They say “it takes a village to raise a child”, and whoever ‘they’ are, they weren’t far off the mark. I can say with certainty that in our case, it’s true; although by child I mean Inka, and by village I mean trained professionals.
Inka’s currently half way through his sixth week on painkillers for a soft tissue problem.
When he first came home, I took him to the vets for a general check-over, and I mentioned to the vet we saw that his hips were visibly uneven (easily by a good inch or more), and he was rather stiff through his rear end. The vet checked the range of movement of his hips and said it was nothing to worry about. Given that Inka’s half collie, and collies grow hind-end first, I put it to the back of my mind thinking that perhaps he would grow into his wonky hips, and they’d be wonky no more.
Fast forward almost twelve months, and his hips and gait have improved somewhat; but I’m still having to lift him into the car – he won’t jump in. In twelve months, Inka had jumped into the car a total of three times, the last one being almost seven weeks ago. After jumping in the boot, eating a really nommy extra special treat, and jumping out again I put him back in the house while I nipped out. Less than an hour later I returned home, and thought we’d brush up on his “puppy positions”.
His sit was perfect, his stand was good, brilliant sit again, then I asked for a down…nothing, I asked again…still nothing, I lured him into the down, then another sit, then I tried the down again. No movement on his voice cue, I moved to lure him, he dipped his head, I tried again and he didn’t move. I cued a stand, rewarded him, finished our session and began to think. We were indoors with no distractions, and he’d trained that exercise in that exact location only days earlier without a problem…why wouldn’t he lay down??
The next day, after talking over the situation with a trusted friend, I booked a vet appointment. This time, the vet wasn’t happy with the way his hips moved, so booked him in for an X-ray the following morning. Thankfully, the X-ray showed Inka’s hips to be “perfect”, and in fact what was thought to be his problem hip was actually better than his other one. He was sent home with some painkillers, and put on restricted exercise, with advice to book a hydrotherapy session.
Since then, Inka’s been back to the vets three times, had his painkillers changed once, been for three hydrotherapy sessions, and had a chiropractic adjustment.
Seemingly, now, things are going well. His gait has improved, his ability to listen and focus seem to have increased, his hips are level, he plays with more vigour, he seems more able to regulate his speed when walking without using the back of my knee as a buffer (almost knocking me over in the processes!), and most impressively – last night he repeatedly jumped into the boot of my car.
We’re back at the vets again later this week; I don’t know what the next step will be as he’s currently on half a painkiller every other day (down from one half every day), but I don’t doubt that it will be positive. I’m keeping everything crossed that Inka’s days of pain and painkillers will soon be behind us, and we can get back to “real life”, and the important things it holds for us.
Throughout this, I’ve felt lucky to have the friends that I do – those who I can confide in, talk through my options with, and get recommendations and suggestions from. I know Inka is thankful for all of our friends too, even if he’s not sure what they’re all doing for us!