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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ilu's Back Pain Returns

Ilu rests in his crate while the sedatives wear off

I rolled over this morning to turn off the alarm clock at 6:27AM, hoping to avoid being jarred by the obnoxious sound of the alarm in just a few minutes. I was delighted, when, at exactly 6:30AM on the dot, I was greeted with the call of a loon. The loon's have been scarce on Oake Lake for a while so it was a wonderful start to the day.

After spending an hour in the beeswax candle workshop and feeding the little house dogs, I was awake enough to head out for a visit with the sled dogs and to give them their breakfast. All was well in the dog yard until I came to Ilu and Icoa's kennel. Ilu was his rambunctious self alright but he was still in obvious pain. As he ascended the ramp that leads to the top of a low dog house, he yelped out in pain. Back in February we visited the vet for what appeared to be a sprained back. With all of the ice in the kennels, this wasn't hard to believe. We went home and Ilu was on rest and pain and anti-inflammatory meds for two weeks. After which time, he was back in harness but only doing light work. He seemed just fine until a couple weeks ago when he began to walk stiffly. When the vocalization of pain began, we knew he needed to go back in for a check up.

The vet took x-rays of Ilu's back today and will be sending them to the University of Minnesota Orthopedic department for analysis. The x-rays showed a fuzziness near the sacrum which can indicate a bone density difference. We are trying to wait patiently and are hoping for the best. If he can't be a working sled dog, our hope is that he can still live a pain free life.

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