Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The wait.

The wait....

Picture by Candice Robinson

So Ben had his operation on the Monday 19th September. His Spleen was sent off that day for biopsy to find out what this tumour was. I was told I should have the results in 5 working days which brought us to Monday 26th September. I tell you what I have never had such a horrible weeks sleep!

I was away teaching most of the day and night Tuesday and Wednesday at Halifax and Newton Heath, so it kept my mind busy! Fantastic sessions, fantastic dogs and fantastic people, at both venues. I LOVE teaching them.

So I took Pippa, Evie and Lloyd with me so that it would be less exciting at home. Hoping Ben would chill and relax. -Lloyd was a dog I was looking after for a week.
I dropped Evie back with her owner so we are now Evieless and I can’t actually believe how quite it is here now!

I decided that I was going to travel back after teaching on the Wednesday as I wanted to see Ben. I didn’t want to wait until the morning! I just wanted to cuddle him. So I kept myself awake and drove home.
Just over 5 miles away from home and I had a bloody blowout on the front drivers side! Typical! It was half one in the morning, I had hardly any battery on my phone, and it was down a dark road with no lighting and a mile each side from any house!

 I managed to get the AA out and get the tyre changed. I eventually got home at 2.45 am!

So much for a lay in! I was up and out buying some more tyres for the car, then before I knew it. It was 5.30 and I was leaving to set up for my classes at Skellingthorpe.

Friday, I was meant to be setting off to 5 Rivers to compete and judge but I didn’t want to leave Ben again, I couldn’t leave him with anyone and I wouldn’t leave him somewhere on him own with someone he didn’t really know. My parents had already made plans.  I certainly didn’t want him getting excited by the agility and pulling his stitches out there. So I had to cancel, I’m gutted I missed my judging appointment but these things can’t be helped and my little man is so important to me. So I had a free weekend.. I didn’t know what to do! It’s first ‘free’ weekend I’ve had since March. I spent it with Ben and Stig. Cuddles with Ben and I did some trick training with Stig! And Chilled!

Monday was here and I was up at 8.30 (when the practice opens) waiting for the call. I hadn’t received one by 10am so I went out and got some gardening done. As we had a call for a viewing for the house! Front and back lawn mowed, hedges trimmed back and even washing in and out! Still no call. My grand parent had come round as it was my mums birthday the following day. Just as they were leaving the phone rang. I picked up the phone and it was the Vet, She quickly told me the FANTASTIC news, that the tumour was NOT a cancerous tumour…That he was fine! I put the phone down cuddled Ben and then dashed out into the garden it tears of happiness over to my mum shouting ‘He going to be fine, his results, they are clear!’ I’m soo soo pleased! My little man is back on the mend!
He had his stitches out today and didn’t even flinch. The vet said that it’s heeling really really well. So its good news, he can even get back to lead walks. He is going to be sooo happy to get out of our house and garden.

 I  made a card for the vets to say Thankyou for all that they have done for Ben . What do you think to the front?
Picture courtesy of Hannah Paterson.

   It’s just a case of keeping him calm now for a few more weeks!

Lucy Osborne.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Why getting to know your dog is Important.

Why getting to know your dog is SOOO important.

Now you probably think that I’m going to natter on about understanding your dogs’ behaviour patterns but this is not aimed at that at all.
When I get my puppy home I make it routine that I feel over them. Get used to how they feel. I also make it routine that they get a massage so I can feel them, muscular wise so I can feel when something feels unordinary. All mine love having a massage now and being checked over as they know the end result is a game or treats.
It’s so important to know how you dog feels. Then, when something is wrong you should be able to spot it. If you have an older dog and haven’t regularly felt them it may be a good idea to have them checked by a recommended McTimoney chiropractor or an osteopath that specialise in canines.
A good majority of dogs won’t stop and lay down they will carry on. They can’t talk, it’s up to you.
It was Bens’ 8th birthday on 28th August and we were away at the Dog Vegas show. I went to get Ben out of the car and he was asleep. I didn’t think much to it as he had done a lot so was probably tired. I took him to the exercise area to follow out our normal exercise/warm up routine and he perked up, he seemed his usual bubbly self so we went up to the ring. After Ben had done the first few obstacles it was clear to me something wasn’t right. I picked him up gave him a cuddle and took him out.

I took him back to the car and had a good feel over him and noticed that his stomach was slightly inflamed, only very slightly. I didn’t know if it was me over reacting or not so I let him rest for the rest of the day.  We were booked in for Northern week champ the next day but I wasn’t bothered about missing it.

That night he was off his head, chucking toys on me at 2am and barking to wake me up to play. I opened my eyes to him sat at the end of my bed offering different behaviours thinking that would get me to pay attention and give him the reward he wanted. His stomach seemed to have gone down and felt softer so I played with him and then got a few more hours sleep. I took him out that morning in the garden and he ran to the jumps at the side of the garden, he wanted agility. He seemed fine and his stomach felt normal. So we set off to Northern week champ where he came 3rd in the championship final.

He seemed fine that day. There was the champ and 3 other runs but I only ran the champ and scratched everything else. I got home and his stomached seemed to have inflamed again. I called my chiropractor / McTimoney one.  I wanted to make sure there was nothing out of place before I took him to the vets. She confirmed my suspicions too. His stomach seemed again a bit inflamed.

The next day I took him to the vets he was booked in for his rabies jab update I told the vet what had happened at the dog Vegas show and up to the present date. They ended up doing an ultra sound scan on him. The vet found that there was a small tumour on his spleen but it was so small she said she would like me to get a second opinion.
The following day I managed to get into Park View. The vet there had been recommended for a good ultra sound scan. That vet also wanted to do some X-Rays so Ben had to stay in for the day. The second opinion gave the same results there was a small tumour on his spleen. She showed us the x-rays and it was so tiny you could hardly see it. I began to fill up thinking the worst. The other X-Rays showed that there was no spread, which made it a bit better news.

The options
They could take off the tumour send it away for biopsy and if it came back clear then it would be sorted,  but if it came back as cancerous the whole spleen would have to be removed which would mean two operations.

Both vets said that taking the whole spleen away would be the best option as then there is no risk of having to have two operations and then he will only have one recovery time and not have to be put under sedation twice.

I’m just waiting for the blood tests to come back. They should have been in yesterday evening but still aren’t back.  Hopefully they come back clear. He is booked in for Monday. I hope it all goes well and the news is that it is not a cancerous tumour. I wont know until the biopsy comes back which could be up to another 2 weeks, after the op. Which I’m sure will feel like an age.

The vet said that Christine (my McTimoney chiropractor) and I had done well to spot this as it was so tiny. That it was made easier to spot as Ben is so athletic and I know how he should feel. So I know when something just doesn’t seem 100%

So Ben is left with a shaved belly at the moment but I know they will take more off for the operation. Just a good job I have some lovely snugly bedding for when he gets home.

I would also like to say a massive Thank-you to everyone who has sent me some lovely e-mails, you have really lifted our spirits and its good to know and hear of others whose  dogs have had their spleen removed and have got back to normal. I know there are hundreds of people out there as well and myself with their fingers crossed all runs smoothly!  Cheers guys.

One good reason to keep your dogs fit.
Ok you may find something you don’t want to find but at least you can find it earlier and hopefully cure it quick. Both vets said this  most probably wouldn’t have been picked up on a tubby dog (unless doing an ultra sound) until the tumour was three times bigger as there is a good chance you would be able to feel it clearly through the fat.

If you are unsure what you should/shouldn’t be able to feel on your dog the PRO PLAn body conditioning chart is a great and tells you each different grade followed buy a picture. This chart is on one of my previous posts and can be found on Google ‘PRO PLAN Canine body conditioning chart’
 Getting to know your dog IS important and it might just save their life.

Lucy Osborne

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Well done.

Well it has been a hectic few weeks, now it’s all beginning to calm down.

I would also like to say a MASSIVE congratulations to EVERYONE that I teach who have all had a very successful year and all attended, beaten and smashed goals! A big majority have moved up a few grades too and qualified for Olympia. Well done. I am really pleased with you all. It just shows that consistency in training and competition and positive reward whilst it may take a tiny bit longer is better and in the end it simply kicks ass!

 I have one show left - Five Rivers, which I am judging for one of the days.
So over the past few weekends Ben has had two 3rd places in the championship final, just loosing the time over the A-Frame and sometimes the dog walk. We have qualified for the Large Olympia Stakes for the 4th year in a row and we have also qualified for the connection final for dogs in need next year, which I’m really pleased with as I didn’t walk the course! DOHHH. Along with some decent places too, not bad for an 8 year old when there are so many young fast and very talented dogs on the scene too.

So our personal winter training has me working on improvements

Bens dog walk has started to improve over the past few weeks so I am going to maintain that criteria as I feel it’s slowed through all the quick releases needed in the finals. He is just a bit unsure.
I have decided to start teaching Ben a running A-Frame. Why? The reason behind changing and not sticking to 2on2off is simply because Ben is getting older now and I don’t want to encourage him to do this piece of equipment at speed and keep landing hard on his front therefore its more of a decision to help prolong his agility career and keep him sound. Oh and of course it should encourage him to complete this piece of equipment faster then before!  I will blog about the training when we start it. I will not start until I have no shows or if I decide to start before 5 rivers I will not do the A-Frame as I don’t want to confuse him.

It will be interesting to see how easy/hard it is to teach an old dog new tricks!

Well Stig has been actually fantastic and has had some brilliant runs with very few poles, some runs with no poles then stupid me sends him over an extra jump! He seemed focused and awesome until we got to Gillingham then everything seemed to of vanished. I’m putting Gillingham down to a lack of training as Stig had not done anything for well over a week, nearly two as I had been so busy I think it was all just a little to exciting as he hadn’t seen equipment for a bit. Although, I did get some nice pieces on the Sunday. I’m looking forward to next year with him. He is eager and loves it.