Thursday, February 07, 2008

Muscle pull update!

Lots of good folks have been asking how my recovery is going. Thanks all for all your good wishes, means a lot! And I'm not doing too bad I must say...

I visited with a soft tissue specialists on Tuesday. Shereen D. Farber, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, is her name. She has her Ph.D. in Comparative Anatomy and Neurobiology, has been working on two and four-leggers for years, has written several books and is a really nice person.

She worked on me for over an hour, all the time showing Mum what exercises and stretching she needs to do with me at home. Here's a vid of some of the specific exercises she gave Mum and me for my iliopsoas muscle.

Doc Farber really doesn't think I have a strain or tear now. I may have had a very slight tear three weeks ago when it happened. But she credited my Mum, and my Doc (Aunt) Bonnie for helping me recover to this point. Now she thinks I just have a very minor pull. And that I will most probably be able to do the Silvia Trkman seminar on the 20th and 21st that Mum and I are soooo looking forward to. I may have just a little restricted activity there and will not be able to overdo, but I'll be able to do a lot more than we thought a week ago.

She also indicated that I had some (I think she said) scar tissue build up in my left front shoulder from an old injury and that it was not moving and flexing properly. She worked on that spot a lot too and gave Mum exercises for that part of my body. It's very possible that I've been compensating for that shoulder for a long time - and that's why my neck hurts some. She also said that because of my structure - my bum slopes down a lot - that I will have to be very good about warming up more before any major activity. Because my bum slopes so, I don't 'stack' quite correctly, naturally; and don't extend my back legs like my sis Gracie does. And I may always have problems there if I don't pay strict attention.

Doc Farber told Mum that I should tell her what I want and do not want to do in the way of activity going forward - follow my lead so to speak; since I'm pretty in touch with what I can tolerate (accept on the agility course and when chasing birds, of course).

I wasn't feeling well the day before or the day that I visited with Doc Farber. My breath was smelling pretty bad, so Mum knew that I had a tummy ache. She thought it was from the Traumeel. So she took me off that and started using the cream instead. And she gave me some Acetylator (since we didn't have any yogurt in the fridge) and I felt a lot better.

But today is wonderful! Mum has been doing all the exercises with me three times a day. I had a really nice rest today...and this afternoon I am nearly acting all back to my normal self. Even did just a little zoomies with Gracie this afternoon.

So Mum and I are on the Internet tonight looking for a treadmill for me. Yep, you heard me a treadmill. The weather is so horrible with the rain, snow, cold, and wind that we just can't get in enough exercise. And I really need to keep up with my endurance training to keep fit for agility - especially in the cold.

We came across another good article for those of you interested in reading more about the iliopsoas muscle and injuries to that muscle in dogs:

One of the most common muscle injuries in a dog: By Daniel Beatty, DVM


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better, and hope you have a speedy recovery to 100%!
    Do you have a recc for a vet in the Indy area? My mom feels kind of bad that I've been doing agility for almost 2 years, and my mom has never gotten my structure checked out besides at my annual check-up. Mom would really like to go to someone who has a lot of experience with performance dogs--someone who can tell her about weaknesses in my structure or musculature that she needs to watch out for!



  2. Glad your recovery is going well Johann. Cassidy has a poorly leg, she's off to the vet again today.

    Toodle pip
    Harry x

  3. Hey Heloise! Email me at with your email address, we can give you a couple of great resources!

    Harry! Poor Cassidy, we are on our way to visit...

  4. Johann, It's good to hear that you are nearly your old self. Tell your mum thanks for the link to the article on that common injury. It's an informative addition to the postings you've done on how to stretch.

    Does your mum know whether it's okay for dogs with a long spine to do the 'sit up and beg' stretch? Penny is rather long - not as long as a dachshund, though.

  5. Sit up and beg (or sit pretty, some call it) is actually one of the main exercises that Sheree recommended I do to build up the muscles, back there...

    But for your individual case, I would recommend you ask your professional, especially if there is tenderness, rehab or injury involved.

    Sorry to be vague, but I sure wouldn't want any pup to hurt!

  6. Glad you're on the mend Johann.
    We have some awards waiting for you at

    Abby & Rosie

  7. Hi Johann. SO pleased to hear you're getting better - and that you'll get to your seminar after all. You're lucky to have such a devoted Mum!

    And it's interesting to heat that sit up & beg is actually a good exercise! Jake will be delighted, it's one of his favourite attention-getting behaviours.
    All the best, Gus n Jake

  8. I am glad you are feeling a bit better. You must have a wonderful mom! It sounds like she takes super good care of you.

  9. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Where are you going to the Silvia Turkman seminar? Some friends around here are going too.


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