Tag Archives: pomeranian

Down the road to Boulder CO – Part 1

My husband is a former Boulderite. An original Boulderite he likes to say because he grew up there when it was full of hippies, artists, writers and musicians. Kind of like how it is today but with less Yoga.

With his family still in Boulder it was time for a road trip. It takes about 16 hours of driving to get to Boulder from Calgary. Fortunately CB and Kona travel well and sleep in the car while we driving.

Boulder 1 4

hanging out in the family garden

Boulder also happens to be a pretty dog friendly place to visit. There a few places that don’t allow pets, for example the Pearl Street mall, but there is plenty to see and do with you dog and plenty of nice neighborhoods to walk around. You might end up seeing some pretty cool houses; not sure how many of you would recognize this one, it’s known locally as the Mork and Mindy house. Nanoo Nanoo!

Boulder 1 5

No aliens here today

You might run into something like this at the back of someone’s yard.

Boulder 1 2

There were a number of events happening while we were in Boulder including the Ironman 70.3 Boulder so the hotels were pretty booked up. We were able to find pet friendly accommodations at the Holiday Inn Express in North Boulder. It was a relatively quiet place to stay despite the fact that the hotel was full over the weekend with triathletes. Too bad the guy with the Cervelo team didn’t know how to park his trailer.

Boulder 1 3

Hmm, full hotel + 1 parking spot per room = major Cervelo parking fail and a few not so very happy guests that couldn’t find parking that night.

I would stay there again even though it’s on the outskirts of town. We’ve normally stayed close to Naropa but this place is more than fine and it had a decent breakfast as well. Plus you drive by Lucky’s Bakehouse and Creamery on your way from and to the hotel. Conveniently located for those ice cream emergencies. I have to admit we stopped more than once.

Boulder 1 1We had a pretty busy 6 days there and spent most of our time visiting with family and friends. We did manage to get in some nice walks with CB and Kona in town and I’ll post about those next week in Boulder Part 2.

Kona’s Bad Break

My last Black & White Sunday post hinted to today’s post. I have not been blogging for the last few months because I did not want to be writing about what was going to be coming up for Kona; especially because it took us several months of thinking about this surgery before we decided we were truly going to do it, and I was also a little superstitious about it all too.

WHAT DID WE DO?
In a nutshell Kona underwent an ulnar Osteotomy and a radial wedge Osteoctomy of his left front forelimb. Essentially his bones were cut, a wedge of bone was removed and his paw was rotated so that his wrist and elbow joints were parallel. It honestly took us months of weighing the pro’s and con’s of this as well as looking at the ongoing expense we had in rehab from complications of his leg break in 2011.

We have been very lucky – the end result has been very good. Kona’s leg is calcifying and it is now straight. He still needs recovery time but he continues to weight bear on it,  gains strength and as the fur grows back the surgical scars will not be noticeable.

jenny's garden1

Kona now with a straight leg.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Last year I noticed that during training classes (obedience, rally, agility) or after long walks that Kona would be limping and would lose drive. I soon realized that he was hurting his back, was having leg spasms and was sore in his rear end and sometimes would not eat. We were doing regular chiro, water treadmill and physio exercises so there was a lot of concern as to why this was the case. We hadn’t done a follow-up x-ray of his front left leg since the plate was removed last year and what we found was saddening.

No amount of physio and rehab was going to fix this. Either we operated on Kona or we left him as is and continued with treadmill and rehab therapy indefinitely and hoped that his leg would not get worse. As it was we stopped training and focused on building leg strength and muscle mass in the event we decided to go forward with the surgery.

some history……

In September of 2011 Kona’s radius and ulna were badly broken in an accident with a dog walker. The condition of his leg was severe and two surgeries were required to put him back together again.

558_1690_20110912132142.0

September 13, 2011
Compound fracture of the radius and ulna

He healed up well but with time we started to see that he was down in the pastern of that leg and his foot was starting to turn out to the left, and more so with time. The turn-out of his foot was noticeable even without an x-ray. Although it didn’t seem to bother him unless he over did it.

bad break1

The x-ray’s we took earlier this year showed us that his leg was far worse than we imagined. The amount of angulation was shocking. Especially since at the time that Kona’s leg was operated on in 2011, the post-op x-ray’s showed the leg was straight.

A possible complication of a leg break with puppies is that their growth plates can be damaged. Kona was 7 months old at the time of the accident and was unfortunate in that is exactly what happened to him, but we did not realize it until earlier this year. The pre-op measurements showed that the leg had deformed to an angle of 25 degrees from the elbow to the foot. Seeing that x-ray was as heartbreaking as the day his leg was broken. The twisted look of that leg haunted me for months.

front legs copy

x-ray of Kona’s front legs from February of 2013. The left forelimb is deformed and the wrist and elbow are not in line as they are in the right limb.

Not only was it a problem that his leg was bent, he was not weight bearing and walking correctly on his front end and we also saw that he was putting too much weight on his back legs and was standing odd to spread out his weight.

The ortho vet we saw was fabulous. She simply explained that we did have a surgical option. She could perform an Ostectomy / Osteotomy to straighten his leg. She’d done many of these surgeries on small dogs that had experienced broken limbs as puppies just as Kona had. This sounded good in theory but we had to weigh out the pro’s and con’s and we took our time with it.

PRO’S
– successful surgery would leave Kona with a straight leg
– he would be able to weight bear on his front end and take the excess weight of his rear end
– there would be less impact to his back and shoulders
– would no longer have as limited range a of motion in his wrist
– Kona was often in pain after walks or play sessions and was becoming pain reactive towards other dogs

CON’S
– there’s always a concern with anesthetic and small dogs – expecially when the time under anesthetic is longer
– the surgery may not work and we still have a bent leg
– the bones do not calcify and we lose the leg

TIME FOR SURGERY
In the end we did the surgery on June 6, 2013. The surgery went very well and the post op x-rays showed that the bones were straightened and the wrist was now in line with his Elbow. So far so good. The surgeon had used a permanent plate with six screws to hold everything together but we had a long road to recovery.

His leg was splinted up and now came the hard part. Keeping him calm and making sure the bones were able to heal but we also had do to range of motion exercises to keep his wrist from getting too stiff again.

The first two weeks were really tough. Kona was in a significant amount of pain, had a poor appetite and we struggled to keep him fed. We kept him confined during these early weeks and he was not allowed to do stairs, walk for more than potty breaks and no playing with CB.

At two weeks post op the suture was removed and we started water treadmill.

bad break3

Once we got past those first couple of weeks his recovery has been tremendous. It’s now been just over eight weeks since his surgery. The last x-ray’s looked really good and showed re-calcification of bone. He has been moving really well and the way he stands looks different – more balanced. So much so that our vet has informed us that our rehab is done. We had our last water treadmill session last Monday.

Unbelievable. He is now back to this. A happy little dog that just wants to play.

bad break4

Am I glad we did this? Absolutely but I hope to never have to make a decision like this again.

Wordless Wednesday #21 – Dog and Pony show

cbonapony2

This is part of a blog hop. To join in and to see who else is participating visit our host, BlogPaws. Make sure to comment and say Hello when you visit other blogs.

WW badge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

This weeks photo challenge topic of Solitary seemed like a good one to incorporate with one of our walks and good fit within a general dog/dog training theme. We always work on some skill when we’re out and about and we do tend to do a lot of stays since I can get some really nice portraits of the dogs when they are still. I’m able to put either in position someplace or on something and we’ve been slowly able to build up distance. I guess since I take a lot of pictures we get a lot of practice.

To capture this photo of CB required me to get very far back (I had my telephoto lens with me) and time my shots to capture him with no other passerby’s in view. He had to be patient for a few minutes until I was able to get my shot but my husband was 20 feet away just beyond the trees ready to replace CB in his stay if needed. Neither one of us was all that visible from the pathway and as this is a very busy area there were a few people curious about the little dog seemingly by itself.

I didn’t actually expect that anyone would take notice of CB but one woman walking by was very concerned when she saw him and started to look for the little dog’s owners. She had quite the look of surprise on her face as I came into view and then recalled CB to join me. A cruel trick? Perhaps. She did not know that the better half was out of view and the distance was mighty impressive at first look.

Black & White Sunday – 1

CB and Kona hanging out along the Bow River near Edworthy Park. These rocks are usually underwater but the river is so low right now they made the perfect spot for some photos and down-stay practice time.

This is my first post for the Black and White Sunday blog hop hosted by You Did What With Your Wiener, My Life In Blog Years and, Dachshund Nola. To join visit one of their awesome blogs.

* photo taken using a Canon Rebel with an EF 70 to 300mm telephoto lens

Wordless Wednesday – peek a boo

20120725-135842.jpg

Tracking Lesson 3

It was raining last Sunday when I took CB out for his third tracking lesson, so unfortunately I have no pictures. And since I don’t have photos this picture of CB as a puppy will just have to do. Imagine this cute little thing at work 🙂

CB dreaming of hotdogs

First off – it was quite different tracking in the rain. I don’t know if the smells would be different because of the rain or if it was because we were on well manicured grass. We did three tracks of differing lengths, all un-aged and the food drops were further apart on the last two. First off, CB was going bananas watching me lay the track. I actually thought if he got loose he might run to the scent pad to chow on the hot dog I’m using but he just wanted to get to me so we could start asap.

He had longer sections of “straight” tracks this time (straight for me meaning that he wasn’t veering off the track and stayed tight to it), I think it was because the food wasn’t as close together but I did notice him air scenting a little bit. He hasn’t done that before. I am finding it challenging trying to find places with enough room now for these longer tracks. Eek.

Tomorrow we have the Paws N Effect agility trial – I’m hoping that goes well and it looks like we’re going to have another nice and warm weekend.

Wordless Wednesday – exploration

Tracking Lesson 2

I found it! Now what?

CB and I went tracking on Sunday but I’m only getting a chance to blog about it now. We did Lesson 1.1.2 from the Enthusiastic Tracking book. We went to Edworthy park at 8am in the morning to avoid picnickers and the heat. Conditions were a mild 14 C, the grass was damp and the wind was calm out of the west. The park was quiet. We did 3 tracks, none were aged, food drops were at regular intervals.

CB was very excited to approach the scent pads. He seemed interested in following the tracks and I could hear him sniffing on all three. As we approached the food drops he would veer off the track and then circle around the food. I’m wondering if this is because I lingered in those spots while dropping the food. On the last track he noticed the article (leather glove) approximately 4m away from it and went straight to it. He doesn’t quite get what the point of the article is other than it has food on it. I peeked ahead a little in the book and pretty soon I’m going to have to decide how I want him to indicate the article.

Also, tomorrow is the start of the Evelyn Kenny Kennel dog show. I have CB entered in Rally Excellent and Kona in Rally Novice. I’ll be thrilled if CB get’s the two remaining Q’s he need for his Rally Excellent title; he’s as ready as can be but I’ll be happy if he’s focused and not sniffing regardless of what happens. I’m pretty happy about where Kona is for Novice – I’ve been working on the Advanced exercises with him and hopefully I haven’t confused him for Novice. Whatever happens it will be fun, these two are characters to say the least.

Now I just need to find someplace to take CB that’s quieter on Sunday for tracking Lesson 3 once we’re done at the trial. Since the tracks are getting longer Edworthy park will just not have the space. I’m sure I’ll figure out someplace if I think about it long enough.

Wordless Wednesday – Giddy-up, it’s Stampede