don't start to right themselves after a couple days. With that said, I think I'd worry more about Kona than me.

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly June 2, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

We are furry sorry that Marge is having leg problems again. We hope that she feels good again real soon!

Her beach pictures are REALLY furry good!!

Woofs and Kisses!
The Fiesty Three

Ricky the Sheltie June 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

I was sorry to hear about Marge's lameness - but glad to know it already seems better. I don't know about supplements either and was hoping someone would give you some advice that I could also benefit from. Hopefully, though, this is just a minor ouchie and nothing serious!

Never Say Never Greyhounds June 2, 2010 at 1:20 PM  

Check toes. Very common injury in greyhounds. Make sure the toes all look like the mirror image on the left foot. Check for swelling. Very painful, easy to reoccur, and easy to miss if you aren't looking for it. I hope it is nothing.

Lorenza June 2, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

Ouch!
I hope you feel better soon, Marge!
Take care
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Mango June 3, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Well, Marge is an athlete who throws her entire self into all her activities. So a pulled muscle now and then doesn't surprise me.

And you know what? Usually when momma hurts herself it isn't when she is actually doing anything at all, just sleeping funny, or reaching for something, and OUCH! So I bet when Marge does her agilities she is focused on her muscles but then when she if just being goofy she can pull something.

Slobbers,
Mango

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