18 September 2009

In today's episode, Otterpop visits the doctor, if by visit, you sort of mean accost the friendly veterinarian on her day off.

Perhaps you have heard me mention things about my dog, Otterpop, once or twice.

I maybe mentioned that she may have plans to take over the world and enslave the entire state of Minnesota as her minions or that she's a cockroach and thus immune to global warming and was possibiy involved in a conspiracy to kill Michael Jackson, King of Pop, RIP. You may have seen her in her early agility days where she would stop on the dogwalk, give the judge a long, hard stare, then run off barking her head at him because he tried to LOOK AT HER. The nerve.

Maybe you've seen Otterpop in real life. Because you are my mom and my dad and my friends Mary, Karl, Deb and the nice people that come up to me at the dog show and say, Hi There Team Small Dog! Even though I'm just Laura and really the small dogs are the team part, which seems somewhat self explanatory, but whatever. Otterpop has a mack daddy deep chest, knobby stump front legs, and a hind end that's jacked up somewhat higher than normal on dead straight hind legs. When they were passing out parts, they said give her the bark and tail and running part of a mean old cattledog, chihuahua teeth and ears, a pitbull front, a weenie dog back and then let's just give her this dead straight hind leg part to tie it all in together.

They would be either God or DNA, depending on whether you are Creationist or Scientist. And if you're the blendy type, you can just say that God invented science so if they have the dinosaurs eating apples out of naked people hands in the science book, it's a-ok with you.

Hey, it's animal vocabulary anatomy time! These words possibly invented by God! Or a scientist! Or a naked guy feeding a dinosaur.

Hocks-those back bendy bits of a horse hind leg.
Stifles-those front bendy bits of a horse hind leg.

We're calling those bendy bits hocks and stifles on dogs, too. Possibly they were called this on dinosaurs although you might have to check with God on that. Or a Scientist. All my vets bear with me when I label the dog things horse things because I sort of think of dogs as tiny little ponies that are way better housebroken and fit into my car. So you noticed that 2 things on the back legs of a dog involve bendy bits and Otterpop, no bendy bits back there. Straight up. Straight down.

So one of my super beloved clients just happens to be a small animal orthopedic surgeon and gets totally abused when she comes to enjoy her horsie hobby and gets put to work instead. Patching up the barn cat the raccoon got. Looking at Ruby. Looking at Ruby. Looking at Ruby. Boy is she glad Ruby doesn't run in dog shows anymore.

But wait! Now it's looking at Otterpop. And today's look started with a jaw dropping, "OH MY," as she watched Otterpop trot and canter up the barn aisle. Do dog people who aren't horse people say trot and canter, and emphasize how perhaps one of their dogs doesn't like to trot, only canters on the right lead EVER, except in a weird haunches OUT right lead and then kicks kicks kicks her subluxating patella, ie Stifle from vocabulary break?

"Oh MY," she says again. Not what you want to hear from the surgeon who spends a lot of her day opening up dog parts, rearranging and so forth with little pins and stuff, and putting them back together again. I pull out a horse brush and tell Otterpop it's a frisbee and send her off in a run.

"Oh MY."

She pokes and prods and jiggles and pops in and pops out and flexes and bends. She has seen agility, some of the other vets from her hospital do it, and actually her daughter was my summer agility prodigy, running Ruby brilliantly, string cheese in hand. Her official orthopedic surgeon opinion of agility involves some head shaking and asking if we could just eliminate the a-frame completely. Job security, I ask hopefully?

Doc has some good news, and some bad news. The good news, that patella subluxation hasn't gotten much worse since last time she remembers looking at it. The bad news? That ligament, holding stuff together back there, working overtime to keep it's charges in line. Like a rope, that might be getting a little bit frayed, here and there. And the more ropes fray, the more chance they have of just going SNAP one day.


She asks how much do you exersize the dogs outside of agility practicing? She is sort of like, HOW MUCH, when I tell her how I keep them fit running in the forest and on the beach and next to the bike and to the whale skeletons and swimming in the creek and the pond and farlicking around the soccer field and then there's the grassy lawns of the university building at night and tennis balls. Uh oh.

Would Otterpop enjoy perhaps, some nice 20 minute, light walks, on a leash, perhaps once per day? Quiet exercise not involving things like turning or jumping or running?



Double S said...

Oh Otterpop, just don't fall apart on your Team Captain! And please remain sane through whatever rest/PT period you have to look forward to... we need to have a Laura who has nice things to report on her blog, and who is having FUN doing agility. And you still have a freaking Super Q to earn! Do you hear me Otterpop???? Otterpop?!?!

Elf said...

Right, you are Team Captain and there's be no TSD without you and the team IS the captain even though the team really is its assorted small black members--

And how long does the super vet want otterpop to take it easy? I don't suppose it's for a couple of weeks to let things settle down a bit?

team small dog said...

yes, a couple weeks and aspirin, etc to see, then try to curtail action as possible. basically it is like a little timebomb in there and she wants to see what it feels and looks like when rested up and if she moves any different with it rested and anti inflammed. then try to see what happens w exercise, jumping, frisbee very much limited and see if it improves...poor otterpop.