Wednesday, February 4, 2009

News about Zed

Not long after I wrote the last post, the temperature came back up above zero. We had probably a week of "normal" weather, and then here we are below zero AGAIN! I ran the dogs last night and it was -15. Brr!

Well, so this post is supposed to be about Zed. Mr. Zed had been waking up on the mornings after his runs and he was visibly quite sore in the hind end, either lower back or hips. The other night when Matt got back from running the dogs, Zed screamed as Matt went to take him out of the dog box on the truck. That's when I decided that it was time for a veterinary visit to see what was going on.

On Monday I hauled him in to our vet, Dr. Joe Grohs, whom I really respect. After recounting the problem to him, Dr. Grohs decided to take several x-rays of Zed to see if any defects were visible. We gave him a combination pain killer and sedative and plunked him down on the x-ray table. A few shots later we had what we were looking for. I joined Dr. Grohs in the developing room to see how the x-rays turned out.

The vet clinic's x-rays are digital, so they can be saved on a computer or emailed. Dr. Grohs was nice enough to give me a copy of the x-rays so I could keep my own set. I'll be posting one as soon as I can. Anyway, to make a long story short, we determined that Zed has spondylopathy of his last lumbar vertebra. That is to say, he has some calcifications around his vertebra that are slowly encroaching on the next vertebra and may eventually fuse the two together. This is probably the origin of Zed's pain and it means that he will be laid off for the rest of the season, if not permanently. We will x-ray him again in three months and see if there has been any progression, and then again three months after that. Hopefully his vertebra will fuse and he will be pain-free because of that. Then he can get back to running.

I have to say, this makes me pretty sad and disappointed. Zed was really my main man, my go-to guy who really gave me a solid front end to my team. He was training Zak and Skiff to be leaders as well. Now I will have to make do with the younger guys running by themselves, which could be really interesting! Last night Zak and Skiff were in lead together and things went off without a hitch, but we'll have to see what happens when they're put into a hairy situation. Will they be able to be the strong leaders that I need them to be? I guess we'll have to wait and find out. Only time will tell.


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