|My buddy ♥|
Yesterday I drove to Calgary with Kort to see Dr Veronica Devall. I have been taking my dogs to her since Kort was a puppy & she was located in Edmonton in 2008. I took Tate to her back then before I even had Kort.
Dr Devall is a Veterinarian, a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist, Veterinarian Acupuncturist, & a certified Spinal Manipulative Therapist. She is the first Canadian to be certified as a Veterinarian Animal Chiropractor & Pain Practitioner through the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management. So you can see she is highly qualified & respected!
I brought along Kort's xrays for her to look at & she confirmed the diagnosis of Spondylosis. I did not doubt this for a minute, even though I had been told xrays alone could not diagnosis it.
She agreed with me that jumping the higher jumps is not something Kort should do, ever, along with weaving. He shouldn't do anything that makes his neck bend back basically due to the location of his Spondylosis, it is different with dogs that have Spondylosis lower down along their pelvis. Kort's front end takes all of the shock , his spine has had to make adjustments due to his straighter then average front assembly. So as his spine adjusted , his muscle compensated & then you have a dog who is very sore.
He can however continue with Scenthurdle which is awesome!! I love this sport & so does Kort, it feels wonderful to be part of a team & I was so upset to think we could no longer do this either.
At some point he may be able to do 16" jumps for Obedience, but I don't think I will as he will have to bend his neck to heel & look at me. Yes I could retrain his heeling so he looks forward, instead of at me, but he has had 5 yrs of conditioning to look up, I really don't want to confuse him, he gets stressed so easily & I worry that this might confuse him to the point of him being worried he is doing something wrong. To me it is not worth it just so I can fulfill "my" dream. I am slowly coming to terms with things, very slowly :)
We have to concentrate for at least 6 solid months of strengthening his core muscles, that will help with his topline, which has always been weak, being that he has a slight sway back. I have tons of exercises that I need to do with him at least twice a day, he likes the treats he is getting :)
Kort will be seeing Dr Devall on a regular basic to keep his neck & spine properly adjusted, this will relieve any extra stress on his spine.
I am looking forward to helping Kort improve his quality of life, thank goodness he let out that yelp, I may have never known & blindly kept doing dog sports with him, scary thought really.
Makes me think I need to xray all my dogs spines before ever doing jumping with them.
I know I won't look at dog sports the same anymore. That does not mean I will never do them, I am bound & determined I will train a dog to his UD & his Agility Excellent titles one day. It just means I will take more notice of his structure & what he is suited to compete in, & I will always work on developing core muscles!! This is so important.
So that is it for now, just wanted to post an update. I am feeling better all the time, not back to normal by any means, but with every day I am feeling more optimistic & just happy that I am working toward making my buddy feel better ♥