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This past year I have had the pleasure of working with Chip, a German Shorthair Pointer and sporting dog.
Although we take care of all the dogs that visit us, it is always a pleasure to work with an athletic dog in top physical condition with a dedicated owner. Mr. Townsend and Chip is that combination and the following is a note that Mr. Townsend sent to me today and allowed me to share.
This is the condensed back story, realizing you both have a business to run and I didn’t feel the need to waste your guys time on, about Chip. I realize that to you guys in your profession whether he is a National Champion or just someones pet has nothing to do with the type of care they get from you guys. But he is turely an amazing animal that I am blessed to call mine.
In the month of Feb 2012, I had a young 3 year old german shorthair pointer that was qualified for the National Shoot to Retrieve Associations, 2012 Quail Invational National Championships. This event is made up with field trial dogs from all over the United States. This young dog, Crosswind’s Micro Chip, was a young, up and coming talented, hard going prospect that I had complete faith in his abilities to hold his own in competing against some of the best pointing dogs this country has to offer.
Having competed in this event with other dogs in the past, I had learned that it is highly important coming out of the cold weather climantes of Mi., to show up at the Quail Inv. with dogs that are in top physical condition.
Chip was in great shape and ready to compete. It was during one of Chip’s early elimination rounds that disaster stuck as this young dog going as fast as he could attempted to jump a ditch that was much to wide to be done. The result was him plowing into the far bank and letting out a yelp and and finishing the rest of that run on three legs. He still managed to outscore his opponent and qualify for the next round, the following day. It took a couple hours but Chip starting using his leg again so I let him rest and massaged his sore leg a few times throughout the day in preparation for the rest of the event. Well Chip went on to win the Quail Inv. in 2012, but unfortunately the injury he sustained there slowly started to effect him in the months following that event.
A couple months after the trial it was becoming obvious that his injury was more than just a soft tissue injury that was not going to go away with some time off and rest. I started at my local vets office with some preliminary X-rays of the right front shoulder. The X-rays showed no bone damage and the advice was to put the dog up for 2 months and a prescription of an antiinflammatory.
At the end of the 2 month rest my dog was exactly the same with zero improvement. At this point Chip had an obvious limp that worsened with any kind of excercise. So back to my vet Chip and I went. My local vet recommended me to take the X-rays and go to see a specialist. So off we go with our records and X-rays to see the specialist who looks Chip over, looks at the X-rays and also recommends more X-rays and also an ultra sound of the right front shoulder. Results were inconclusive, his recommendation was it looked like a soft tissue injury of the shoulder. Put him up for 8 more weeks and continue the antiinflammatories. At the end of that 8 week period, I still have the exact same limp with zero improvements. The limp is still evident.
The next stop was to take Chips records and make the appointment with the university. They looked over the records and X-rays and then did there own X-rays and sent me out the door with same diagnosis as the prior vets.
It was at this time that I started researching some of the platelet rich plasma and also stem cell treatments, thinking that this may help with Chip’s soft tissue injury in the shoulder. I called Advanced Veterinary Care Group in Canton Mi. and was put in touch with Dr Zinderman. After getting my records together from the various vets I sat down with my appointment with Dr Zinderman, he looked Chip over went over his past records and throws the statement out that he does not think it is a shoulder injury, and that he thinks based on his exam and going over Chip’s records that it is an elbow injury. On his recommendation we really needed to have a CT scan done on the elbow.
Dr Zinderman then recommended I have Dr Degner in Burton Mi. do the scan and also said if there is an issue that required surgery that Dr Degner was THE guy to do it. So based on Dr Zindermans recommendations I set up the CT scan with Dr Degner and sure enough the CT scan Dr Degner took, and showed me, left no doubt that Chip had a piece of bone fractured off his elbow joint.
Dr Degner did the surgery and remove the bone fragment orthroscopically and we went home and rested Chip for around a month. After a month I scheduled a rehab program with Dr Zinderman for Chip which consisted of several visits to Dr Zinderman who did an outstanding job with Chip’s rehab. I could see weekly improvements in Chip’s range of motion and decreased lameness as he went through the rehab process.
After completing the rehab process I began to put Chip through some conditioning training to build his stamina back up from being off work for over a year since the injury. Chip held up well through the condition training and also two, week long hunting trips to the northern Mi grouse woods. In October, five months after Dr Degner surgery, Chip competed in the 2014 NSTRA Dog of the Year nationals in Amo, Indiana. 192 dogs entered, Chip made it through 4 days of eliminations, besting his opponents to make it to a one hour final event. He came off the field taking second place by a slim margin of 12 points. He is currently leading the country in the Purina Top Performance awards for 2015.
Words can’t express how thankful and pleased I am, with what these two men and what they have done with a dog that is loaded with such talant, yet looked like he was headed for an injury related early retirement. They brought this dog back with a one hundred percent recovery, that other vets could not even pinpoint the injury. I am forever grateful.