Recently I was in Sacremento at the Collie National Specialty with my smooth blue collie, Quinn. About a year earlier he had sprained a toe, and he was just fully recovered from that injury (boy, do toes take forever to heal!) and we were all ready to have a couple fun days of herding, a couple fun days of agility, some fun in the breed ring and then do some rally.
His herding went really well, and he got his first HT leg with the help of a friend who handled him, as I’m not too great handling him in herding myself. The first day of agility was for fun, because he’d only had one trial, in February, and nothing before that for nearly an entire year, so we were just getting back into the groove. Quinn will be five years old this month (April 2017) and taking all that time out to heal from a toe was rather annoying, but we did it. During that time we had a lot of fun in Barn Hunt (he’s great at Barn Hunt and runs at the Masters level) and started doing some UKC Nosework as well.
Anyway, to make a long story short, he and I were all ready to continue doing agility and have a great time, and while he didn’t Q in his Standard run on the first day, we had a most gorgeous Open JWW Qualifying run and I thought yay, we are back, and we are going to have a great agility career!
Well, the second day of agility, disaster struck. Quinn is not a fast dog. Most collies are not fast dogs in agility, as speed goes. But he’s steady and solid, his contacts have always been good and reliable… until the Standard run where he didn’t tip the teeter right and it fell out from under him. He must have rolled his left leg wrong, because he fell on his wrist coming off the teeter. He cried… oh boy did he cry.
When a traumatic event happens to me, I go into “Take Care Of It” mode. When I’ve been in my car rollovers, I took care of things and didn’t break down until later, or the next day. This was the same thing. I stood by him, comforted him, and hoped for the best. The agility community there was wonderful, and so many people tried to help, offer love and comfort and care, which was awesome. I cannot express how much I appreciated the support I felt there. Collie agility folk are wonderful.
If you’d like to see the agility video, here it is. Be warned, there is crying on Quinn’s part after the teeter. And it’s a heart-breaking cry for a dog lover.
I was hoping, as was everyone else, that he’d shake it off and be walking fine the next day. We had conformation and rally to do! If he would have been able to get a Q in Rally, or even just show in the breed ring, he would have qualified for a versatility ribbon, which I’ve never had a dog get before, and I was excited to get one with Quinn!
Alas, it was not to be. Quinn didn’t recover the next day. He kept limping, though he didn’t cry anymore, thank goodness. Here is the teeter part of his run clipped out, blown up, and slowed down, if you’d like to see what happened in more detail.
I can’t watch it anymore, it breaks my heart. I don’t like seeing any dog, especially my own, be injured in any way. And having them cry, that is the worst thing I can imagine.
Quinn and I stayed at Collie Nationals for another day, but my heart was breaking, seeing him in pain, and unable to participate in the activities around us. And seeing all the pretty, sound, happy collies. So we left and came home early. I was so grateful that Quinn’s breeder was with us for this entire experience, as she’s wonderful, and such a great support.
When I got home, I rested Quinn, and he seemed okay. I took him to our close emergency vet, and they took x-rays and said that his carpal bone had been fractured, but from what they could see, he wouldn’t need any surgery… well, after a few days went by, Quinn started to hyperextend that wrist. And I didn’t want to wait any longer so contacted a Canine Physical Therapist friend and sent her the videos of Quinn that I’d taken of him hyperextending.
My PT friend sent his videos to the vet I already had an appointment with the following Tuesday, but when he saw them, he said that Quinn needed to go in right away because he suspected he had a carpal hyperextention injury. And that is not good. That basically meant his tendon has been ruined. And that, of course, broke my heart all over again.
So Quinn had surgery the vet next Monday. He had full arthrodesis, which means his carpal bones needed to fused together because the carpal tendon was ruined and could no longer support his ankle. 🙁
All this from a teeter injury. All this from the teeter falling out from under him. All this for the sport of agility. I never thought this would happen to one of my dogs. I never thought that agility would cause such a major injury in one of my dogs. I know agility can be dangerous, but I have always been careful. I’ve always trained my dogs well. I’ve always felt like my dogs will be safe and sound and have fun. But now, well, now what do I think?
I’ll post again about the thoughts I now have about my poor dog, Quinn, my sweet collie boy, and the consequences he’ll be suffering through for the rest of his life. Ah Quinn, I’m so sorry. The surgery to have his bones fused cost over $3,500.00. And while cost is no issue when it comes to the health of my dogs I don’t, unfortunately, have that kind of money laying around. But we’ll pay it, of course, and we’ll make sure Quinn gets the best care he can.
I’m sorry Quinn. I’m so so sorry. 💔 💛 😭