This is not a training post. This is just a report on where things stand with Laddie's injury.
To review, two and a half weeks ago, I began to think Laddie wasn't carrying his trail as high as usual. By coincidence, we had an appointment with our holistic vet that weekend, and she said it might be cold tail. She said we should just watch to see if it got better in a day or two, and also suggested a homeopathic for pain. I don't believe in homeopathics so I didn't bother with that. But we didn't do a lot of work the following week, and nothing suggested to me he was injured.
But the following weekend, we began the seminar I had signed us up for, and Laddie's work was mediocre the first day. By the second day, I finally realized he was definitely injured. Whatever the problem was, it was not consistent with cold tail. I withdrew from the seminar, scratched him from the qual we were entered in for yesterday, and made an appointment for a sports medicine orthopedist to see Laddie. That occurred yesterday, instead of running the qual. :0(
The appointment began with the doctor performing a thorough physical exam. From that, it seemed clear that one and only one movement was causing Laddie pain: extension of his right rear leg.
Next came an electronic stride test. That showed that Laddie was shifting his weight to the front a bit while also shortening and quickening his stride a bit.
Next, the doctor spent some time with me explaining the possible causes of Laddie's symptoms, but I didn't understand them well enough to report them here. Meanwhile, Laddie was getting xrays.
Next the doctor showed me the xrays and explained what he was seeing, but again, I didn't understand what he was saying well enough to report it.
The doctor then laid out a series of possible next steps, beginning with an ultrasound. On his recommendation, I made an appointment for the ultrasound in a couple of weeks. He also gave me a bottle of muscle relaxants for Laddie to begin taking twice a day. He said Laddie should not do any running or jumping up on furniture, much less retrieving, at least until our next visit.
The doctor said he would speak to my holistic vet and I guess he did, because I got a call from her this morning. She has been seeing Laddie all his life and I regard her as a good friend. She was frank.
She said she felt the orthopedist was being too aggressive. She said it wouldn't do Laddie any harm, but to her it seemed like overkill. Very expensive overkill. I thanked her of course, and said I would get back to her.
Later in the day, I called her back and left a voicemail, saying I would like her to do another physical exam as soon as possible. Although I feel she was incorrect about the cold tail, I have great faith in her. Assuming she will be able to see Laddie in the next day or two, I will be interested to hear what she finds. I will make a decision about what to do next after that.