Day 20: Alaska ~ Ada's Right Shoulder Muscles Atrophy

UserJessica DohertyTime2013-03-15 23:12:37

Monday, March 4th 2013 Ada's Right Shoulder Muscles Atrophy

I don't remember much of this day except the 3 major things that went on...

First we went to see the 1-Dog Skijor WC Day 1 in Salcha at some very hilly cross-country ski trails. The men were just finishing when we arrived. We went inside the school there, ate some awesome Salmon Stew they had and then chatted for quite a while with John Perry from Colorado. I've never met John but have wanted to for a long time. We swapped stories on how we train our dogs and I learned quite a bit about his dogs which was real interesting. They were leaving to head home so we walked out with them and took a look at their dog travel set-up which we liked a lot. It's always good to see the way others do things.
Kelley McGrath from NH was doing awesome in the 1-Dog Ski with her stage-racing bred dog ~ that was awesome to see.

After that, we headed back to train Loretta, Jolene and Wheels at the trails right at our cabin in Salcha. I put Jolene and Wheels in lead and we ran a 4.7 mile trail that was really awesome. I couldn't believe how nice the trail was. The girls did great. Wheels is a wild one but everyone runs good with Jolene so she follows her lead.

Late afternoon we let Ada in the cabin to spend some time with her. She is getting the shaft as she can't run around much. In the cabin, I look at her closely and I was taken aback. Her shoulder looked really odd, almost like it was dislocated. It didn't look like that a week ago or even a few days ago. Brian had mentioned to me a day or 2 ago that her shoulder felt different but now it is very visible that something is really wrong. I KNEW she hurt her shoulder that day a couple weeks back in that Alberta field. This is really weird though.

Later on Nathalie (who is a vet) and Jocelyn come back to their cabin and I asked Nat if she can look at Ada. She comes into the cabin and gives Ada a good inspection. She said that the muscles in Ada's shoulder, especially the Suprus Scapularis, are atrophied and that is why we can see the scapula so clearly. The shoulder is comprised of the scapula and then a lot of muscle and tendons primarily so if muscle atrophies, the shoulder will start to look much different and she will lose support in that shoulder. I told her about how Ada fell into a snowbank 2 weeks back and she hasn't been right since. Ada has not been in pain as far as I could tell and when Nat manipulated her she showed no signs of pain, but she is not using the shoulder in a normal way. Nat said she probably can't and she knows that. If she did try to use it like normal, she would likely injure herself.
Nathalie then said the only thing that would cause the muscles to atrophy like that in such a localized fashion would be nerve damage. She also said it usually take about 2 weeks to visibly see muscle atrophy due to nerve damage, which is just about the amount of time it's been since she fell in the snowbank. So, the prognosis is unknown at this point. It's possible that it could heal depending on which nerve is damaged. We need to figure out what nerves are connected to the muscle groups that are atrophied. Right now, she needs to use the shoulder but not overdue it as her shoulder has very limited support right now and she could injure herself further. Nat said she hadn't seen anything quite like it before. I can't believe it ~ this is such a bummer.

The night ended on a sad note for Ada. She stayed in the cabin with us and slept with me on the futon.