kaupunkigreyn elämää

greyhound Taran ja ihmisten seikkailuja arjessa

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Physical therapy for skinny hounds

I visited my vet a few months back. Every now and then I experience sudden sharp neck pain and also hold up my front paw, and the humans decided my neck needs to be re-examined. (It's been x-rayed before, and we know I've got a few hypermobile neck discs, but that was years ago.) Well, the vet couldn't examine me properly because I was so tense with fear, and when she touched my hind legs I screamed and tried to bite her through the muzzle I was wearing. She told the humans that overall I seem to be fine but a bit of physical therapy would probably do good for my neck.

One morning both of the humans had a day off and we spent a family day together. They allowed me to drag them to the metro (I love all kinds of public transport systems) and I got to travel from Kaisaniemi to Siilitie.
We walked through Viikki nature reserve (located in the geographical centre of City of Helsinki) and finally arrived to the Small Animal Hospital / Veterinary Teaching Hospital. I was excited, but when we walked in I suddenly realized I'd been cheated. I could smell a vet (or actually, plenty of vets). And to make matters worse, soon after we arrived a huge young Irish Wolfhound boy with absolutely no manners whatsoever tried to sniff my bum. Or at least he was looking at me (and my bum). Anyways, I felt threatened and tried to escape through the sliding doors. Unfortunately, I was still wearing my harness and a leash and had to stay in the castle of torturers and huge stalker hounds. And soon my humans greeted a suspiciously vet-looking person and dragged me through a corridor with plenty of vet-offices, vet-smells, and vet-looking humans. I Did Not Appreciate Their Efforts.

But to my surprise, the vet-person turned out to be a greyhound-massage person. She was very, very calm and kind. She called me a Good Girl, had snacks in her office, and allowed me to sniff every nook and corner. There was no steel table but a nice soft floor, and when she touched me she did not try to see under my tail or inside my ears. She lifted my paws, and petted me, and slid her hands slowly to examine my muscles. Finally, I relaxed enough to lie down, and my female human sat next to me and put a towel under my head. I felt really quite comfortable and didn't mind the greyhound-massage person examining my neck and legs. I only tried to bite her when she was examining my toes, and it turned out that an old puncture wound I have between my toes was still sore to touch. She didn't mind me acting out since the humans had warned her. And when she left the room and came back, I went to greet her with my tail wagging.

Her diagnosis was a stiff neck due to the hypermobility. She actually told us that the stiff neck protects me from pain by supporting the discs. The neck problem combined with the old toe injury is probably why I'm holding up my paw. She gave us exercise and massage instructions, and also advice on diet. (I don't mind eating more fish, especially salmon.) And finally she told my humans that I have no arthritis, joint problems or other lady-age ailments, and again petted me and called me a Good Girl.
We left the hospital and walked slowly back to Siilitie metro station. Viikki Research Farm has cows, and I spent quite a while just staring at them. Big milk-producing friends, they are. And the cows had hundreds of geese walking among them - the autumn migration had started. The birds were loud, as you can tell by my ears.
We also visited a dog park in Herttoniemi, and I got to sniff and run and wag my tail. I had a Shetland Sheepdog as a companion, and together we walked in the bushes and emptied my water bowl. It was good to stretch my massaged muscles a bit. I felt like a two-year old, especially because the humans seemed relaxed and happy and I could tell they were proud of me. After all, I didn't maim anyone in the hospital, and they thought it was money very wisely spent. I can recommend physical therapy for all the lady-aged greyhounds - it's like visiting a day spa!


Blogger houndstooth said...

It sounds like a wonderful visit to me! I'd be happy to have someone massage me all the time. Although I would not like being tricked to get there one little bit!


4:22 am  

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