Monday, March 21, 2011

The End of an Era

I mentioned the other day that Max had hurt himself running full-tilt into Jeff when we got home Friday night. We went to see the vet today since he clearly still had discomfort in his neck and limited mobility.

Not a happy camper

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Max’s neck is indeed injured (stiff, painful to turn one direction and hot to the touch), and it appears his back is tender as well. As his 2nd neck injury in a year, this is a game-changer for our agility experience. For ourselves as human athletes, we can clearly pinpoint where our pain and injuries come from and make an informed decision about how far we are willing to push ourselves. Dogs can’t tell us where it hurts or if something is a little sore or if they’d like to take the day off to rest an injury, so we have to make that decision for them.

Yes, I wanted to chase after that MACH2 title with Max. But it’s not worth his health or happiness to do it. Agility is first and foremost about having fun with my dog and it’s not fun if he’s in pain. I won’t be one of those people who pushes their dog past the limits of comfort for their own vanity. So once Max is healthy and recovered, I’ll be dropping him down to Preferred where he’ll run at a lower height (16”) and start all over in Novice and have a darn good time for as long as he wants.

I’m going to walk through the treatment plan we’ve laid out, in case it can be of help to anyone else who faces a similar situation.

  • Max is on Tramadol every 12 hours for pain. It’s been just a few hours and he’s already perkier. Ah, opiates! We chose Tramadol over Rimadyl because of some of the risks associated with Rimadyl (ulcers, etc) as well as the studies showing that NSAIDS actually hinder healing.
  • The vet gave him an injection of Adequan in his back and we may continue them for a time during his recovery. Adequan is supposed to be phenomenal for reducing inflammation.
  • Long-term Max will be on Duralactin and fish oil pills. Both will help to reduce chronic inflammation and support healthy joints.
  • The vet noticed that Max is developing cataracts in his eyes that may have limited his night vision and caused his crash into Jeff in the first place. So he’s now also on Ocluvet eye drops long-term that will help to improve his vision.
  • We’ll be seeing another vet in the practice later this week for chiropractic adjustment and/or acupuncture, and continue with treatments with our dog chiro back home.
  • And finally I’ll be looking into aquatherapy/swimming when we get back home to help strengthen his muscles in a safe low-impact way.

It sounds like a lot, but Max’s rehab and regaining full mobility are a priority. He’s got many years left and he needs to enjoy them to his fullest! I was sad today, not because of lost dreams of chasing titles that mean nothing to Max, but because he was in pain (and being as stoic about it as he could). Hopefully he will heal up fast so his momma can stop worrying so much!

27 comments:

SSB said...

poor max. So hard when the pups hurt. Hope he feels better soon.

mtanner said...

sending healing vibes to Maxy!
from me and Chloe. Sad face when our *kids* are down and out-

Tasha the Triathlon Goddess said...

Aww, I hope Max feels better soon!

Sarah said...

Poor Max! I hope his recovery is swift and he's back to bouncing soon.

Thanks for posting the details of his tretment, that's very helpful as I'm facing some similar issues with Bella

Jennifer said...

Oh, that is such a sad puppy face! Dogs are so expressive. You're such a good dog mom :-)

Erin said...

yikes! poor max!

Jen said...

Sorry to hear about Max's injury! He's such a little trooper.

Sheila said...

First I read of Max hurting himself...poor boy! Totally agree with what you say regarding agility and it looks like you are on a very good track! I have had to re-adjust goals for Bracey given her SLO and how many months she has had to miss out on agility over the past year....my ego had dreamed of her being the first ADCH NATCH MACH beardie but that likely will not happen now...just not sure we will be able to do the amount of trialing it would take to pursue a MACH..points would not be the issue but the QQ's sure would be:-). Haven't totally decided-we will see what the spring brings in terms of her ability to stay in activity-with her nails and the shattered toe that she is just coming back from now. Good for you Molly-putting the dog first even if it is disappointing to you!

D said...

That is such a sad Max face in that pic. I hope he feels better soon.

heather said...

That sounds like a good plan. You know I'm going to support the chiro/acupuncture option. That should fix him right up. He may need periodic treatments just to keep him at his best but he should be able to do whatever he wants.

D said...

Ugh... Sorry, Molly. I know he's essentially fine and will still get to play agility again eventually, but still. Keep givin him those drugs! ;)

My Life and Running said...

Poor lil' guy! Hopefully all the treatment works!

elizabeth said...

SO sorry Max is in pain. Hoping he heals up fast!! And gosh does this remind me of my horse days... our athletic animals.

Meera said...

Poor sweet baby. I hope he gets relief from the pain. I am sure that he'll enjoy agility at any level, as long as he gets to hang with you!

Wes said...

I hope Max recovers quickly, and I'm glad he'll still be able to do what he loves to do :-)

Larissa said...

Ugh Poor Max! He is lucky to have such a good momma to take care of him :) I hope he heals quickly and is back to his normal self. It is always heart breaking to see them in pain esp since they can not tell you what hurts. Cataracts at his age? I've never heard of it in such a young dog :( Speedy recovery vibes go out to him!

San said...

Ah, so sorry to read this. Hopefully Max recovers and feels better soon.

Elayne said...

Oh poor Max, I hope he heals up quickly.

Too bad they make you start over in Novice, that seems ridiculous but oh well, I'm sure Max doesn't care as long as he gets to play.

beardies3 said...

Kudos to Molly. Max has a wise and awesome owner. Max is loved for the great dog he is not for reflected glory. Heal well Max.

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

:-( This made me tear up. hurt puppies make me so sad because they just don't UNDERSTAND….

You are such a great momma & he's lucky to have you!

Ginger Spansel said...

I have friends in Texas who train and race agility. A Chiropractor comes once a month to adjust the dogs. I asked how they knew if a dog needed an adjustment and was told if they start a body shake and it doesn't travel all the way to the tail then an adjustment may be warrented.

p.s. In the chiropractic field, docs that adjust animals are called "Animal Crackers".

Just some food for thought for Max. I hope he feels better really soon!!

Meredith said...

I'm so sad to hear about Max's injury. On the bright side he has the best Mom he could possibly have to help him heal and continue on as the happy boy he is at perhaps a slower pace.

Kathleen said...

I hope Max is feeling better soon. I know how hard it is when your dog is in pain. I had Colby for 16.5 years and I saw to much of that for my liking. It sounds like you are on a good treatment plan. Our dogs are our kids, aren't they.

Patti Waddell said...

Just read this now... Poor Max! Sounds like you have a great plan in place. Sending comforting thoughts his way!!

Susietri said...

Chindi is 6 now and I'm finding it hard watching her slow down a bit. When she was a puppy I never thought that would happen so now, well, it makes me sad that she's going to be aging faster than me now. (lump in throat)

It's so hard when they can't tell us directly what's up.

Sarah K said...

:-( Poor guy. But you're such a good dog mama. Healing vibes being sent...

lynn said...

so sorry to hear max is having a tough week!! poor guy :( do you know if you are dealing with a slipped disk vs. calcification or something else? FWIW, shanti has been on tramadol for her slipped disk for a few years now without issue (thank goodness). i am sure you know this but the type of fish oil has made a big difference for her too. she is an old lady though, max will surely be out romping again soon... maybe just less body-slamming! hope he recovers well!!