Wednesday, April 20, 2011

iliopsoas injury Fin - A summary

I have been contacted in the last couple of weeks by three people whose dogs have been diagnosed with iliopsoas.  So I think it is time to write up a one year summary.

The video above clearly shows:
  • Fin has her speed back.
  • She will still go around stuff during a run.
  • She will also take it with confidence more and more
  • I need to pick up my feet when I'm running ...however, Fin clearly reads my fall as a decell Q and comes back to me.
  • We are close to running clean.

During this long journey, I did write a few blogs about this injury.  Here are the blogs that I wrote during our diagnosis and later rehab:
Today it is more than a year when I first found out that Fin was injured.  Her injury was not a clear "wow, she is hurt."  It was more a "why is she acting this way?" 
Looking back, she first started going around jumps in a trial in January.  I didn't get her to the doctor until April.  Other than going around jumps, Fin had no symptoms that I could see.  It wasn't until after I sought help from massage that I realized that something was actually hurt. If your dog is showing lameness, keep in mind that when they stop showing lameness, it doesn't mean it is cured, it only means that it is hidden.
Some dogs with this injury will limp, some will hold their leg up, some will suffer in silence (this was Fin).
This injury is depressing.  Mostly for the human.  Fin actually got more quantity of one on one time (whether she wanted it or not) than when she is healthy.  When she is healthy, I'll take multiple dogs for walks, or go to the back with the pack and toss the ball and we all play together.  When she was on crate rest, she got individual walks and a ton of "mommy" time.  Many people tell me that crate rest is hard and their dog doesn't like it.  Crate rest is hard on "ME", Fin had a not so bad time cause she got to play with me without any of the other dogs around.  Yes, I know.  She didn't get to run and spin.  But she got lots of other things.  Bones that nobody else got, grooming sessions everyday, massages, etc.  For me, it was about time management.  Making more individual time for her and also know ignoring the needs of the rest of my pack.
MOST IMPORTANT:  rest.  This strain will continue to get worse and take longer to heal if you do not rest your dog.  This means no freedom with other dogs in your household.  You can not expect your dog to take it easy because they hurt.  This is your responsibility. 
Here are a few tips I found.
  • Walking straight only during the rest period.  I walked Fin 2 miles every day.  One mile in the morning, one mile in the afternoon.  As the weeks went by, I increased the length of time we walked up to 2 miles in morning and 2 miles in the afternoon.
  • Restriction at home.  xpens do not work as they give the dog freedom.  EVERYTIME they move quickly, spin, or turn, they are putting strain on their iliopsoas and this causes more damage.  Crate if you are not totally in control.  I used a harness that has a handle.  I love the ruff dog gear.  I don't know if Fin and I could have made it if not for that harness.
  • Don't try to start rehab to early.  Follow the Dr.'s instructions.  I did not use a fancy rehab place (not against it, just was able to do everything at home).  I used freedom hill walking (using a flexi - once again not with other dogs), swimming, balance work, and walking.  I continued to keep her in the harness at home so that I could prevent her explosive movement.
  • Once back on agility equipment go slow. After 1 month of just grid work (and all the other rehab stuff) I introduced her back to sequences.  Once I started competing, I found she wasn't doing so well at 16 so I kept her at performance for the first 5 months as spreads and the higher jump height seemed like a problem for her.  I used grids at home to get her confidence back up on those spreads.
Reading over what I have written, it seems so easy.  It wasn't.  I've been pretty depressed about the entire thing.  I gained weight despite the walking of Fin.  At every hurdle I would feel sorry for myself.  "Why does this happen to me?"  I tried to remain positive on the outside, but on the inside I felt guilty and sorry for myself. 

Overall, the year has passed pretty quickly.  As you can see from the Video, Fin has her speed back.  She still will go around spreads (clear on the video) but she also will take them easily other times.  We've been trialing again, but not running clean.  We are close and hopeful that those clean runs will start to come.

I worry everyday that this injury will resurface.  Fin worries about the big jumps.  We belong together in our worry.  Both of us are gaining confidence and this next year is going to be fun.


Diana said...

I worry all the time that my dogs ilopsoas injury is back. I constantly watch her. Is she jumping as high as she uusually does? Why did drop that bar? Is she playing like she always does? It was a long 6 months and I did do some rehab. We did laser and heated ultrasound. I do think that helped. The rest we did at home.
And I agree, rest for her was like torture for me. Not being able to do the fun stuff we usually do was torture for me. I think she was ok with it.

vici whisner said...

@Diana, I would say that the whole crate rest thing is such a worry to everyone (me too at the time). I will never worry about crate rest again...for the dog anyway. It is simpl more work for the human.
About the worry. Will it ever go away? :) Hopefully someday I won't be analyzing every little thing wondering if she is feeling ok and I am doing enough to make sure she is healthy!

Most of th time, though, we have a great time and a good life. I love my little Fin. She is a blessing and having her in my life has improved it in many ways.

Kathy said...

Breeze had an ACL tear and was out about a year, and had to do what sounds like very similar protocol to what Fin and you did-and even how you found it sounds very similar....boy, reading your post it all comes flooding back--so glad things are on a good track now.

Celeste said...

Love this recap. It's useful, and well-written. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OK ignore my other comment on the older thread, found the recap. Thanks!!

corbinwooten said...

Vici, thanks so much for blogging about your experience. It's really helpful.

I am feeling a lot of the things that you mentioned (and Lexi's outlook seems quite a bit like Fin's..."Can I run now? How about now?") and it's nice to know that you do move past the guilt and frustration.