Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Our trip to UT!

Wanted to update you on our trip to UT a week or so ago.

My first run of the trial was so pawsome, but after that first run I started refusing jumps and not bouncing in my weaves like I do when I'm feeling good. So Mum wanted to get me checked out.

We headed up to Knoxville Monday last arriving at about 9:00 AM. Rainy day, actually lots of downpours. And around these mountains lots of run off that was kind of a knuckle biter for Mum. But we got there safe and sound, just in time for my appointment.

Dr. D got me up on the table and started by listening to my heart...I think she listened for over five minutes! Got Mum kind of worried, but she assured us she was just be very thorough.

Then she started poking on me...she checked my toes, my paws, my leg joints and muscles. Then she started from my head and poked on me all the way down the the tip of my tail.

After poking on me for over an hour, she asked Mum to show her our warm up and cool down routine that we go through before extreme exercise, like running agility. Mum went through my warm up; everything from my trotting, to jogging, to begs, downs, sits, begs to stands, spins (left and right) and then more jogging. Mum also went through my cookie stretches (nose to hip) and my putting my front paws on her legs to stretch out. She really liked our warm up routine and said it was exactly what she would do (all designed to warm up the muscles and get the blood flowing, but no passive (or forced) stretching.

Then she had Mum go through our cool down routine, which consists of walking and trotting after a run until our heartbeats and breathing are back to normal rates. Then Mum takes me back to my crate for a little rub down. She rubs my spine in quick front to back strokes, rubs my neck in circular motion, has me do some of my warm up routine, and then has me lay on my side and has me stretch out my back legs, while gently rubbing my thighs and massaging my back muscles on either side of my spine. And stretching out my front legs as well. Then she ends with a good overall down the spine rub and some raindrop finger movement over the larger muscle groups. Then has me walk around a little more. When we get home I get an overall relaxing massage. She liked this cool down routine too, but....

During the full exam, Dr. D found that the muscles that attach to my hip, the middle gluteals, on my lower back were super tight and knotted. She gave me a chiro adjustment in my neck, which made me yip, then adjusted my back, which felt really good.

Then she spent over 45 minutes teaching Mum some new massage techniques that will help
work out those muscle knots in my mid gluts, to add to all the other massage techniques that Mum has been using on me over the years. She was very, very specific about how Mum should do these new techniques, and Mum had to show off what she learned on Dr. D and then on me, like a test, BOL! BTW she passed :)

So we've been working the massaging a lot over the past week, and I have to say that I'm feeling better. I'm standing a lot straighter (top line) and the knots are beginning to subside a bit. Although Mum is noticing that they become more prominent after our long hikes, and she has to work on me longer after those.

Guess time will tell if all this is working, so Mum is looking into a USDAA trial in late October for us to get in some Snooker and Gambler runs. She doesn't want to overdue me with five or so runs a day, so we'll just enter a couple of runs, and those are the Q's I need for my ADCH.

Mum talked with Dr. D about where we've been practicing, even though we haven't gone since the trial. The place where we practice has rubber stall mat flooring, which is pretty slippery. Dr. D and Mum talked about practice, and both decided that the only way I can practice there if is I run straight, no turning allowed. So we're not sure yet what we're gonna do about practice now.

The best part was that Dr. D said that I can certainly get over this lower back (which affects my iliopsoas) tightness with concentrated effort...and in no way should Mum limit me once we get the tightness out. So the good news is that the prognosis is pawsome! And Dr. D says I have a long agility career ahead of me! Woot!!!


  1. That's great news, Johann! Sounds like the vet checked you from tip to tail very thoroughly and I am so glad all she found was some tightness that your mum can massage out!

    I have been on rest for 10 days now since my last trial where I was majorly refusing jumps. My vet thought I had something going on in my lower back. Just yesterday I jumped an 8 in jump a few times. Mom has been carrying me upstairs and trying to keep me relatively quiet. You know how hard that is. I probably won't know if rest did the trick until I have to jump the big spread jumps again.

  2. Sounds like good news, Johann. Enjoy your massages :) and good luck at your upcoming trials! Woofs-



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