Getting back to basics, training plans, and cuddles
Not really, I’m at work today but it started off pretty slow so me and the dogs had some quality cuddle time together.
We had an interesting case in the clinic today that will remind you to always think about the basics. It was a routine exam and vaccines. The dog is a senior (over 8 years old) and the owner reported the dog has lost almost 7 pounds over the last year. While he was overweight to begin with, this weight loss was not intentional. Other than weight loss, the owner reported a healthy normal dog. My physical exam was unremarkable so I went down the list of “senior dog problems.” I discussed running bloodwork to check for any underlying cause of the weight loss. The owner declined so I went down the list of items due for the annual. We got to the fecal and the owner stated the pet never goes anywhere other than on walks and in his yard to pee. After explaining why we check yearly for internal parasites, and accepting the decline of a fecal check, the owner said go ahead and run a fecal to see if that’s why he’s loosing weight. Sadly enough this never even crossed my mind. We get so focused on the bigger issues that sometimes the small things, like an internal parasite causing weight loss, gets pushed down the list. While it’s not very common for adult dogs to get parasites, it does happen.
This little dog was full of hookworms! Hookworms are typically found in sick puppies, but every once in a while are found in adults as well. These are blood sucking parasites that live in the intestinal tract of dogs. As you could imagine, these little worms can cause weight loss.
Its super easy to treat and should not become an issue in the future. We will recheck a fecal sample in 1 week to make sure the hookworms are gone, but this may have been the only contributing factor to the weight loss.
I tell this story as a reminder, no matter what profession, to try to remember the basics. We are all taught to think simple and not look for zebras, but unfortunately when we see so much negative in the world, and we’re prone to placing blame when things don’t turn out perfectly (fear of getting sued), we find ourselves looking for major problems and forgetting the basics.
My day is rounding out quite nicely so I’m spending my spare time searching for a half marathon to run.This one looks super fun and I could see a close friend at the same time!
This half marathon is a women’s only race that raises money to care for homeless dogs in Houston, Tx. What could be better than seeing a friend, running a race, and supporting a cause I am very close to??!
My training plan is pretty lax as I don’t really intend for this to be a PR or anything. My body does best with 4 training runs per week with 1-2 being tempo or sprints and 1 being a long run. The other days I do cardio in the form of spin class or gym time strengthening muscles.
In the past I have always followed Hal Higdon’s training plans as a guideline. Here’s why I like his training plans:
- There is a level for every runner, no matter what shape you’re in or goal you have.
- It’s really easy to follow. It’s laid out by weeks and the workout is explained at the top of the training plan.
- It’s flexible. “Cross” days are free choice. Swim, Bike, Run, even skiing counts.
- You can easily juggle days around for life. Some days a 10 mile run just isn’t going to happen. That’s life.
- It works! If you follow the training plan, you will achieve your goal.
My plan is to hit up a spin class tomorrow after work to get my week started right. Hope everyone had a great weekend!