This past week was brutally hot. I had to cancel class due to the heat index being over 100. Friday and Saturday at the BHAD Trial it was actually over 100F with the heat index reaching the 120's several times. Luckily it is an indoor trial in the air conditioning!
I had Drifter and Seri entered at the trial. Drifter was pretty good, no handling mistakes, no contact or table faults, his only faults were a single bar in Jumpers on Friday and Sunday, so he finished up 4 Q's out of 6, with a QQ on Saturday. He now needs 8 more to reach MACH2 and his retirement from AKC. i did notice this weekend that he is having a harder time recovering from getting hot. I've been seeing this recently, and it's probably due to his age and the heart murmur. His blood pressure was still normal as of last fall and his heart works well, but he needs to be walked longer than he used to need in order to cool off properly. I don't think I'll show him in hot weather anymore.
Seri. Well last Monday when Ria was here, we talked about her shoulder, and she was out a little bit here and there but nothing too terrible. Going into the trial I wasn't too concerned. But after the 2 runs on Friday, she wasn't able to make her weave entries anymore, and started looking stiff coming out of her crate. By Sunday I scratched her from her last run (she was 0 for 5 anyway), and got a nice chiropractor to check on her. She said her pelvis was off, her sacrum was out, her scapula was tight but the shoulder was not actually out, and her neck was out. Also, her hock and "good" wrist both cracked ("self-adjusted") when flexed. Her left wrist (the bad one) is now undergoing some sort of bony changes, and Ria and I are keeping an eye on it, but right now it doesn't hurt her running but does not flex well - causes some pain if you bend it past a certain point.
So her recent trial history... USDAA Regional in June - shoulder stayed in, but wrist needed 5 days to recover. Upper back became locked up between runs at one point.
July - 1st weekend of AKC, hit some bars and I believe her shoulder was out. During the week afterward, it popped loudly and then regained full range of motion. The next weekend at AKC she only hit 1 bar all weekend and actually Q'ed on Sunday.
now this past weekend, all kinds of issues again. She has started throwing her pelvis out this spring, perhaps as she begins to compensate for the front end soreness in shoulder and wrist?
My new plan is to withdraw from the trial I had planned for her in August and spend 3 entire months with no agility, just doing strengthening exercises for core, shoulder, and pelvis. Lots of swimming and walking and Bosu ball and fitness discs and some baby collection jump grids. During this time I will monitor her and see how her body does. if she begins to stop throwing things out, and her shoulder seems strong, I will reintroduce her to agility. I don't think the jump heights of 20/22" will do any harm, I think it's more the weaves and aframe and just her overall manner of running.
If 3 months of strengthening/conditioning isn't able to get her muscles to the point of being able to hold her into place, she will retire from agility until such a time as I believe her body will hold up. If she never reaches that point, she simply won't compete in agility. Even when her shoulder is out, she does not seem to be in pain, so I am not prepared to spend thousands of dollars and months of rehab to get her to do agility again.
I am more and more glad I got Strafe when I did, even though I felt the litter was a little early for me. First Drifter's heart murmur and crooked toes, now Seri just not holding up!
In other news, Kiba didn't look bad after a few weeks practicing at 20" - tight mid-back, but so were most of my dogs, so I think that was from the addition of swimming to their fitness routine.
My leggy, fragile beast.