Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
Let's just dispense with the bad news. In the past 3 weeks of strict confinement and pain and anti-inflammatory medications, we've seen only a slight improvement in Ben's lameness.
Now, on to the good news. (And explain about the pink shirt)
Ben is still funny, begging to be released to romp, and we finally finished his pain medications which he hated and had to be poked down twice a day. So, what to do next?
I contacted a young lady who is a licensed chiropractor for both humans and animals and we discussed Ben and his history and possible outcomes if she treated him. We decided to try chiropractic treatment, and since she travels quite a bit with the animal side of her practice, and she was going to be in our town in a couple of days, we set up an appointment.
She and her associate actually came to the house. They watched Ben walk, videoed him in action, and did a thorough exam. She talked me through what she found and was going to do, and in a very short time, I had an adjusted corgi.
Here's the incredible part. Ben's only evidence of pain was when he turned his head too far to the right. His limit was at about a 45 degree angle. In no way could he turn his head farther without yelping in pain. When Dr. Evans finished Ben's treatment, she was instantly able to turn his head completely to either side. I can't tell you how amazing that was to watch!
She will see Ben again next week, and then we'll see where we go from there. It could take several treatments to get him back to normal. I'm just so happy for his initial progress.
However, his after-care calls for ice packs on his neck and back for 15 minutes every hour or so. If you think that's easy, please go try it on your very round, restless puppy. It's rather time consuming as well. Not that I begrudge Ben the time or treatment, but here's my solution (and the reason for Ben's new pink shirt):
The problem was keeping the ice pack from sliding around. So, I sewed a pocket into the back inside of an old tank top, and there you have it! I just slip the ice pack into the pocket and leave it for 15 minutes, then remove it, wait an hour and repeat.
We've had a great morning. I spent one ice-down time combing undercoat (he's really shedding), another just cuddling in my lap. He's now sleeping on the floor getting his treatment while I write this post. The shirt is doing its job well.
We're both very happy.
OK, Ben isn't impressed with the shirt, but he is tolerating it quite nicely.
Thanks to all who keep him in their thoughts and prayers.
Well, the greenhouse is empty, and the garden is full.
Last year we built two raised gardens, each 4'X8'. We had torrential rains that spring, and we believe the 'good' stuff leached out of the carefully prepared soil. We had moderate success.
This year, I've mixed plenty of compost from a variety of sources into the soil. I also started seedlings in the greenhouse (I wouldn't even care to imagine the fun Angus the Cat would have had with the seedlings and their pots of wonderful soil had I attempted this in the house), and did my best to get everything in the ground on time.
After rearranging the soaker hose, the lettuce plants went in, followed by the tomatoes and peppers. You can see the lavender and sage, both with lovely purple flowers, and catnip that survived the winter. The onions and garlic went in several weeks earlier, though it's hard to see them in these photos. In an attempt to save the lettuce from the hot sun, I rigged a bit of a tarp overhead.
The tomato seedlings did very well, and I planted 5 in the garden on the right, then put 3 more in pots just because I couldn't stand to toss them out. They're starting to perk up after the transplanting. The largest tomato plants have flowers and the tiniest tomatoes on them!
I added marigolds in and around the garden, as well as a cluster of sunflowers on the far end of the garden. Everything is changing so fast! I love this time of year!
I love to see plants come up in the garden. This year I planted a lot of seeds and started them in the greenhouse, hoping for a nice head-start to my gardening venture. To my delight, most of them sprouted and grew nicely.
But when it came time to plant them in the garden, I realized two things. 1) I had planted too much lettuce for the space I'd alloted, and 2) summertime comes quickly here, and they'll soon begin wilting in the heat.
My solution? A bit of an experiment, really. I wanted to try growing the lettuce plants indoors, as effectively as possible, and without soil.
This is what I came up with. Each plastic tub has a water/fertilizer mixture in it. I'm mixing a couple of fertilizers, so I'll let you know how they work. The plants in the tub to the right are in cups with orchid mix to help support them. There are holes in the cups so the water gets in and the roots can grow through.
The tub on the left has much smaller holes and no cups. The plants go directly into the water beneath the lid. I stretched a piece of plastic wrap across the top to help support the plants until they get big enough to not fall through the holes in the lid.
In each tub there is an aerator from an aquarium with a single pump powering both. This should help keep the water aerated and from becoming a stagnant mess.
Each lettuce plant had only two leaves when I 'planted' them a bit over a week ago. Can you see how much they've grown? I placed a grow lamp above them, and they seem to be doing quite well in my cobbled together experiment. Any suggestions for a set-up like this?
Today's post is about Ben. It's been a while since I've posted here, and we've been pretty busy.
Ben is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which means his little legs are quite short, though his bones are by no means 'miniature'. His back is also very long, which can predispose him to back issues.
Ben has always been an active dog. He bounces everywhere, from beating out the German Shepherds for thrown balls, to leaping into my arms (his trick, not mine. This sturdy guy can knock you down!). He can leap vertically 4 feet in the air from a standstill. Fortunately, he hasn't been able to put any horizontal moves with that particular stunt, or he'd be on the counter tops for sure.
A couple of months ago, we noticed he''d become quite the couch potato. Age? (He's only 6) Fed up with the boisterous German Shepherds? (they are rambunctious!) Just because he can and the others aren't allowed on the couch? (They're much too big). Everything else checked great. No change in appetite (ever met a corgi that turned down food?), very alert and playful when off the couch, loved one-on-one play and cuddles.
And then he began limping. Right front foot only. We assumed he'd taken a spill playing with the others. They aren't allowed completely unsupervised play, but there are times I'd step inside for something and Ben doesn't back down just because he's a third the other dogs' sizes.
Assuming it was a soft tissue injury- a strain or sprain- we treated conservatively. No amount of manipulating the leg or foot caused him obvious pain, so we ruled out a fracture. We noticed he was brighter, bouncier while on his medication, but he still limped. We tried for another round of meds, then X-rays when the limping didn't go away. We set up a trip to the local vet school, but had to cancel, and setting up a new one was weeks away. Then, Ben started showing signs of pain.
We're now 1 week into 4 weeks of strict confinement, treating a bulging disc. It could have happened any of a dozen ways, or he could have simply been predisposed to this sort of thing from the way he's built. He still wants to run and jump, so this has been really hard and you can't convince him of the consequences. He used to charge up and down the steps, but that's a huge no-no for him now, so I built him a ramp. He didn't like it at first, so I put tape on it to show him the edges, and he did better. I also put no-slip stickers on the wood between the slats (for bathtub and shower floors), and that has helped even more. He's becoming a pro.
He'll go back to the vet in 3 weeks for a recheck, and we pray he will have healed enough to keep on this regimen. If not, we're looking at a trip to the vet school for a surgical consult, and the outcome will be grim at that point.
We could use your prayers.
This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
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