Terii’s Cycling Babble

Chirrrup, Chirrrup, Chirrrup
July 24, 2010, 2:31 am
Filed under: Day Rides

Yes, I know.  Nothing, but the sound of crickets from this blog.  Fact is, Loke and I have been off the trike since my last post.  It’s been something of a roller coaster as well.

The problem with my knees has been fairly persistent.  Then we had the heat wave hit.  Record-breaking temps for this area of Sweden even.  In the 90’s which is warm enough I’m reluctant to cycle given my ‘new’ sensitivity to heat.  Throw in Loke starts getting worryingly overheated just in the 80’s and no AC to escape to.  That further killed any impulse to get out with the trike.

During this heat wave, we also had an incident with Loke which led to something of potential concern.

My husband has been GREAT with the knee issue.  He’s taken over the ‘business’ walks with Loke, leaving me to just take Loke for a short trip to the hedge.  I think that’s been one thing to really help the recovery of my knees… as well as backing off on cycling for a time.  On one of the evening walks, Jens called me and was soooo stressed.  Loke had gotten hold of a dead rat and gulped it down before my husband could intervene.  Instantly, my concern was “Residential area… did the rat die of natural causes or poison?”

Jens hurried home and we rushed Loke to the animal hospital at 8 pm for emergency treatment.  They shuttled us into a room and the vet tech brought in a can of soft food.  Loke was kinda scared, so we really had to encourage him to eat the food as they wanted him to have a decently full belly before giving him the medication to make him regurgitate.  The vet came in and just as a precaution, he listened to Loke’s heart… and listened… and listened.  Swapped sides and listened… and listened… and listened.  Back to the first side and listened… and listened.

The longer it went on, the more worried I got and all the aggravation at Loke’s lack of stamina increase, the sharp drop in his top and average speed popped into my head.  The vet thought he’d heard an irregularity in the beat.  He almost considered not giving Loke the medication to make him bring the rat back up.  After some discussion, we decided it was worth the risk to avoid the potential for poisoning given that the vet wasn’t absolutely certain he had heard it.  It went fine, though Loke was unhappy for a bit.

The funny thing was after we got home.  The vet had told us Loke would likely be sluggish and tired.  No appetite.  That’s how he was as he left the hospital, but when he jumped out the car at home, he all but dragged Jens to the door and then wanted food NOW!!  He insisted on being perky for the rest of the evening as well. *eye roll*

Then we arranged to go to our local vet and get Loke double-checked.  They didn’t have the equipment to do a detailed heart-check, but we were looking for a second opinion and perhaps a referral.

The vet listened carefully as I described in detail Loke’s sluggish behavior compared to last year, the significant drop in his speed (both top and average) before I moved on to the rat incident and the possible heart irregularity the emergency vet thought he had heard.  The vet listened for a long while as Loke stood on the table, shaking and making his head weigh twice the total of his body weight.  It’s a trick he’s had since he was a puppy.  Body weight, 45-50 pounds.  Head weight… 100 pounds. *chuckle*

Our vet thought he heard what he would have considered as a normal sinus arrhythmia and admitted if he didn’t know about the stamina and speed drop, he wouldn’t have thought a thing of it, but given that Loke does actually have such high ‘octane’ activity over say a lab, he thought we should get it checked.  We got a referral and an appointment with ‘one of the best animal cardiologists’ (according to our vet) on August 25.

So, even the remote possibility of Loke having some kind of heart condition killed my willingness to drag him out into the heat for 20+ mile runs.  I would be devastated if Loke had a heart attack or stroke while out with me and the trike.

So, that’s where things sat for a long while.

Yesterday though, my knees have been feeling improved enough and the heat wave broke.  Our high yesterday was like 62 (Ahhhhhh…. ).  When my husband got home in the evening, I actually decided to take Loke for a river loop.  Nothing extravagant.  Not even with any of the extensions.  Just an easy 3.(something) mile trip.  Since it was the river loop AGAIN, no pictures.

Pity I didn’t have the camera ready when Jens dug out Loke’s harness.  He looked like a kid who’s been taken to the world’s biggest candy store and told, ‘Get all you want!’  The first stretch had something of its old fire.  Loke was doing the kangaroo hop on the end of the tether as he tried to drag me and the trike at warp speed across the road and head out for the familiar bike path.  I hadn’t bothered to take my GPS, but I’d guess he was running in the 15 mph range as we tore along the streets toward the school.  It didn’t last long though.  Significantly less than his old ‘wild mile’.  He kept a good clip for the next mile, but after that, I felt like I was kinda dragging him along again.  *worried sigh*

So, just the river loop since my last ride in June, but now you know the reasons.  Here’s hoping that Loke’s lack of speed and fire are just him turning lazy at age 5 (prime for a husky) and not the foreshadowing of something more serious.