Of course, I am still very paranoid, as if Jasmine was made of crystal.
This has been particularly difficult, because with the recent weather, the conditions outside are far from ideal. First we got a huge snow dump. That was fine, all I had to do was to shovel some trails for her to get out and about safely while still in recovery.
By the time should would have been allowed to start getting out again, we had a thaw. As a result, the paths and sidewalks became covered with ice, while the areas under a good snow cover developed a hard crust on top. Neither of these things are any good when you're trying to ease your dog safely back into some walks and exercise.
We have started the intensive laser therapy for Jasmine, but even with that we had to cancel one of the appointments due to weather conditions.
There was just no way would could have made it to the hospital with a hundred percent guarantee of safety.
The upside is, that this new facility also has an underwater treadmill, so we added that to her laser sessions, because Jasmine does need to regain her strength and, frankly, was going stir-crazy. Even though that is far from a fun activity, it is beneficial to the body and does help draining some of the energy.
The first appointment for the laser therapy included an initial evaluation.
I was very impressed with how thorough that was. The vet was bending and stretching Jasmine like a rag doll. He got her neck moving to places I didn't realize it could go. Needless to say, I was on pins and needles, but nothing got broken in the process.
The advantage of going through this was having a fresh set of eyes evaluating things.
The good news was, that he didn't really see anything wrong. He thought Jasmine was doing exceptionally well for her age and breed. I liked hearing that very much.
Except, that does not explain any of the things that have happened starting last December.
At the time of the exam, a week after Jasmine's last neck event, the vet didn't find anything wrong with the neck, and he didn't find any neurological deficits, including the hind left which previously tested with decreased responsiveness. He even used the little rubber hammer thingy.
Should we believe those findings just because we liked the sound of all that?
While that on its own, liking what he said, is obviously not a good enough reason, his evaluation WAS extremely thorough.
The only things he discovered was a little smaller muscle mass on her left legs, both front and hind, and minor crepitus in her elbows.
The difference in circumference does mean something but it is not clear what exactly. Some crepitus in the elbows is not a surprise, we know the elbows are not completely happy.
The vet was quite impressed by Jasmine's range of motion.
Here are the findings as per his report:
Musculoskeletal exam findings:
- Jasmine was found to be in good muscle condition however there was a slight variation in thigh and gastrocnemius circumferences with her right thigh being 2 cm larger than the left one and her right gastrocnemius being 3 cm larger than the left one.
- The right triceps was also found to be 1 cm bigger than the left.
- At the time of examination there was no pain on palpation or manipulation of the neck. The only area that seemed to give mild consistent discomfort was on stretching of the left for leg into shoulder extension.
- Range of motion was measured using goniometry and found to be normal on all 4 limbs.
- Neurological examination revealed normal stretch reflexes, no proprioceptive deficits (owner reported that there had been a slightly delayed response on the left hind in the past).
- As it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where Jasmine’s problems are arising from, at this time we will attempt to get her to be less painful or have less painful episodes
- We did Jasmine’s first laser session today with laser treatments over her lateral and dorsal cervical area, both elbows, both stifles and the left supraspinatus, infraspinatus and latissimus dorsi muscles.
It is a fact that Jasmine is not showing any problems we can see either.
She even got to go the the farm over the weekend, even though with me shadowing her everywhere as her own personal ball and chain.
The conditions were even worse there, as they had more of the thaw. Lots of areas were completely under ice. So I was running around sanding what I could, and then breaking trails for her through the crusted snow. Then making sure she actually used those trails, as she had other plans.
In spite of all my efforts the terrain was quite hard to walk on.
However, Jasmine did well and did not come home either sore or limping! So that was a very good news.
I'd still very much like to get to the bottom of things, as well, as figure out—and correct—the reason behind the muscle mass differences. And I would really like her last neck event being the LAST.
We will continue with the laser treatments, acupuncture, and some time soon we should take her to her chiropractor again too.
For now, she's looking good and had enjoyed her weekend safely, so I'll take that.
A Time Bomb Ought To Go Off At Some Point, I Guess: Jasmine's Neck
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Two
Jasmine's Disc Injury(?) Day Three
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Mom, Why Can't I Go For A Walk?
Jasmine's Disc Injury: The Parole Hearing
Jasmine's Disc Injury: Spanking New Ramp
Back To Where We Were Last May?
Elbow Problem Or Root Signature?
Jasmine's Neck Setback Update