Herding Horses is Hard Work!
Juno's horse adventure wasn't the only thing panicking me last week.
After the Neuro Vet gave her a clean bill of health for her spine, he basically said he couldn't think of anything neurological causing her muscle loss and weakness in the back legs. So I did some research on the hip dysplasia forums and asked why her symptoms wouldn't be considered hip dysplasia. Someone mentioned degenerative myelopathy (DM) because her symptoms seemed to be consistent with it (weak back end, loss of muscle and one episode of a weird kicking motion). So naturally I panic and start google-diagnosing her. The Neurovet later dismissed the idea because her symptoms included pain and sensitivity in her back and hip areas (to touch) and DM is not a painful disease.
We headed back to the Ortho vet with the MRI report and he concluded that she is much too healthy for total hip replacement ("she's too good for surgery") because she is not showing signs of which hip is giving her the pain. He would not want to operate on a hip that looks worse via the x-ray, but rather the one that feels worse. Since she does not limp or indicate which hip is bothering her and neither hip showed arthritis in the x-rays, he didn't feel surgery was necessary now. He drew blood and is running various tests for infection, but ultimately, surgery is not in her near future. He was pleased to hear about Juno's horse adventure and said: "Good for her! It's good for her to run like that!" (Geez, doesn't anyone thinks she's a bad dog for that?) He also dismissed DM for her age and symptoms and agreed Physical Therapy would be good for her to build muscle. The Physical Therapist is a part of the acupuncturist and osteopath practice so it's all-in-the-family. That's so Swiss!
Juno's PT begins in two weeks but I'm impatient. Really long walks do nothing for her muscle building. I would leash- walk her as much as 2.5 hours per day and she still lost muscle. I see what trotting off-leash can do for her. The day after her horse adventure, she even looked stronger, happier and more balanced. Unfortunately, the Canine Surgeon General does not recommend horse chasing for patients who need exercise. I can't imagine why! So I've already started cycling with her just 10 minutes every other day in addition to her normal one-hour walk until she builds up a little muscle and we'll build from there.
Juno's osteopath was thrilled to hear that for a dog with hip dysplasia and muscle challenges, she had no pain after her horse adventure. I get the sense that both her hips affect the way she moves and it's not ultimately the hips that are in pain, but the result of how she moves that causes her muscular pain. Jogging is better for her than walking as it forces the dog to use the forward back motion of the hip flexer and core strength.
The vets here no longer recommend swimming for hip dysplasia. Apparently the way the dog kicks the back leg to swim is not good for building core strength which is what it needs. They also feel it puts too much stress on the neck too. Water treadmills are recommended, as are other PT exercises and trotting.
Because I'm a hypochondriac, I ordered a gene test to see if she has the genes for developing DM. There are no diagnostic tests for DM. Since it was very inexpensive to do the gene test, I ordered it. Either way, the only thing we can do for her with or without it, is lots of exercise. And that's just fine by Juno. She loves the bike already.
Now in cooking news.
I opened up a can of worms sharing photos of the dishes I create as I explore my culinary talents (or lack there of). You're all pestering me for for the recipes. Geesh! What do you think this is? A cooking blog? Ok, since I cook out of cookbooks, I don't feel right about posting recipes that belong to someone else. So I will share the books I use and let you know which recipe came out of which book. And I'll share all my personal recipes.
Now, Here's What's Cookin':
Shrimp with Pink Sauce! If you like Shrimp and you like pink, this dish is dee-lish. It's a very simple recipe from Hazen's Essentials of Italian Cooking. Based in olive oil and garlic, the shrimp is quickly sauteed in a mixture of white wine with a smidge of tomato paste. After they cook, some of the shrimp is removed, pureed and added back with creme and parsley.
Here's what it looks like before taking out the shrimp to puree. Mr. Wild Dingo is such a cheapie that he won't buy me a proper Vitamixer for Europe power so I had to make due with a chunky puree. That's why I made this dish when he left for China, so I could eat it ALL MYSELF! Eat your heart out Mr. Wild Dingo.
The next night after he left, I made his favorite dish: Sausage Mish Mash, a Wild Dingo Original. I call it Mish Mash because it's basically just Italian sausage sauteed with whatever veggies I can find in my fridge that I haven't used. Sometimes its bitter Italian veggies, sometimes it's onion and mushrooms or sometimes like this below:
The green beans were steamed first, the potatoes were par-boiled then sliced and added last. The other veggies are bell pepper and cherry tomatoes.
Too bad Mr. Wild Dingo is in China probably eating Toblerone from the mini-bar!