Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back in the ring for the moment.....

Kenz made her Rally-O debut at the SAODC trial today and walked away with her very first qualification with a score of 89/100. Way to go my little obedience superstar. It was a very emotional day for me with what we have been through so far in her short trialling career. She started off a little shakey (lost 6 points on one of the early stations - although that included a 3 point deduction because I asked for a retry) she then held the rest of it together nicely and managed a good pass.

The video of the round is posted here.

Its not been a particularly easy week. I had an email from John late Friday afternoon which suggested he had been corresponding with Ian and Ian felt he may have found a disease in Border Collie's which can present like Kenz's condition and would I mind scheduling an appointment to have her evaluated. So Friday afternoon I called the specialist centre and she is booked in for an appointment with Ian on Wednesday morning.

Its hard - she has been having subtle lameness issues with these occasional random other more substantial episodes. Sometimes I wonder what I am worrying about but I guess we may have more answers after Wednesday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Life goes on

More stalking with the video camera and no more lameness episodes recorded however here is some video from her (almost) weekly trip to the dog pool. This week at the pool she was super keen from the minute we got there and more then happy to swim laps. She put herself in the pool the minute I opened the gate and then just started swimming.

She has seemed ok today. However we are just back from a brief trip to the oval and while I wasn't able to capture it on video she had what appeared to be other hind end lameness episode on the way home. The problem I am finding is she just stops dead on me rather than trying to walk and by the time she starts walking again whatever that is going on seems to have resolved itself. None of the incidents (aside from whatever happened last Tuesday at training) seem to produce lasting lameness but we are certainly getting an interesting assorted collection of varying episodes.

Confused and frustrated.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another day, another random RH episode......


I really wasn't expecting it to happen in the situation that it did so while I did have the video camera I wasn't prepared enough to have been able to capture it.

This morning I took the kids up the bush track for a decent run and swim with a little fetching for good measure. No signs of any issues and Kenz had a blast. We came home and ran a training session in the yard at lunchtime. Again no issues and had the video running the entire time.

I am just back from our second walk up in Brownhill creek for the day and that is when the episode occurred. I drove the kids up to the carpark halfway along so we could do the second part of the trail and they could have a swim. I unloaded the dogs out of the car and they both jumped out without any thing untoward happening. 

Kenz walked away fine and was sniffing a couple of meters away from the car and I was getting their leads/the bumbag and the video camera out of the front passenger door. I bent over to do up my shoe lace and turned around to see Kenz standing with no weight on her RH. It wasn't tucked up there was just no weight on it. I had to first do a double take to make sure it was the RH and not her LH. I yelled out stay and turned around to grab the video from the roof of the car. In the few moments it took me to do that Kenz was back putting weight on the foot again but not moving. I went over to have a feel of her back/leg and couldn't find anything sore.

I videoed her as she went to head off on our walk and the video appears normal as far as I can tell. She had no more apparent issues with the leg in the following 45 minutes of running/swimming and retrieving play.

I just don't know anymore. Its presenting very randomly but a couple of times a week suggests its a little more frequent to not be something going on. Especially frustrating as John and Ian would prefer more video to go on and I can't seem to get it despite the episodes happening fairly regularly. There doesn't appear to be any real definite trigger which I am finding frustrating. If I could recreate the problem we may get further in diagnosing and resolving it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A phone call from John

This where we are at with the Kenz saga - she is one complicated little dog with no immediately easily solution to things.

It may be a nerve related problem but a bit more video evidence or a problem that is more reproduceable in a consult situation would be preferable. John did also suggest it may be similar to sciatica in a human.

If we end up going down that path she will have an appointment with Ian and a full neurological exam then possibly need an MRI under GA.

John again reiterated that he was extra careful with checking her RH patella and he is 100% sure that is not the problem. It was checked while she was under for her LH surgery and these things don't change.

It is possible that its still the LH bothering her and if the RH is all ok the option is still there for John to go back in and fix it (at his cost).

So where we have got to is I will continue to try and video any episodes that may happen and send it through to both John and Ian (and Matthew) and we will take it from there.

I guess the good news as far is Kenz is concerned is no more poking and prodding for the time being. I will continue to play it a little safe until we have got through the next fortnight or so (because I want her fine for the Rally-O trials) and then we may look at doing a little bit of agility and increased jumping work with her and see where that takes us.

Here is a video I put together this evening of some of the footage I took of her training (in the hope of catching another episode of lameness) - unfortunately or fortunately all I managed was 100% sound Kenz.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Interesting times.......

Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from the neurospecialist, Dr Ian Douglas who works at Vetsair to discuss Kenz. Apparently John had forwarded the video to him for comment. The view is its not particularly conclusive either way and the agreement made was to go ahead and try and collect further video. Matthew (and John) are both fairly adamant that there is no luxating patella in her right hind and Matthew could find no physical reason for the severity of the lameness.

I then decided screw it and took her out training last night to do a full open round including as much tug as she wanted. Well I jinxed it totally by not getting it on video. Her heelwork was not exceedingly great by her standards however she managed her SFE and was back to anticipating her recall and retrieve. The bad news is she went off at a million miles an hour after her dumbbell and pulled up badly lame.

It wasn't immediately obvious which leg it was so I put her back on lead and walked her up and back and the thought was possibly her RH.

I took her back to the car bought her home and she seemed ok. Carried her up to bed and she went to jump up on the bed and her back end really wasn't cooperating and she struggled. I couldn't find any apparent sore spots and she settled to sleep.

This morning before breakfast I took her out the front, armed with the video camera and her tug to try and recreate what happened last night. All I managed was picture perfect prancy heelwork and textbook retrieves.

We have spent the rest of the morning throwing i-squeaks and no hind end issues have come up.

Matthew still feels its worth going ahead with an appointment with Ian the neuro guy (and John) to see if there isn't anything we can diagnose.

This afternoon she had a 4km off-leash walk up in Brownhill creek and I again throwed millions of toys at the end of the track and no sign of any issue.

Its really starting to mess seriously with my head. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fun in the Sun

Stalking Kenz with the video camera in an attempt to capture more lameness episodes also enables me to capture something else - her living life to the fullest and despite all of the issues she has had she has still retained her sense of cheeky feral. Love her to bits.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Kenz back to Matthew

I finished up work a little early yesterday and decided to make the most of the nice weather and take the girls for a long walk up Brownhill creek. Well we did our normal bit of playing around at the end of the track before coming home and that was where the nightmare started. Kenz took half a dozen paces and pulled up on three legs - putting no weight on her right hind. Here I was thinking what on earth has she done after all we have been through - my fears were either a cruciate or another luxating patella.

She has been having a few right hind episodes this last week so to say my stress levels skyrocketed was an understatement.

We walked home and I jumped on the phone and rang Matthew. Matthew suggested I had two options - one was to take her to my local vet or to make an appointment for her with him while it was somewhat "fresh".  I made the decision to take her back to see him today.

He had a chance to look at some video I sent through of an earlier episode from last weekend and his view is that it looked like a muscular cramping type problem.

Well things have not really changed after he has looked her over. He found some soreness and tenderness in that leg but nothing structurally wrong which would explain the 3 legged behavior. We both agreed she wasn't making things up. John's view on the video was that he wasn't sure what was going on either. Matthew has suggested it may be worth including a muscle type storage disease in her differential diagnoses. In which case there is suggestion that bloods may be taken, muscle testing and muscle biopsy aren't off the considerations.

The other devastating bit of information was that Matthew felt when Kenz was totally relaxed that her patella was luxating much more easily then he had ever found it to previously. Thats not a particularly hopeful or promising sign considering she was put through surgery and so far 18 weeks of rehab to help fix a relatively minor problem not end up just as bad or even worse then when we started. Matthew did feel that when Kenz was standing that it wasn't "as bad".  The only interesting news is at this stage Matthew didn't think he would be in any rush to put her back through surgery because we may not resolve her lameness issues (I guess thats because we don't have an explanation for her right hind lameness at this point).

At any rate Matthew was going to send an email to John this afternoon regarding what he had found so suggested I get back in touch with John early next week after giving him a few days to digest what Matthew has written.

As far as Kenz is concerned nothing really changes. Matthew didn't think I needed to cut back on her activity in anyway so other than not ramping things back up to full activity she is still allowed her free running, dog pool swimming and anything else that she wants to be doing.

Both girls enjoyed their run at the conservation park tonight and because I have been told to try and capture as many 3 legged episodes as I can I happened to luck in and capture an even rarer event - Ness deciding to have a zoomie game with her little baby sister.

Not bad for my old girl but its a bit sad when shortly after Ness continued to happily trot along ahead and Kenz was lagging behind not particularly happy about things. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Its more then just a game of tug.....

So we are nearly at the end of 18 weeks post-op and for all intensive purposes Kenz's life should have been back to normal. She should be back training at full capacity and be sound and living the life we have dreamed of.

Well we aren't there unfortunately. Despite the hiccups over the past week I know John said she could be back doing normal things within a fortnight so I have decided despite all the episodes this last week or so we will still start to get on with life.

Yesterday I ran a 30 second tug session and she came up on three legs.

Today I thought I'd at least get the video camera out and if it happened again I could see exactly what the problem was. Well the end result was 5 minutes of tug with no hint of any lameness.

So here we go this is today's small amount of tug/training. I guess I can only see how she is when she pulls up later and whether there is any increased lameness as a result.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

18 weeks post-op

So we have reached  18 weeks post-op and I won't say its plain sailing all of the time. Kenz started having an increased number of hind end issues (although its not consistent and I can't put my finger on which leg it is) this past week so we cut back on her swimming and exercise and went back to leash walks and things really didn't improve greatly.

I am not sure what to make of it but Matthew and John aren't especially worried. I have been told to really only worry if the situation gets worse or its consistent and on-going.

Its becoming increasingly hard to read Kenz. Sometimes I just want to turn a blind eye to it all but with her history its just hard to do so. Nothing has ever just gone away or got better of its own accord so when I start to see things not right I do go into panic mode a bit.

Given the issues have increased with sticking to leash-walks I decided we would just go back to normal with her exercise and monitor things and hope it doesn't get any worse. She will be back to her regular swimming and walks this week. 

Having said that I have taken the plunge and sent off her first trial entry in nearly 12 months. Just a Rally-O Novice round at our club trial but she should enjoy herself. She is back to doing Open training rounds minus the ROH and loving every minute of her time doing things.

The blog photo this week is of Kenz pictured in her new DT Harness.