Today Seri went in for some x-rays. Happily, the weird tail and lower back kink to the right has almost totally resolved, and I think it was probably just due to her pelvis/sacrum being "out" for a bit, because that particular oddball symptom seemed to resolve within a few days of her adjustment. But just to be sure, I went ahead and had him x-ray her spine to check for spondylosis.. .
Well, that is a lovely spine! No spondylosis, no disk issues, nothing. Everything nicely spaced and well shaped. Hurray!
Just for curiosity's sake, we took a shot of her wrists:
I know this is not the source of most of her problems, but her wrists have definitely been one of her issues. Here we can see there are no obvious bony changes going on, no arthritis. Some fibrosis perhaps, and on the zoomed in x-ray (they're fully digital) the doc thought he saw some very small changes beginning on one of the small bones in the middle. But overall, not bad. (also, her elbows are very pretty!)
And the shoulder. I had him specifically check for OCD which meant looking for lesions and/or chips of any kind. To get a good shoulder x-ray, poor Seri had to be knocked out a bit, so she got a light dose of a reversible anaesthetic. This guy allows me to be very hands-on with my dogs, so I got the weird experience of holding her while he injected it, then helping her to lie down when it kicked in, and helping pick her up to put her on and off the x-ray table. Poor limp little Seri!
Anyway, here's the shoulder:
There are no visible lesions or chips, which is fabulous. However, the scapula (the upper, flatter bone) is not well-shaped where it meets with the other bone. The upward/inward curve should continue farther down on the right (as you're looking at it). It's almost like a shallow hip socket - it doesn't "cover" the head of the other bone very well, and so that is probably what is leading to the instability in that shoulder. It is entirely left up to her muscles to do the job, and so when she's totally fit and doing well, she is sound, but she is so reckless with her body doing agility, that she can easily mess herself up again.
For now I'm just sticking with a "no agility" routine. She is now swimming twice a week with my other dogs and I've got her back to a normal conditioning schedule with core work and walks, etc. I will discuss the x-ray with my PT and we will make a decision about Seri's ability to stay sound in agility. I don't think staying sound for "life" will be too difficult, at least.
And I have some answers, which is nice. Interestingly, they pretty much confirm everything I already know!