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
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!