Perri got two visits on the underwater treadmill this week. On Monday she did 18 minutes and it totally wiped her out. Her appointment was at 1pm and she napped well into the evening. Tonight she had an appointment at 7pm and was bumped up to 20 minutes as well as an increase in speed. Perri handled the increase well, but our therapist did "intervals" with the speed change. She started Perri off at the faster rate, and dropped her back, then moved her back up and Perri stayed at the faster rate for almost her entire therapy session. There was a tennis ball floating in the treadmill tonight, which I said we could leave in there to see if Perri liked it. Towards the end of Perri's session, the ball floated along her right side and Perri was moving as far to the left of the tank as she could. I was initially worried that she was uncomfortable with the faster speed and fatiguing, but I realized that the spacial pressure of the ball was alarming Perri. When I removed it, she immediately relaxed back into the middle of the belt. (Oh, Perri!) Strangely, instead of being tired (like she was on Monday), Perri is very sassy tonight! It makes me smile but she needs to stay subdued.
I am feeling very empowered lately. Perri has become extremely cooperative. She seems to be settling into her new and boring life, and requires less stimulation. I am so grateful she is not an insanely energetic dog, I will say that a thousand times. I ordered some beef roll from Red Barn and that has been a complete game changer where the cookie stretches are concerned. Perri is as eager as a dog could be to do any stretch, for any duration, for the Red Barn. I am happy with it too, because it has a decent ingredient list and is a healthful addition to her daily food intake.
Perri has also become more cooperative with laying on her left side. She needs to lay on her left side for her heat and massage, as well as her tricep stretch. When we first started this she would plant herself in a sphinx down and stubbornly refuse to let me roll her to one side or another. Now when I do a play bow and ask her to lay down, she does a rolled down towards her left side, and sometimes she even volunteers laying on her left side. She is definitely getting more loose and willing to let me do her tricep stretch, I am sure of that this week. Flex elbow, stretch arm forward gently. She is relaxing into the stretch, letting me flex her elbow and not fighting off the stretch.
Still a mixed bag as far as offloading when rising.
I got to talk to somebody at the trial this past weekend whose dog had Perri's exact injury, and treatment. She even had the same vet as we do! Her dog presented with limping, though. I have not encountered anyone else yet whose dog had MSI at a level mild enough to rehabilitate without surgery, so it was very exciting for me to hear her experiences. She told me that it took three months to rehabilitate, and she kept her dog away from agility for several more months after that. Three years later the dog looks great running agility and has stayed completely sound.
So, we continue on. One day at a time. "Ghostbusters" is my super fun song of the week for listening to while doing Perri's work outs!