Friday, June 12, 2009

Herding, GOTB, Worry, Contacts

Bug was scheduled to have a herding lesson Sunday.

I cancelled it this morning.

Last weekend Bug stayed with Katrin and her boys. He ran around like a goon. Sunday he was very stiff. I iced him, massaged him, and stretched him.

We saw Cheryl on Wednesday. Bug was EXTREMELY tight. He held his pelvis, but his iliopsoas and surrounding abdominal muscles were really, really tight. With a little bit of trigger point therapy and adjusting his head he felt super!!

I asked Cheryl if she thought I should cancel my herding lesson. She said to wait and see how he is. If he stays loose, keep it.

Well, he appears to have remained loose. However I am really worried about putting him in a position to become so stiff and inflamed immediately following being so stiff, tight, and inflamed. I don’t know if there is any logic to the reasoning that another strenuous incident on top of having just been so stiff would exacerbate his injury?

I don’t know. I have actually sent Cheryl an e-mail to inquire about her opinion.

Last night to try and build Bug’s muscles back up we did a short Get On The Ball (GOTB) session. Recently on the Clean Run list there was an inquiry as to how to use GOTB to recover from an iliopsoas injury! Perfect. Debbie Gross Saunders responded:

I always start dogs with an iliopsoas injury off slowly on the ball - get them up in either a standing or lying down position to equally distribute their weight. Sitting may be a bit awkward. Begin with weightshifting the dog from side to side and backwards and forwards. The initial goal will be to increase the weight and the muscle tone of the rear legs, specifically the gluteals and the hamstrings. Try this for a few minutes and then call it quits. The tendency is to overdo it with iliopsoas injuries. Begin slow. The beginner program on the DVD is perfect for rehab and dogs with the problem of an iliopsoas problem. As the dog progresses, she can be progressed to the intermediate and advanced program on the Get on the Ball DVD.

Another great exercise with the ball is to encourage the dog to just place their front legs on the ball. This will stretch the back legs, and specifically the iliopsoas. Do not do this if the injury is less than two weeks old. You do not want to stretch a muscle at that point

I forwarded her response to Cheryl asking if she thought it would be okay to do with Bug. Cheryl said, since Bug is holding his adjustments - yes. Yesterday was the first chance I have had to do it. We did a VERY brief session primarily stretching standing on the ball and standing on the ball while I moved it gently. The ball was shaking like a leaf because even that small amount of balance work was very hard for Bug. Afterward I stretched him and massaged him. I think he might be one of the best loved corgis ever.

Ike also had a chance to play GOTB. He loves anything that involves treats and one-on-one time with me! Unlike Bug who remembered the ball from months ago and immediately wanted to hop up on it, I have still not convinced Ike he is capable of hopping up on the ball by himself.

This weekend Bug and I are going to my friend Marie’s house to play on her contacts (she has Max 200 contacts versus rubber). I feel comfortable doing this because while the impact of contacts are tough – we are not going to do a lot of them AND I truly do not feel it is as intensive as the turning and running in herding. I will be giving him Traumeel and stretching him beforehand and then stretching him and massaging him afterward. Possibly ice depending on how he seems.

I am worried that I am being overprotective about herding with Bug. I HATE to cancel the lesson, but I am really worried about keeping him healthy. My number one priority is to ensure he will be able to play for a LONG time with me. Argh. Am I being crazy? I don’t know.


Diana said...

I dont think your being crazy. You know your dog best. Ive really cut down on a-frame work. I only run her over once or twice whiile trainning at our field. And I only train at the field 1-3 times a week. I do feel the a-frame is really hard on some dogs. Esp. long back dogs like yours. I think you are doing the right thing. Diana

Jules said...

Thanks, Diana. I REALLY appreciate the feedback. I feel like such a worry-wart, but I do not want my dog crippled or injured to such a degree that he can't play. I know it takes time to build muscle mass back up - I just need to remember that!